Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Enterprise Social Strategy Begins With Discovery

Starting a strategic social media plan can be overwhelming to a mid-to-large sized company. There are a few big questions that often cause organizational paralysis...the most daunting of which is "where do we begin?" followed by "what's happening that we don't know about?" But knowledge is a catalyst to action. And, as with the formation of most effective business strategies, you need to understand it in order to set a course of change.

So in order to begin to formulate social strategy within enterprise, the first place to start is to conduct a discovery audit: running reconnaissance to find out what is happening in the social sphere. Only then can programs be developed that optimize best practice. Taking the pulse of the market and identifying current practices is a necessary first step that really should precede any strategic programs. Now, culturally, the company may be resistant to do discovery - afraid that there are "social media things" going on and are worried about what to do with the findings. Most certainly, there are skunk-works social projects happening within the organization, and social media practitioners among the staff. Is not bad that things are happening without being sanctioned, but at some point, you do need to know about the social activity in order to move from the experimental phase into a more strategic position. This is why social media discovery is important to lay the foundation for your future efforts.

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