There has been significant progress in social media in 2009. Numerous companies have shown interest and are using some form of social media. In the recent report, “Social Media in the 2009 Inc. 500: New Tools & New Trends,” it was stated that 91% of the Inc. 500 companies used at least one social media tool in 2009. Social media is not just for big companies. Just about all companies are either thinking about social media or dipping their toe in the water. Mashable has a great article that provides “tips, tricks, and wisdom” for small companies looking to increase their brand awareness and move targeted customers down the social media marketing funnel.
Given the increased coverage and hype of social media, many “experts” are making their predictions on what we can expect from social media in 2010. Now if I can steal a nice line from a Twiptster I follow, I’m “smart enough not to call myself a guru,” but I have been very active in social media – enough to see many opportunities and challenges.
Given my experience strapping on my helmet and pads and roughing it up on the social media gridiron, I see an opening for a new social media MVP to emerge. That MVP is the company that delivers the Community Officer’s most valued tool, and that tool is the Social Media Suite/Dashboard (SMS/D).
The Social Media Suite/Dashboard has some offense and some defense. On the offense side of the line, the SMS/D is the master control board for all social media outbound “events”. It allows total coordination and management of all social media activities. At a high-level, here are some attributes for the “offense coordinator” of the SMS/D:
• Keyword Tester and Keyword List. The Keyword Tester and List module helps determine the appropriate conversation phraseology by keying in on target audience vernacular. The Keyword Test/List ensures that outbound communication distribution and search-worthiness are optimized.
• Social Media Outlet List. The Social Media Outlet List keeps track of all the social media outlets used by the organization. To give you some idea of the breadth of choices and how to determine which ones are actually used by your organization, check out “The Conversation Prism.”
• Scheduler and Distribution. The Scheduler is the event manager of all outbound communication. It manages, synchronizes, and distributes all communication. “Content releases” are loaded to the scheduler and marked for day/time send and destination. The Distribution Module is for internal use and allows a Community Officer/Manager to send a “social media action request” routed to specific individuals/employees/internal sources. The Community Officer/Manager will send “social media action requests” to various members in an organization. The Distribution Module controls, manages, and provides status reports for all ongoing specific requests/actions (track open and closed items along with alerts and reminders).
• Audience Tracker. The Audience Tracker is a control module that allows a complete view of the audience from various applications. It includes a Followers List, Followers Search, Fans List, Fan Search, and more. Each Follower/Fan is classmarked by Social Technographic and A-Path classification.
• Filer. The Filer is similar to Windows Explorer. It organizes, manages, and displays the different social media files with varying attributes (created by, modified by, file type, source, dates, etc.).
Now the social media MVP not only plays offense, but defense as well. On the defense side of the line, the SMS/D collects all the information in the digital world (web, blogs, tweets, etc) to capture the conversation happening about your brand, competition, or any searchable criteria. It allows you to collect all the pertinent information to setup a winning offensive game plan and react if needed. The “defense coordinator” is a “Content Aggregator” and “Distribution Module.” The Content Aggregator is an API (application programming interface) that leverages available tools that search all blogs, tweets, and other online outlets to capture every mention of a search criteria entity or keyword. The Content Aggregator displays the “found” content in nice wire-framed windows. Listening and capturing mentions are important and can spawn 1) additional promotion by a Community Officer/Manager, 2) response/continued conversation from appropriate functional groups in your organization (marketing, sales, operations, customer service, etc.), or 3) response to a negative comment. All of the mentions are archived and segmented per different characteristics including sentiment.
The defensive elements are really “listening” attributes, and the offensive elements are the “conversation” and “relationship” pieces in my LCR Mentality that I have written about.
You can get some visual perspective of the 2010 MVP (Social Media Suite/Dashboard) as I envision. The closest things that I have seen are a social media aggregator by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and at a Twitter client application, HootSuite. I think the Crispin Porter site is nicely laid out and is easy to look at for multiple inputs from social media outlets. It is a subset of the listening and defense aspect I described. HootSuite has some good insight with regards to the management of Twitter accounts from a corporate brand perspective. The same perspective needs to be applied to multiple social media environments. So there you have my pick. The expansion of what Crispin Porter has done plus a HootSuite-like offering for all social media environments all integrated into one Social Media Suite/Dashboard … the integration of all these functional characteristics (and others I have not mentioned) into one suite, one dashboard, is going to simplify social media execution and unleash some awesome game plans and wins. This is my vote for the 2010 MVP.
A comprehensive Social Media Suite/Dashboard – this is the MVP at true definition – what an MVP is to their team. The SMS/D will be the go-to “player” that makes a major contribution to the team and makes everyone around them better at what they do. What team will show up at the Super Bowl with the Social Media Suite/Dashboard yielding the execution performance of the year?