The #cmgrclass had an opportunity this week to hear from one of the top professionals in the Social Media industry, Olivier Blanchard (aka @thebrandbuilder on twitter). It was a very enlightening occurance. Blanchard has over 15 years of experience working in the realm of social media and is considered one of the foremost experts in the field. He shares his experience in lectures, on his blog and in books. In a statement from his bio – “Oh, and I also wrote a little book titled “Social Media ROI,” which is pretty much a blueprint for companies looking to build social media programs that will actually yield results, not just fans and followers,” you may understand how exciting it was to have an opportunity to interact with him.
Blanchard’s unique and powerful insight into the workings of social media ROI and community building have great value for those that will take the time to study it. His pearls of wisdom that were shared helped me to gain a better insight. Let me reveal a few of the golden nuggets now.
Blanchard starts out by identifying the fact that social media is frequently thought of like a “fifth wheel.” Companies “know they need to have it” but may not be sure what to do with it. Starting with internal factors that could benefit from social media use, and working with the decision makers can be a good place to start. Another way to initiate a SM campaign would be to start with internal workings by department. By focusing on each departments needs, SM can help to create dialog between the members of that department and then integrate the individual departments into a company wide support system. For example: Public Relations, Marketing and Product Management may currently be operating independently without much interaction, but they may share some of the same obstacles in regards to reaching out to the consumers. Through the use of social media, good online community involvement could help to alleviate this impasse by connecting to the community. There are times when social media is not properly coordinated, though. When this happens, there may be an eminent #FAIL on the horizon. This #fail can be avoided with the buy-in from the top down, sharing of information and support and direction from a position of influence within the company. (Olivier Blanchard has done a video that talks about what a Facebook “LIKE” is really worth. Isn’t this something you always wanted to know? To find out what he has to say take a look at this video.)
Using solely KPI metrics and not looking at other returns on investment can lead to artificial readings of success without a true measurement of capital return. It is important to the value and possibilities that SM can bring to a company when it is properly managed. In Blanchard’s book, he states ” A fully deployed social media program is a completely integrated communications mechanism that amplifies the impact of every function within an organization by leveraging the power of human networks via social networking platforms.” This is great advice! You must sell the value of a SM campaign internally. Only then can you understand the true value and the possibilities that may be there for the asking.
What questions would you like to ask of Olivier Blanchard? Would you like to understand how to “put the puzzle pieces together”? If so, take a look at his website for the answers.