Social Media strategy is not about “Control”, it’s about “Steering” the message

I was speaking to someone the other day and I was saying that an organizationss’ Social Media practice needs to be free, without barriers and with a heavy reliance on the community to build. He was saying that there are policies, procedures, protections, etc. in place to control the interaction and content around anything the “organization” is doing. Then it hit me, I need to balance my free spirit attitude towards Social Media recruitment with the organizations reluctance to get too deep in the Social Media space.

So let me re-phrase my thoughts,… Social Media strategy is not about free communication or control, it’s about “STEERING” the community towards your SMR goals. I follow the principle that “communities build brands, brands don’t build communities”, so, organizations should allow more free speech however re-act, monitor and reply in such a way that you can steer the message from a rant, abuse or slander of your organization’s brand into a positive user experience for all to see.

This is where an effective Social media administrator comes into play. If content, channels and interaction are monitored, your organizational ship can be steered before anything gets too far out of control. Where the organizational “bend” needs to be is in what the community is saying,… bad is good,,… how you handle the message will reflect your organization.

Have fun, see you soon,


About richardmatthews

Richard has been part of the Canadian Recruiting landscape since 2000 and is the founder of ION Groups which includes the RNG and HRNG on-line communities for recruiting and HR professionals. He is known as a thought leader and expert in Social and Professional Networking, Social Media and the evolution of Web 3.0 and is a featured speaker on these subjects at conferences and industry events. Richard is a Partner at Granite Consulting and is focused on building and delivering Social Media Recruitment Strategies to Granite Consulting Clients. ION Groups' connects "Like Minded Individuals", using our peer driven content, social networking and an on-line collaboration approach.
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3 Responses to Social Media strategy is not about “Control”, it’s about “Steering” the message

  1. Dorota says:

    What would you recommend for brands that are just starting out in the social media community who don’t necessarily have anyone talking about them? For example, we are just starting to build our brand on Twitter (@Horton_Intl) but we don’t have anyone talking about us, so what are we supposed to steer?

    Thanks for your help,

    • First of all, glad to see that a new company is putting Social Media Strategy into their organizational growth plans.

      Start by attending the parties, before hosting them. What I mean here is go to/find the conversations within your space, spend some time listening to those conversations, what are people actually saying? After you’ve monitored for a while, get involved, make comments, suggestions, add insight and start to introduce you (and your brand) as subject matter experts (and solution providers) in the space.

      As you get more comfortable and more engaged in the community(s), your comments and call to action on your posts should start directing people to your brand as a resource for additional information (i.e. blogs, insight, solution information, etc.). Don’t push your brand down people’s throats, casually mention when the opportunity is right. I had a post earlier about “Messaging Mix” be aware of this as you start down the road of Social media messaging and brand building. This can be a good guide to help you plan effective, engaging, trusted and brand building messaging mixes.

      Hope this helps,

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