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What’s Your Social Media Strategy?

A global bank executive recently described to us a challenge for our buy instagram followers usa times. It turns out that a customer who normally would qualify for the lowest level of service has an impressive 100,000 followers on Twitter. The bank isn’t doing much yet with social media and has no formula for adapting it to particular customers, but the executive still wondered whether the customer’s “influence” might merit special treatment. It’s the kind of perplexing question many companies face as they formulate their thinking about social media. To understand how businesses are approaching the challenge, we analyzed strategies and practices at more than 1,100 companies across several industries and continents, and conducted in-depth interviews with 70 executives who were leading social media initiatives. Our research revealed four distinct social media strategies, which depend on a company’s tolerance for uncertain outcomes and the level of results sought.

Social Media champion

The “predictive practitioner.”

This approach confines usage to a specific area, such as customer service. It works well for businesses seeking to avoid uncertainty and to deliver results that can be measured with established tools. To increase Clorox’s virtual R&D capabilities, the social media team created Clorox Connects—a website buy instagram followersthat enables brainstorming with customers and suppliers. A typical query posted there: “We’re working on X product idea. What features would you like to see included?” To encourage participation, Clorox uses incentives borrowed from gaming. For example, people who post answers or add rating comments are awarded points. The site features different levels of difficulty, and contributors who demonstrate expertise can advance to problems requiring greater creativity, knowledge, and involvement.

The “creative experimenter.”

Companies taking this approach embrace uncertainty, using small-scale tests to find ways to improve discrete functions and practices. They aim to learn by listening to customers and employees on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes they use proprietary technologies to conduct internal tests. The IT services giant EMC is a creative experimenter. It pays particular attention to how its 40,000 global employees use internal buy instagram followers fast social media to locate needed expertise within the company. In an effort to reduce the use of outside contractors, it created a test platform, called EMC/ONE, that helped employees (many of whom were new because of recent acquisitions) network and connect on projects.

The “social media champion.”

This involves large initiatives designed for predictable results. It may depend on close collaboration across multiple functions and levels and include external parties. Consider Ford’s 2009 Fiesta Movement campaign, used to prepare for the car’s reintroduction in the U.S. It required joint efforts among marketing, communications, and the C-suite. Ford decided to lend 100 Fiestas for six months to recipients who would buy instagram followers cheap use social media to discuss their experiences with the cars in an authentic, direct way. It held an online contest to select candidates, carefully choosing drivers with large social media followings. To further reduce uncertainty, it required them to regularly produce content on themed “missions” (for example, volunteerism) and designed a schedule for postings.