Strategic Human Media Integration Model

How can we work in social media if we show no interest for people, if we don’t consider their relevance? How can we be professionals in the field and, at the same time, ignore what happens afterwards? Can we learn to accept change without doing the work, simply expecting applause and a standing ovation? What changes can we implement in the digital world to connect with and change our own audience?

I created the first theoretical social media integration model in December 2009. What I find fascinating is how it has evolved over the years, until now, with 2014 just round the corner.

How has strategic integration evolved?

New skills in an interconnected environment, the adaptation to social platforms, the different approaches to new online tools, the change in strategies and tactics towards further interaction, engagement and the consolidation of relationships, perception and understanding of ecosystems in the social web, and the digital revolution, of course. All of this has made social media integration become a more direct, human and connected model, creating a more powerful social and human web. The start of Human Media.

I have been working for a while towards understanding and figuring out how the new environment works and how a new conception of all the above changes social media integration in the business environment.

Human-media-integration-theory-model

The meaning of this

Users generally prefer connections over sales, sharing over creating, resonance over influence and relationships over promotions. This is further amplified by the sheer number of elements that take part in the integration of online platforms and tools in any communication or marketing model today. Platforms that humanise, filter and select contents (content curating) improve the chances of a social object being shared by a larger number of kindred spirits.

Connectivity between platforms results from the users’ “shareability” ratio: the more relevant, emotional and segmented the content you share, the greater connectivity you create with kindred spirits (you can call them potential clients or community). This will inevitably lead to positive visibility and will make it easier for your brand to interact with the people in the community to which you have gained access. This generates a continuous feedback flow resulting from the high level of input generated from visibility to a potential audience, connectivity with these persons and the resulting interaction. However, such inputs are meaningless without perception, understanding, assessment, implementation and reaction to the feedback channelled from social networks and from actively listening to these platforms.

It’s convergence, it’s connection, it’s human

Integration converges with an ecosystem that focuses more on connecting with users than on bombarding them with promotions. A good handling and use of the feedback provided will inevitably generate more traffic and trust, as does sharing what you’re interested in with your audience (usually as a result of feedback), only that it will also afford you credibility and exposure, and a certain authority resulting from having something of value to offer. Authority is a good thing, something you wish to have. Something which is helped daily by microblogging services, geolocation services and online publication services.

A factor to be taken into account is how, as a result of the emotional, human and relational impact of this economy, platforms remain on the outside of such integration; even in the case of a vital element such as a blog: the effects and properties that favour the people remain on the inside and build a crucial system, a resonance between brands and people.

Is there a happy ending to all this?

Of course! The agents that truly strengthen, influence and act as a lever in this setting and all its different channels, aren’t the social platforms or tools. These are only the means towards strategic integration.

How do you think that the social web converges, collides and integrates with this increasingly human and interconnected economy?

Appeared first on Social Media Today.

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Smokemakers

smokemakers

Do you know about #smokemakers? Probably not, but you will do after this. To become familiar with the idea, you’ve probably heard of people taking you for a ride, social media gurus or mega-expert power rangers. It all boils down to the same thing at the end of the day.

This concept is the result of reflection and collaborative projects between Pablo Ferreiros, Enrico Ahrens and myself, everything else that has resulted from them and our friendship. Much of what I include here is something that we’ve been pondering about for quite a while now, enough to know what we’re talking about!

We’ve analysed these people, we’ve followed them closely to study them in depth and, as a result, we have reached some interesting conclusions. We shall share some of the most relevant ones here for the first time.

Smokemakers

– We know about your technique of praising us to the skies and say amazing things about us to then position yourself by our side, and in the worst of cases make us feel obliged to return the favour saying the same about you.

– You don’t need to mention us in your blog/tweets/conferences/book. We’d be more grateful if you didn’t!

– Avoid placing our name, brand or projects next to yours. That seems to be something for which you have a special talent!

– There’s no need to be falsely concerned about us. We’re fine and we will be for a long time to come as long as you don’t come near us to see what you can get out of it!

– If we meet and ask you “how’re you doing?”, out of courtesy, we aren’t asking so that you can brag about how many conferences you’re attending each year or the hundreds of projects you’re involved in or how busy you are seeing to the media, your number of Twitter followers or LinkedIn contacts. No, we’d simply like a sincere, honest, humble and heartfelt answer, something which is light years away from what you represent.

– Every time you speak, a smoke screen fills the hall, stage, classroom or space you’re in. As Pablo and Enrico rightly say, we’ll try to carry our own gas masks with us!

– We’re terrified of knowing or being next to someone who uses the word “I” the most.

– Keep your false hugs for those who don’t get it yet. Yes, for those who still don’t know what you’re all about.

– We don’t really care how busy you may be. In fact, we don’t care at all.

– We’re amazed at your LinkedIn profile stating your work for almost every one of the Fortune 500 companies, but we’re more amazed still by not seeing any practical case study or project that so proves it.

– You’ve lost, you lose and you’ll lose. Your ambition to claw your way up is so great that you forget we realise when you’re lying, showing off, bragging or behaving like a schemer.

– We know you manage your database and use visiting cards very efficiently. However, sending an email every time you succeed in a business school, project or conference, positioning yourself as one of a kind, isn’t going to work. We’ll reject you.

– RTing any compliments, praise and flattery aimed at you means that your dark side [Spanish link] won the battle.

– Asking someone, in public or in private, for their Facebook page and then turn the story upside down pretending it was the other person’s initiative… is simply sad!

– It’s easy to recognise you, we only need to observe you for a short while to notice how your yearning, greed, ego and arrogance take over you.

– We love seeing how you take the people who don’t know you for a ride. It’s not a problem. What you’re selling is faulty. Sooner or later, you’ll be found out!

– We hate it when you try to correct the people next to you. We can’t stand how you voice that their opinion is of no importance and that only your perspective is valid. You’ve done it way too often and we’ve witnessed it one too many times so we won’t let it go next time. We’ll show you up for what you really are.

– You forget that when you care for no one but yourself, we realise.

– You’re not a star, genius, guru, higher being or expert even if you believe it in your soul. You’re just a regular person, like the rest of us. Thinking and acting that way can only lead you to mediocrity.

You’ve missed the best opportunity there is, connecting with people, being true, honest, transparent, sincere, humble. That’s why we ignore you.

You’ve failed, you fail and you’ll fail for a simple reason: you never considered that we’re not like you.

#Smokemakers

Every time you find behaviours, practices or people like this, we invite you to use the hashtag #smokemakers. Share it with the world.

Photo credit: John Kurman.

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Disruption Media: Do You Interrupt or Communicate?

disrupt media - human mediaLately, the Social Web has been filled with so much bla-bla: noise, many words headed in the wrong direction, intrusive messages, non-sexy robots, predetermined users…which is what I call “disruption media”.

When Nothing Else Matters

On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Digg or Reddit – more and more brands and marketing professionals dedicate their time to publishing, without a response (or chance to give one), without feelings or coherence, without worrying about the people beyond an artificial platform. They are not here to generate change, to make something happen, to mark the difference or add value to what you are doing. Not to mention helping you to achieve what you are aiming for…no, oh no. The only thing they are looking for is interrupting your smooth trajectory, your communication, your human interactions, your way of seeing and achieving things.

Artificial Is Not Cool

What matters is not your Facebook or Twitter account, your LinkedIn Profile or your Foursquare check-ins. These won’t come to you and buy your products, they won’t tell it to their friends, nor will they become your loyal clients. I really doubt that they would reserve a table for you at your favorite restaurant or buy a flight ticket for your next trip. I have a hard time believing that they will make you laugh, cry or fall in love at first sight, or at second.

Don’t Just Be Pure Substance

The difference between interrupting and communicating lies in the lack of response from brands, as they are not willing to reply to any comments. BAD! A conversation can’t happen without any interlocutor, without knowing that there’s a voice at the other end, someone who listens and allows you to connect and build long-lasting relationships that go beyond technology. By not taking this into consideration, you lock yourself in a room full of people, which in fact looks empty to you as there’s no way to chat or create resonance. It’s like a one-way street with no communication. Just a sender and a receiver. Purely insubstantial.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

Photo credit: tusharthinks.com

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Human Media Fundamentals

Now it’s time for everything to be placed on a map and coherently drawn – thank you Luis Calabuig. These are the Human Media Fundamentals, the concepts which define the way to a new form of communication, one that represents the end of the Social era in its pure state of art.

Human Media goes deeper than 3.0 and makes it possible for a company to offer products or services that meet the clients’ expectations. How? Simply because the clients realize that they have someone to connect with at the other end of the channel, they find common means to communicate and be listened to.

This is your opportunity to connect people and communities, build relationships, generate loyalty and be involved in human interactions, all this on the base of gaining great relevance and reach. Doesn’t that sound brilliant?

First of all, let’s define the fundamentals of Human Media. There are 10 fundamentals, which most of the times are interrelated, complement or support each other. They are presented in a chronological order, so as for you to easily identify the relationships between them.

The Human Media Fundamentals

human media fundamentals - isra garcia - odosdesign

Social Media…

…is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reversed process, a paradox, as it is generally known that social communications should derive from human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media means of communication to select, categorize and label communities. The connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is take back to the human nature.

Disrupt Media

The interaction between Social Media and Human Media has started here and now. We live in an world of information overload and this saturation is already reaching the Social Media environment; not because there are too many people using it, but due to the way they are using it. The hype, the “social media experts”, “Community Manager Seniors” and other products saying “we-are-the-solution-to-all-your-problems” have transformed the opportunity to create connectivity into a “bla, bla” movement.  Noise, many messages sent in the same direction, intrusive messages, “non sexy” robots and predetermined users is what I call disruption media. The eruption of social media as sales pitches, with the wrong goals, which are artificial and strictly commercial have generated a new Social Media breach, which is what once happened to conventional marketing, only with this there is more awareness regarding the matter.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

The good news is that we’re no longer accepting these agents…what has taken them there won’t get them here, that I know for sure.

New Media

Human media wouldn’t be possible without New Media, which is revolving our everyday lives. As an example, we are almost not using the telephone anymore. Instead, we use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google Plus, Foursquare, LinkedIn, in different ways for different reasons.

The New Media is more than an evolved type of communication, as it’s located at the connection point between people and information/innovation technologies. I can’t call it the revolution of communication either, even though it has broken most of the traditional broadcast models – can’t even mention the TV, newspapers or radio here, as they are not a means of communication. How could they be, given that they never facilitate an interaction, feedback or any type of expression rights from the message recipient? New Media is the re-evolution, as it is an evolution that has revolutionized the ways of communicating both between people and businesses.

New Media converts us into authors, publishers, protagonists, leaders, affiliates, connectors and information exchange points. New Media offers us a blank sheet where we can draw the lines of our personal brand, the way we want to communicate and market our company, the business strategy of our Startup or the actions that will take our small business over to the next year. New Media is only showing us that everything we do depends on us.

Human Conceptualization

We are now thriving to make every interaction as human as possible. The key now is to stay human while still making use of the Internet. The human conceptualization of the processes helps us better understand the online platforms and tools in order to generate the WOW! effect. This is part of the Human Media strategy: create credibility, trust and resonance. By simply understanding the key concept – stay human – we will be able to create a fundamental change in the way we relate to other people within interactive environments.

Human Integration

This is the tactical part of Human Media, how to stop being a robot, advice, recommendations and experiences that will help you to emotionally connect.

Human Branding

The brands’ focus is radically changing, now brands are like us, act like us, dress-up, eat, criticize, complain, have fun and connect like we do. Nowadays, brands are more human than ever, they undertake a process called Human Branding. This is translated into a new type of communication: Human Media.

The human side of brands will be soon reaching a tipping point: we’ll stop talking about brands, but people, feelings, emotions, histories and abilities.

Businesses have finally understood who are their most valuable assets: the people. This is why their efforts are concentrated towards generating positive emotions, both internally and externally.

In the case of companies, the way to integrate this change into their business model is called Human Business. In order to be able to interact through Human Media, the way of connecting/thinking/functioning must suffer a great change. It’s something imminent, though you are welcome to simply stick to your Social Media strategy and only change when you have no remedy left; though it will then cost you more time, money and effort.

Human Leader

This concept refers to all the people who use the web in order to add a human touch to their business and lead communities with transparency, honesty, resonance, charisma and authentic relationships. Human Leaders (HL) understand the importance of this change and use it to build a sustainable future.

The HL inspires and leads through the web. He’s not a robot, he’s a vivid human being.

We’re basing this idea on years of experience as hybrids made of analogic and digital components, combined with the understanding of the people and the business. We can tell you how and what to do, but you would still need to make an effort to apply the formula to your business.

We’ve discovered that people who understand how to build relationships through the Social Web, know how to make businesses work by using the same knowledge.

The Human Ecosystem

This is where the inertia comes into action. The Human Ecosystem is aiming to create an area of relationships and human interactions on the web, taking advantage of the resources, benefits, peculiarities and profiles of each participant.

– Channels: PPC, SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, SM, Web Development, Design, Innovation, Community, Tech, Entrepreneurship, New Media…

– Platforms: Twitter, Soundcloud, Foursquare, SCVNGR, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google +, GetGlue, Yelp, Stumble Upon, Slideshare, Ustream, Flickr…

– Tools: Workflowy, Timely, Scoop It!, Storify, Badgeville, Let’s Lunch, Prezi, Skype, Flowtown, TrackUR, Posterous, claim.io, Social sharing, Radian 6…

– APPs: Boxcar, Evernote, Instagram, Bump, Whatsapp, Latitude, LiveShare, Notepad, Pulse, Google APPs…

– Media: Online and Offline. Precisely, this is the way: interconnecting both realities.

Human Business Interactions

The process of creating interactive bridges between people and brands as a result of taking the online warmth to the offline relationships also works the other way round: the business model based on emotional touch points. The Human Business interactions make use of all the Social Media resources (Human Ecosystem: channels, media, platforms and tools) in order to apply the emotional side of relationships on to the business framework.

This is one of the most important Human Media fundamentals, the way that Internet is backing-up the human relationships in order to generate business opportunities.

Your mileage could be different

These are the Human Media fundamentals, where human interactions, people, Internet and businesses start to make sense. I am confident that the concept will build-up, expand, generate ne concepts, but still, this is where it starts from. Some of the fundamentals might be useful to you, some not. Don’t worry, we are in a permanently reinventing state, take advantage of it.

Human Media is the way to understand how people make use of the information technology and interact on the Social Web.

Why wait for someone to award you permission? Implement Human Media into your strategy today, simply do it. [Read more…]

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Human Media: The New Media

human media - isra garciaThe new way of communicating is not about Social Networks, Community Managers, complex technologies, the social-hype or last-generation software. It’s actually something basic, something simple. It’s about human relationships, connectivity, resonance and people  sticking together. This is what Human Media is about. However, in a new environment where everything still remains to be defined, we misdirect our energy towards the moment called “now”. Human Media goes beyond the current moment, it helps you compete for relevance and influence on the long-term – dealing with people, not robots.

The vast communication that goes on over the Internet through Social Networks is human, to start with, and then social. The true importance of the new communication does not only rely on social – classes and groups, segments, lifestyles, behaviours, profiles, tendencies and culture -, but on the human side of it: feelings, emotions, values, aptitudes, philosophy, personality, resonance and connectivity.

Beyond Technology

Technology is brilliant when it humanises the processes and creates connectivity in the real world; when it supports the backwards transfer from 2.0 to 1.0 and vice versa. What I mean is that Social Media, as it is, won’t change the history of humanity, but it’s very probable that what’s happening with the help of Social Media, could actually bring about change: human interactions that is.

This convergence between the new communication and the information technology allows us to witness the eruption of noise, broadcast and digital saturation. Every day we express the need for more and more human interruptions. Disruption media deals with this convergence between the three components: the new communication, technology and human interactions through online media.

By simply understanding that the idea of “staying human” is the key, we will see how this perspective drives a fundamental change in the way we relate with other people within interactive environments.

Human Media Strategy

The strategic side of Human Media is being supported by the following principles:

  • Find the true meaning of what you are doing and help others to do the same: a genuine and authentic interest in people. Human Media is oriented towards helping people, through the Social Web,  must achieve their objectives and find the relevant meaning of their actions. Inspire to inspire others.
  • Use Social Media as a means of expression in order to drive change and mark the difference: at your workplace, in your company, in your department, with other people or simply in your personal life.
  • Your ROI is the ROI of the people around you: teams, clients, friends, people you find through the Social Web.
  • Your actions must be oriented towards the objectives of the main objectives: this doesn’t change the sales objectives or leads that one must accomplish at the end of the month; what changes is the way to do it.
  • The degree of empathy should be elevated: through online media we have the chance to educate, lead and provide tools.
  • Develop the necessary skills and abilities for people to be able to have a successful trajectory within this human-technological environment; creating digital leaders or what I call Human Leaders.
  • Use feelings and emotions to generate resonance within groups of people that could become your affiliates: love and the story behind every individual or group is the only thing capable of touching people in a profoundly meaningful way.
  • Human Media is not about “heavy users”, but “attitudes”: being able to interconnect from a human point of view is a lot more valuable than simple technological insights. The value rests within the human being.

The Impact on the Web

The other day during the Panama 2.0 conference I was asked whether I believed that the connection between people is generated by the new technological findings such as the HTML5, Social TV, open graph, Siri, the New SEO… My response was simple: “Of course they help, but never forget that behind all that there is a person who’s creating the necessary movements with the intention to connect”.

Human media realises that if there is no connection, there is no engagement. Therefore, the management – or, better said, the leadership – is not related to platforms, media or tools, but feelings, sense, emotions or actions. And that’s when things get more complicated.

The opportunity rests in what remains to be defined, the unknown, the conversation generators (not noise creators): the human interactions, which happen throughout the Social Web. One can’t disagree with the fact that all the tools, channels, networks or APPs are helpful, but omitting the human factor would be a huge mistake. After all, there’s no APP, social network or online medium that could replace people.

The Impact on Business

The main challenge that businesses face is to create and launch something truly attractive and engaging. The Social Web is nothing but the means. Business has always been personal, but now more so than ever. Until now PCs were unable to transmit feelings; now this is possible.

Businesses should not follow a Social Business model, but adapt to the Human Business one. Nowadays, brands/businesses/companies try their best to transfer everything to online. But throughout this process they forget what’s most important: to also transfer their identity and culture and do it in the most human way possible – not social way.

Brands, companies, organizations should “electrify” the way that the Internet and the Social Web connect us and make transparency a must when it comes to sharing information and doing business. This factor, together with a few others (authenticity, humility, empathy, humour, inspiration or the emotional contact points) supports the human relationship between both points of the interactive bridge. The way to define that depends on you. Human interactions may happen with difficulty or with ease. But if they don’t end up in the 1.0, the interaction is not complete.

The unifying net between businesses and the social web is actually people.

what’s your opinion?

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Launching isragarcia.com: Building Human Media Interactions

isra garcia- human mediaI’m finally launching my International blog: isragarcia.com.

I’m working with Oana Damian (Occasional guest posts and fluency quality control), Vicente Mora from Pim Pam Estudio (Design and creativity) and Dámaso González from Circulorojo (Web development, integration and implementation) A bunch of worldwide professionals will also join me along the path, it will be an exciting experience! Thanks to all of them for bearing with me.

I’ll be focusing on New Media, Human Business Interactions and what’s beyond Social Media and the Social Web, I’ll be talking about Human Media and how brands, people and organizations thrive harnessing the power of human media.

I had something to say to the entire world, this is why I’ve created isragarcia.com. I’ve built this platform for helping people and businesses to understand Human Media: The New Media. Thus, how human interactions are the key for the future success of businesses and brands.

I started following a map years ago – and I’m very happy to see where it has brought me. All is connected and has to do with my new role as international advisor.

The meaning lies where’s no sense.

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blur Group Case Study: Starting and Growing a Social Business

This is how blur Group has build a business only using the Social Web:

Businesses now see social media as an important channel but at blur Group it has been the only channel – for everything from staff recruitment to revenue generation. Showing the power of Social Media, Adictos Social Media, one of our first Crowd members, is now sharing this story at its event in Valencia.

When blur Group introduced the idea of Agency 3.0 it would have been easy to avoid practising what was being preached. Launch a Crowdsourced agency, demand social engagement, but promote and build using old media techniques. Many businesses have played safe and kept both lines well and truly open. Web 2.0 companies run by Web 1.0 people, using pre-Web selling.

The particular challenge that a Crowdsourced agency faces is that it has two audiences to entice. Any business needs customers and staff. Most early stage businesses recruit according to a fairly rigid model of planned growth, revenues, expectations, per capita returns. Customer acquisition determines the rate of the staff growth.

With blur Group the Crowd is the staff. It had to be built first. Without the Crowd, the model didn’t exist. Not just a skeleton startup team but, well, a Crowd. Step back a bit further. The Crowd had to have an office.

The office was a super-social managed platform. The intranet of a level of sophistication which a company could only dream about. Where the content is user generated, and the users are user generated, able to engage, discuss, share easily, gaining from each other’s expertise to strengthen their own crowd offering. A platform tailored to appeal to the type of Crowd member: subtly different options depending on the nature of the Crowd. The designers had to have a very visual platform, marketers want to show their specific skills through discussion groups. A truly social, if very virtual, office.

So how to recruit these Crowds? Blogs are the social media lynchpin. They start to tell the story that can then sail around the social networks.  They give some words to be used in word of mouth. At the early stages, as with most social media campaigns, it had to be about educating. Then engagement followed. Sometimes directly through 1:1 messages on networks like LinkedIn. More often as outreach with strong messages about what Crowd membership could deliver. As people started to ‘get’ Crowdsourcing, they wanted to be in the Crowd. A simple video explaining What is Crowdsourcing explained everything for the early community. Lesson: tell a story in as many ways as possible. Twitter, YouTube, WordPress are today’s fireside: the tale develops with each telling.

Part one of the mission accomplished: a large number of members of each of the Crowds. Or Crowdies as blur Group termed them.

To customers. blur Group needs them. The Crowd needs them. This is the point when many businesses would draw breath, mutter about social, but start a heavy duty marketing and sales effort to start to win business. Not blur Group. Holding to social principles we started to tell people what we were doing and created a simple method whereby they could use our services. The 1,2,3 of briefing and project delivery. Again, blogs to educate then engage potential clients. Encourage marketing directors, agencies, anyone with a need to run a campaign according to their rules, not those of a traditional agency, to come to blur Group and brief us. Promotion through Twitter and Facebook. Using good SEO techniques and small sums on AdWords. No resort to any other methods: if a potential client could see 8,000 people waiting to help them, then they couldn’t resist trying the process. Web only: no phone numbers are on the site. Submit a brief and then discover more.

Part two accomplished. The clients started submitting briefs; the Crowd could respond; blur Group and the Crowd started to win business and revenues. The additional managed Crowd approach that blur Group provided made it more valuable to clients and Crowd members than the free for all approach of the ‘designalogo’ sites. Today blur Group receives more than one new client brief a day, including from some of the worlds largest corporations.

Don’t think this wholly social approach was synonymous with a rapid startup. It took planning, took time and took effort. Three lessons there for those who believe that social is the cheap, fast alternative. It’s a different approach but needs the same disciplines as any other business growth plan. Belief being one of them. Flexibility is another: where do you need to plug more activity? What needs changing? When all the channels are social, it’s easier to adapt.

Now blur Group is moving to the next stage of growth and scaling faster. But it continues to adhere to its social standpoint. It may do more of it, the AdWords budget may increase, the Facebook pages may get a bit glossier and its PR beyond the digital domain and blogger community. We’ll even be attending some live events and organising some of our own to show our faces. But social will drive everything that blur Group does as it engages and grows both its Crowd Community and its Client Community. Community, Content and Collaboration are the Cs that make up most social marketing: blur Group adds Crowd to this mix and makes for a social business built and grown using social techniques.

What say you?

Attribution: blur Group

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Implementing a Social Media Strategy

I Have been working on that white paper for some months, and trying to figure out how best explain – step by step – a social media strategy, so can guide people who want to develop a serious Social Media strategy for its business, but – and this is a great but – I’m not talking about the process going on, but focused on the development stage.

I’ve followed some steps from the latest projects I’ve been working on and then, put it together, when doing that I knew something was going to happen. It really happened, I was able to design a social media strategy based on the experience that these projects have brought to me.

How to develop a social media strategy - Isra Garcia

Social Media Strategy step-by-step

A. Objectives. Define your goals, have a clear vision where you want to go and how you’ll get there.

B. Analysis. Know your limits, take into account what can help and what can hurt your company, have a plan B, even a plan C. Make a plan, a plan for success and of course, a plan for failure.

C. Rethink step A and B, shake it and see what happens, have some time to mature the ideas and concepts. Are you willing to continue? nice, go ahead!

D. This is what I call the philosophical stage. Same as strategy planning: let you feelings go, paint what you want to represent, define your identity and image – vision – , set up a sense of purpose – mission. Every platform, tool or action taken should have is own identity, features and goals. On the contrary, we’ll be talking about only a mainstream platform. However, all platforms have to be aligned into one workflow.

E. Once you have defined the key elements of your strategy – from analysis (competition, external factors and inside-out approach…)  and brand identity – put ahead in every platform, and visible, what makes you unique.

F. Time to get serious. Brainstorm all the ideas and take what you’re sure you can carry on with the highest levels of accuracy: campaigns, tactics, contributions, team, partnerships, tools, platforms, APPs…everything counts.

G. Do some research about the audience you want to achieve/represent (likes, habits, needs, profile…), competition, limitations, brand identity, market, platforms, singularities…once you get it, structure all the information and resources, so you can draw a map for your strategy. Study also how you plan to tangle platforms and people, because no need to mention that at this point you know that you “want” to segment communities in social platforms

H. Integrate and implement this map in your business model strategy. That is to say, find key facts that can help you to create a consistent social media structure. This is structure is built as it follows:

1. Once you get the platforms, assemble them

2. Build the social media profiles, don’t forget to fill in every criterion

3. Don’t publish it yet, make a draft – draw it if you want first, so management and to board can see and approve it

4. Optimize the profiles: use tools, APPs, resources and tips for giving the profiles a competitive advantage. If is like every other, why should I buy from you?

5. Link profiles: You post and it goes to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…You know what it means right?

6. Set up your blog – at the end is what truly matters – (WordPress rocks) theme, plugins, CSS and ready to roll on

7. How will perform your blog in the social media ecosystem you’ve built? strategy-tactics effect.

I. Set up a trial period for all the platforms before you the launching and see how it works. You can test it inside your company, with colleagues or even with loyal customers. Get feedback, correct, polish and improve it as much as you can.

J. How are you going to market your social media strategy? If you don’t say what you are doing, how will the audience know about you?

K. In order to do step “J” allocate resources: people, calendar, tools, actions and of course budget – this will help you to get better results – Note: It’s really important that you allocate resources not just in short-term, but mid/long-term too.

L. Launching campaign. Do whatever it takes: guerrilla, offline, beta for your customers, offers, discounts, events, website, publicity, PR. Best results are achieved when you cross offline with online media.

M. Use optimization tools as: PosterousPostlingTweetDeck, Tagthebit.ly,  WorkflowyStorifyCurated.byDropBox,MailChimpGoogle WaveDel.ici.ousDocsReaderEvernote…- these are some I’m using now – it will help you to simplify the process and manage better your time.

N. As long as your strategy is on the field and deal with it. Consider – seriously consider – track, monitor and measure everything what you do on the Social Web. Identify how you can best meet your goals (step “A”) by assigning ROI measures. I strongly recommend that you tailor them depending on your goals.

O. Short-term. Don’t worry too much for it. Ensure that all fit in, your community is growing, therefore interactions happening around. People is talking about your brand, get feedback, creating traffic to your blog/website, some conversions

Q. Mid-term. Have it mind. Engagement, loyalty, brand reach, sentiment, sales, effort vs reward, opinion leaders

P. Long-term. What truly matters. Have you reached step “A”? If not, try different

Note: Notice how I haven’t set up a timeline for the time periods. Your mileage can vary: it can go from 3-6 months to 3 years. It depends your product/service and your goals, of course.

R. Time to earn $$$. Beautiful, isn’t it?

What’s your take? With me? What others steps would you add?

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Building a Social Web Framework

Question: How can you build a stronger and effective Social Media ecosystem?

Answer: Designing a Social Media Framework.

Have you ever thought in your social media framework?

Due to the rapid adoption of social media, I’ve come up with a new Social Media Framework aimed to empower Business and Communities beyond Social Media. It’s based essentially on Human Business Interactions.

To me, the social media framework aids comprehension of workflow experiences by describing their components, it also optimizes my social media workflow in an easier way since a framework may include components that are applicable to them all.

Why do you have to care about? because badly designed processes lead to slow and inefficient response of your audience, ineffective communication, wasted time, disappointing experiences and poor degree of engagement. Not to mention driving yourself to nowhere.

Social Media Framework

This is how I’d do it – Actually, it’s how I do it –

Social Media Marketing Framework by Isra García

How It Works

  • Optimize and manage your time in Social Media, designing a Social Media Workflow (link to the complete function model)
  • Did I mention the word sharing? Share news resourcestoolsbest practices, tips and guides through social bookmarking platforms.
  • Rock with Twitter: Use it heavily for different purposes such as, RT useful linksWOM, spread the news, share insights with professionals, learn what is hot, real-time conversations, gain more affluence on your social networking platforms, support interesting initiatives, building a reputation on the field I work on, promote your blog, look for trend topics , getting ideas and enlightening tips from brilliant people.
  • Your effort and sacrifice deserves be known and shared for the benefit of others: Posting papers, concepts, frameworks, reports, projects, strategies, marketing plans or campaigns I’ve developed, so people can get insights from it.
  • Knowledge don’t belong to you nor me, but the universe: Spread what you know, share what others shared with you, teach what you’re good at, learn from everybody, write about how you put in practice these campaigns, or explain how you reached this conclusion that made you point a success and so on. Don’t forget, quote your resources and tell the attributions!
  • Fall in love in “long-term relationships” with LinkedIn: Use it insistently for giving and receiving feedback, reading interesting posts, commenting on them, find your key connections and engage with them, share ideas in the groups discussions, also participating in Q&A (either giving advice or receiving it). Should increase your visibility, it will improve the chances of being contacted. Connect and be connected!
  • Have a break and have some fun on Facebook: Aim it to talk and engage with your friends. Create lists to giving different degree of permissions to your crowd and segmenting the information according to the content you usually share with them. Forget the Social Media Buzz and take a breath – if you wish –
  • Don’t make waves, ride them: Use Google Wave for a collaborative tasks, develop projects, exchange ideas, brainstorming, conceptualize campaigns and seeing how others can enhance your work.
  • Grease the hub of your timing belt: Your blog, Do you love it? No? You must, because it’s the place where all your efforts, time, money and even romantic relationships are going to end up. All you do on Social Media has being meaningful to your blog. If not, I suggest you may want to reconsider your strategy. Give a personality, a sense of humor, a purpose, a regularity,  a bottle of Möet if he wants it and you’ll have your reason to give the very best of yourself in this URL. I always say that your blog is the extension fo your personality. Agree?
  • Managing and optimizing:  As I explained in the post social media resolutions for 2010, it’s essential define your strategy, set your goals and  monitoring your results but, it’s vital not being overwhelmed by its magnitudes. Hence, write down every procedure, pattern or system you follow to implement your social media workflow and start developing a schedule with all the tasks you performs every day, together with the time spent, the activities, the allowance, restrictions, and of course, deviations.
  • Make efficient use of Social Media through the available Social Web tools that best meets your needs: I Use tools as TweetDeck, Posterous, TwitterSearch, GetSocial, ShareThis, bit.ly, tagthe, DropBox, Postling, Storify, Skypecurated.by and many others…
  • Boost your Social Media initiatives with productivity tools as: Mindjet Manager, OmniGraffle, WorkFlowy, evernote, Silverlight and Docs
  • Take care of you – and your people: Monitor, track and follow all what’s being said about the brand (are you the brand? Yes you are!) Not to mention, the thought-provoking ROI. Here you have a few I use: Socialmention, Radian6, Trackur, FlowTown, FollowEye, ChartBeat, Google Alerts.
  • Plan for failure: If it doesn’t work, try changing and adjusting things to your needs. I know how it works to me, for you instead it can be slightly different. Be aware that you need to have hundred of bad ideas to have 1 or 2 great ideas. Do you get the idea?

Does it works for you? How would you enhance it? What would you add? Do you have your own social media framework? I’d like to know your thoughts…

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New Media: Time to Go Social!

empowering business and communities

Go Social

You know that there’s something beyond social media, do you? We’re on the gates to a new marketing and com world, and the funny thing is that no one can predict how it will be! It’s time to move our business from a passive social media attitude to  a more active one!

Now, we have more power than ever and yes! We can make a difference through social media, we can change the way our business communicate and starts taking advantage of this new world of opportunities. Now it’s the time when you want to stop playing and get serious, it’s time to go social!

Why?

Let me be clear, I use the term Go Social for empowering business and communities through human interactions beyond social media. It’s actually what I’m doing, and honestly I love it!

How?

How can we go social? Well we can go primarily by developing and implementing social media strategies for maximizing the reach, building influence and harnessing the power of global communications through human relationships within an engagement approach.

Let’s see how it changes:

  • Go Social is here because noise is dead, we talk about conversations.
  • There’s a 2 way conversation, authentic conversations are happening due to go social
  • Go Social gives them: Their voice is what really matter – I’m talking about audience’s voice, not your, what did you think?
  • Go Social is about listening – truly – Listen what they have to say and acting so
  • We’re living in an environment where content in the king and Go social makes it possible.
  • Give and get feedback, Go social is Being a learner as much as you’re a teacher
  • You guessed, at the end Go Social is all about Human Interactions

The Point

Go Social is achieving an effective and long-lasting communication between our public, through an authentic and genuine based human relationships.

Go Social inside Social Media, makes possible empowering businesses and communitites developing relationships and leveraging the audience.

You see, it’s all about human relationships and people, not platforms and tools.

Are you with me?

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