In 2013, we were approached by a multinational agricultural company, looking for assistance as they fully evaluated their social media presence and charted their course forward. Within their company, some people saw the value of social media, some were undecided, and some continued to hang onto the older model of direct mail outreach. I had a wee bit of past experience in this realm.
We were asked to conduct a full audit of the company’s social media presence, and provide solid, data-based recommendations for future social media usage.
Employing a multifaceted strategy, our team embarked on a multi-month research project that involved the analysis of the company’s existing channels, a benchmarking of all competitive or comparable social channels within the industry, and a content analysis of all owned and competitive channels.
The research involved in-person meetings with various groups and levels within the company, along with phone conferences with offices in other parts of the US and overseas.
Following the in-depth research phase and the content analysis, we drafted a series of phased recommendations going forward that encompassed foundational steps, internal coordination, content management, key “buckets” of content, outreach efforts, third-party partnerships and campaign concepts. The final report was presented to the entire marketing and communication organization in early 2014.
This scenario is probably rather common to many of us. We can all probably list off at least a handful of companies where we know there is an ongoing debate on the value of social media. The good sign here however, was the willingness of a leader within the company to push forward with their vision, and work hard to bring everyone along with them. They took the time to facilitate in-depth research, industry best practices and a full analysis of their own, current efforts.
And that’s key. There is a danger when you have a vision for something and you fail to bring others along with you. You end up way ahead of the rest of the company, and there is absolutely no guarantee they will catch up. In fact, I can almost guarantee they won’t, as you just failed to chart the course for them. But it’s like flight. You have a vision that you are convinced will take your company to the moon. But maybe your company is still stuck on the ground, and taking flight in the Wright Flyer, for just a minute or too, is still a huge success.
Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on Mark’s LinkedIn blog.