The Next Social Media Trend: Company-Wide Collaboration

1 August 2013 - 17:41, by , in Online Marketing, No comments

The world of social media marketing is an ever changing, sometimes intimidating task to take on. Although it’s now generally accepted as a necessary part of the marketing mix, many marketers and executives find it difficult to stay on top of “the next social media trend.”

It takes a daily dose of reading, experimenting, analyzing, and creating to constantly hone your social media game and be at the forefront of each new social media trend that pops up, and there are plenty of them!

The social media trend I feel is inevitable in the coming future is company-wide collaboration, and some companies are already doing this successfully. We know that the key to social media success starts with effective content marketing, as I spoke about in my last post; although I want to now bring to light the importance of collaboration within a company for success with social media and content marketing.

What do you mean by company-wide collaboration?

I simply mean getting everyone inside your organization involved in daily social media activities that will promote your brand, and engage, educate, and/or entertain your audience. Every department from sales to creative, and lower management to the executive team has a unique perspective on the overall brand, and what their daily activities bring to the bigger picture.

What kind of content counts in this collaborative social media trend?

Get creative. Be personal. Create value and build relationships with your audience.

Here are some examples of original and/or third-party content that anyone in your organization could present to the person/s handling the day-to-day social media strategy and execution:

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Interesting articles regarding your audience, brand, or industry
  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Anything interesting or valuable that has your brand’s stamp on it

To give you an example of what I mean, let’s say an employee of a surf board company went to the beach and saw a surfer using his or her brand surf board catch an incredible wave. Maybe he or she caught the perfect picture of this moment. A culture of social media collaboration within a company would encourage that employee to send the picture to the social media staff to be uploaded and shared with the whole community of that surf board brand. It’s relevant, it’s personal, it’s fresh, and your audience won’t see that anywhere else.

Allowing employees of the company other than the designated social media person/s or agency to add to the ideas and content being posted will add value to your overall strategy. It will allow your audience to get to know multiple, unique viewpoints of your brand and industry from employees with varying expertise.

Your employees are the “experts” in your brand, your field, and your customers – let everyone have a chance to educate, entertain, and engage with the audience.

3 Reasons collaboration is key:

1. Takes some of the heat off your in-house social media staff or social media agency

Whether you have someone in-house for your social media, or you’ve hired on an agency, it’s tough to consistently have engaging and interesting posts that will resonate with your audience.

Content Curation will indeed be your best friend in this scenario; however, original content can easily run dry when being produced by one or two people. The creativity can lack, and the innovation can dissipate. Using original (or even third party content) created or curated by a plethora of employees throughout the office will only increase your social media success and expel a small amount of effort from each person.

2. Creates a unified culture throughout the organization

Giving everyone in the company an equal chance to contribute, participate, and have their voice heard will increase the chances of collaboration throughout departments on a regular basis. Your employees should feel like part of a team, not sequestered in their own silo.

3. Makes sure your social media strategy doesn’t go stagnant

Even if you had a never-ending content stream (which as I mentioned above is unlikely), creativity and audience engagement may still wane due to lack of variety. If two minds are better than one, then a company full of minds is guaranteed to increase success.

social media trend

Collaborate on content – not execution

Be wary of allowing “too many cooks in the kitchen.” There should always remain a central authority figure (ie: social media department or outsourced agency) that ensures the quality, relevance, and brand cohesiveness of the content collaboration efforts.

There must still be a force that has expertise in executing an overall social media strategy for this social media trend to be effective. All ideas for content should be sent or presented to the person executing and monitoring the social strategy for review.

How to conquer this social media trend

A culture of social media collaboration won’t be instantaneous for most companies, as often times people need to feel comfortable with an idea before personally contributing. An all staff meeting regarding the topic may be helpful to explain what it is you are looking for in terms of content, and encouraging constant collaboration to make this social media trend successful. You could also provide small incentives or prizes to those that consistently participate in the beginning!

Remember, continue to encourage and educate your employees on the benefits of contributing so that over time the idea of company-wide social media collaboration will be second nature.

 

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