The Social Media MVP in 2010

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.”

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?



Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, brands, marketing, marketing plan, social media, social media marketing, social network, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Uncategorized, Word of Mouth Marketing

9 responses to “The Social Media MVP in 2010

  1. This tool set you have put together is very interesting. But I still miss an all in on e solution for inbound and social media marketing which an ordinary person can use and benefit from it without being a guru 🙂

    I think this could be a great challenge in 2010 to look out if such a solution will be offered from somebody.

    There is no question that the social media marketing market is growing very quick and small businesses as bigger corps is interested to position them self to get a share of it.

    • Dragan –

      I agree with you. The Social Media Suite/Dashboard defined in the article is meant for a “marketing executive” type – not a social media guru. It is a challenge for 2010, but I do expect the offering to emerge. Maybe not as complete as I defined, but this is the direction I see going forward. Why? Because this is a customer demand – not a dream by a social media guru. This is what I see marketing executives and business owners asking for (maybe not in the explicit terms I defined) as I engage with them.

      Thanks for your input.

      Social Steve

  2. Very nice post.. I am combining several programs and tools to do exactly what you are saying. PeopleBrowser, SocialOmph, Hootsuite, Scoutlab, Radian6, Spiral16, Lazyfeed, Reader,Alerts, Pingfm,and others. Webtrends, Google Analytics, with a custom dashboard built for me.
    To me it is just knowing where to go to get what I need or to accomplish. (a ton of trial and error here)
    Syndication selection tools is what is interesting to me- I am looking for ways to be able to select the content into communities instead of just exploding it across the whole social graph- ex. Linked in has just gotten very busy lately because of Twitter connect..
    All of these tools will improve. Hopefully it will simplify the tactical end of the equation. So we can spend a ton more billable hours on the business problem solution areas, and the innovation areas. Using the social business model in my humble opinion can really change how we do business better for more people inside and outside of the company when these tools are as usable as Word, Excel etc. Best wishes for 2010..

    • Hi Steven (and Steve),

      Thanks for some thought-provoking stuff here. It’s always valuable to see the discussions that surround the tools and platforms.

      One thing that’s really important to us: talking about how social media specific applications tie into other areas in the enterprise: CRM, web analytics, customer service, HR, marketing automation, community platforms, etc. Because while marketing is one slice of the pie, the business intelligence from social media has impact points across an organization.

      The other discussion is the importance of human analysis and involvement in all aspects of this stuff. Gathering and analyzing data through automated tools is one thing, but you’ll always need humans to extract the relevant insights and actions that result from it.

      Thanks so much for a great discussion!

      Amber Naslund
      Director of Community, Radian6

      • Amber,

        Thanks for joining the conversation and adding value. I agree with the ingredients you mentioned and Radian6’s perspective.

        The challenge (and opportunity) I see is “grabbing” the right information and coordinating/managing a social media program … even before analysis. This is the biggest problem for organizations looking to get involved with social media today.

        Social Steve

  3. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this amazing blog post! I’ve understood what it takes to become a social media manager rather than just a wannabe. Both marketing, executive and management skills lead to a more sophisticated Social Media MVP. I’m hoping I can acquire these skills too!

  4. Great Explanation…Nice post.

  5. Steve,

    Way to articulate an amazing solution. The challenges are many. The commercialization of social media being the biggest. I hope 2010 is the year for a true content manager.


  6. Good post – it expands on the core Social Media Marketing activities of Monitoring | Contribution | Measurement [MCM] by identifying specific features / functions.

    I have been interviewing execs from some of the larger Social Media Marketing App vendors (search #socmktgapps ) with a daily tweet categorizing each. Their general consensus, and one that it seems we both agree with, is that over the next 12 – 18 months there will be a shakeout and consolidation in the apps space with all MCM capabilities being offered in suites. There may be best of breed solutions, but all core components will be in a single solution.

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