he Internet Summit 2010 hosted in Raleigh, NC was two days full of discussions, best-practices, and forward thinking on where the Internet economy is today and where it’s going.
Among the highlights were half-day sessions conducted by leading practitioners who shared cutting-edge thinking while providing hands-on guidance to thematic disciplines in high-tech such as:
* Social Media – Creating a Social Media Power Plan
* Customer Experience, Usability & Design
I was particularly impressed with Jim Tobin’s opening session covering social media strategy, “the most important element of success”. My notes from his content-packed session are included below to give you insight on how a leading social media agency charts strategy – so you can apply today’s best practices for your brand.
Jim Tobin of Ignite Social Media
Jim Tobin of Ignite Social Media
Image Source: Andy Beal via Flickr
Creating a Social Media Power Plan
Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media and best-selling author of Social Media is a Cocktail Party, led a packed room for the Social Media Intensive along with Eric Boggs (Argyle Social), Jeffrey Cohen (Howard, Merrell and Partners), Marty Taylor Collins (Microsoft Emerging Media), Myles Kleeger (Buddy Media), and Chris Moody (Phonebooth.com).
The speakers presented their approach to social media as they deliver value to their clients and their companies. Topics included creating a strategy, setting campaign goals, identifying which media to use for what, integrating social media, and measuring social media to make financial and brand sense.
Social Media: Tools and Technology
Jim laid the foundation by identifying the thirteen tools and technologies that comprise “social media”. When developing your brand’s social media strategy, you should be aware of how these tools might fit into your plan.
1. Monitoring tools (Radian6)
2. Publishing tools (WordPress)
3. Social Networking Sites (Facebook)
4. Micro-blogging Sites (Twitter)
5. Widgets (ReverbNation)
6. Collaboration Tools
7. Photo Sharing (Flickr)
8. Video Sharing (YouTube, Vimeo)
9. Personal Broadcasting (Justin.tv)
10. Virtual Worlds (SecondLife)
11. Social Commerce (Groupon)
12. Location-Based Services (FourSquare, GoWalla, TriOut)
13. Social Bookmarking and News Aggregation (Delicious, Digg)
Key Questions to Ask When Charting Your Strategy
When charting the course of your strategy, you want to focus on how social media can add value to your business. To bring all of the possibilities into focus, Jim presented key questions to ask on behalf of your or your clients’ business:
* What do you want to gain from a social media plan?
* What does your business offer that people are likely to want to discuss?
* What is your current business model and how will social media impact it?
As you build the case for how social media makes business sense for your brand, you want to clearly identify the audience with whom you seek to communicate and how you will go about engaging with them. Your social media plan should address four areas as described by “POST”:
* People: Who are you communicating with and why do they care?
* Objectives: What are the objectives of your social media plan?
* Strategies: What activities will enable you to meet these objectives?
* Technologies: What technologies will you use to meet these objectives?
Your Social Media Power Plan
Describing how his leading agency develops social media plans, Jim shared the Ignite Method:
1. Discovery: Identify the real message behind what you are trying to accomplish
2. Community Analysis: Finding out where your audience spends time online and identifying topics of discussion
3. Goal Setting: Set goals to measure campaign success, including “soft goals” such as views, “likes”, fans, and followers
4. Engagement Plan: Develop the plan for implementing the campaign, including timeline and resources
5. Metrics: Identify metrics used to gauge success
6. Implementation: Execute your plan
Jim’s approach to social media clearly delivers value to the clients his agency represents. Brands like Microsoft, Intel, The Body Shop, Disney, and Nature Made have entrusted their campaigns to his agency, Ignite Social Media. By following the guidelines presented by Jim Tobin and the observations shared by his team on the Ignite Social Media Blog, you can develop a strategy to maximize the use of social media to accomplish your business objectives.