Business and Technical Integration of Social Media
I routinely engage in social media work-streams on digital transformation programmes, taking responsibility to manage and lead on any or all of project work-streams. Online projects I have managed for BBC, FiveTV, The AA, Saga, BAA, DHL, and Sony have all included social media integration.
At DHL I developed the overall strategy and business case and determine prioritisation for the UK’s engagement on a global eCommerce initiative. I ran the product selection, managed procurement activities and lead the deployment, configuration and launch of the Radian6 product, an industry leading social media analytics and engagement tool suitable for global business to capture and analyse sentiment and drill down to specific subjects and patterns and even individual people and take various actions to engage in the conversation.
Working for Reach, where I managed ‘business as usual’ product development on the Daily-Express Digital Edition, I made interventions a fixes to the title’s Social Media integration. The Express has a well established Social Media deployment model, designed to attract mainly Facebook and Tweeter users onto Daily Express editorials (hosted on Reach platforms). The editorial content was heavily monetised through a carefully-crafted Ad-stack which was the focus of my constant attention to keep fully optimised.
In a strategy assignment working for a UK multinational bank I undertook a significant piece of research and product evaluation for suitable Social Media tools, integration methods and target operating model that enabled the Bank to capture and make use of customer data correlated with Social Media sentiment and trends, and play this insight into customer interactions across multiple channels. This work explored the concepts of using this insight for propensity modelling, triggering calls-to action and intelligent digital interactions. This was part of an overarching digital transformation for the bank.
Most the projects I have delivered over the past five years have included the integration of leading social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. Some of my clients are developing their own social platforms and/or investing in user generated content. Some clients are using Social Media as a source to their big-data and augment customer insight.
Typical preparation phases will be as follows:
- Confirm outcomes / social media goals / business benefits
- Establish the team and governance.
- Social media strategy and planning
- Social media tool selection
- Social media tool configuration, deployment, test
- Social media channel integration to web, mobile, retail, call-centre (sales and customer services)
- Launch services and engagement in operational enhancements.
Business and technical integration are both vital to the success with social media initiatives. Best results have been achieved where social media strategies have been well understood and communicated, programmes have started with small iterative pieces of work to test and learn, leading to bigger incremental roll-out plans being implemented across the business as the benefits of Social Media driven insight and engagement becomes better understood.
Typical tasks for a Social Media campaign / project:
- Analysis: Understand current brand engagement in social media (many branded social media sites across multiple platforms, official vs non official)
- Research and monitor: Understand scale and sentiment of more than mentions made. For bigger brands expect more than 100,000 mentions per month (many will need action)
- Planning and stakeholder engagement: Agree strategy and what concepts need testing. Plan, construct and launch a pilot. For global brands, keep global teams informed. Confirm success criteria and measurements.
- Prepare: Content strategy, plan and schedule
- Deliver: Configure and deploy selected tools and technology, create the content, establish management and reporting, integrate with the business
- Test and role-out: Prove the concepts, run trials on customer segments and/or across a subset of products. Business integration takes longer to get right that technical integration
- Execute: Deliver management information (MI) and engage with customer facing teams (call centres), marketing and communications teams
- Prepare for next evolution: Use social media insight (from analytics and MI reporting) to shape the strategy for social media engagement