What’s Your Social Media Strategy?
Escriben H. James Wilson, PJ Guinan, Salvatore Parise, and Bruce D. Weinberg en el Harvard Business Review, recogido en la web de CEDE–A global bank executive recently described to us a challenge for our 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.
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 that 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 sharpest contributors gain visibility, making participation rewarding and sticky. One early success came after Clorox posted a question about a specific compound for its salad dressings. Five responses quickly came in. The company decided on a solution within a day and brought the problem solver into the product development process.