A World Gone Social—The Social Sanity Checklist

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Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 7.24.47 AMThe Social Revolution’s impact on the business and even the political world cannot be over-estimated. Like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, Social is the catalyst in an extinction event–and business as we know it has changed forever.

In the brand new book A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive, Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt offer an eye-opening look at fundamental and powerful changes the social collaboration era has set in motion. With compelling stories and dozens of concrete examples the two social media masters share how:

  • Customers now have the power–just watch what happens as more realize it!
  • The days of pretending are over — With increased transparency, businesses must be more ethical.
  • Command-and-control leadership is antiquated – It is now so inefficient, it is a liability.
  • Nimble and small is the new competitive advantage –few corporations are capable of the agility required by evolving marketplaces.
  •  Recruiting is now a two-way proposition   Job seekers are able to peer behind the corporate curtain and decide whether they want to work within.
  • Customer relationships matter more than ever — Relationship and community-building is how customers and brand ambassadors are won–and retained.
  • Engagement on all channels is required — Engagement–with partners, employees, and customers–is not a luxury; it is a requirement.

A World Gone Social takes a close look at companies who are demonstrating enlightened business practices and doing Social right–and some that are not.  Their book describes the many lessons to be learned from their experiences.

Among the amazing insights contained in the book is one piece of advice where they recommend how to objectively assess the fitness of a company’s culture and social presence. It is titled The Social Sanity Checklist. Take it yourself!  Here it is:

The Social Sanity Checklist

Social Sanity Check No. 1:  Maintain consistent profiles

Does every profile on every site include your most up-to-date branding message on your company? Use the same logo and images? The same color schemes and fonts? When members or potential members of your OPEN communities find you, they should instantly recognize you based on the brand image already in their heads.

Social Sanity Check No. 2:  Serve your niche

How far, since you originally forayed into social, have you strayed from your original plan? How well are you serving he niche you are known for now? Often on social, we try way too hard to be everything to everyone. Resist the temptation. Retain your subject matter expertise. Serve your niche well.

Social Sanity Check No. 3:  Respond promptly on social

How long it is taking you to respond to a question posed on Facebook? To respond to a tweet or DM on Twitter? To respond to a comment on the blog or an inquiry on your LinkedIn group? By the standards set by today’s connected consumer, anything more than an hour or two is likely to be considered unacceptable. Twenty-four hours is stretching it. Two or three days? Well, that is dinosaur territory.

Social Sanity Check No.4:  Send tweets that support blog posts

Your team and contributors work very hard to post high-quality content consistently on the blog. How well are you rewarding that hard work? How many tweets were sent out for every blog post? How engaging were those tweets? Want to kill content marketing? Fail to promote. (This goes for sharing content on sites like LinkedIn for B2Bs and Facebook for B2Cs as well.)

Social Sanity Check No. 5:  Engage

Are you truly engaging, or are you broadcasting? Compared to your promotional tweets and posts, how many of your tweets ask a provocative question, share a value-added blog post from another source, comment on an industry news item, or deliberately inspire or make someone smile? By all means, schedule your promotional tweets. But also remember to schedule some time for spontaneity and non-product-related engagement.

Social Sanity Check No. 6:  Monitor keywords, hashtags and branded terms

How often are the keywords that are important to your industry monitored? How closely do you watch over your hashtags and other branded terms? Even the largest enterprises have been found to be more than complacent when it came to hashtags getting hijacked.

Social Sanity Check No. 7:  Be willing problem solvers

Throughout your online presence, do you take advantage of opportunities to turn a challenge into a victory for your brand? Do you see complainers as drama queens and trolls, or as a chance to listen? Do you own a problem reported to you on social until it’s resolved? Want to impress a connected consumer with a problem in the Social Age? Own the problem.

Social Sanity Check No. 8:  Keep mobile in mind

As technologies change, we tend to sit back and assume everything is okay, that all our sites, images and posts look good everywhere. And then we find out that our blog isn’t rendering correctly on an Android device or the logo on our Twitter account, the one we’ve used for months, is not representing the brand well on a tablet. With the world moving rapidly from desktops to mobile, you routinely want to check your presence on every media-enabled device; you’re sure to catch something that could otherwise be a gut punch to your brand.

Social Sanity Check No. 9:  Keep your competitors close

There are those who tell you not to worry about your competitors. They say, “We can’t control what anyone else does; we just do the best we can.” If you hear that in the Social Age, look for beady eyes and scaly skin, because there’s a dinosaur in front of you. At all times, keep an eye on the social movements of your competitors.

Social Sanity Check No. 10: Avoid auto messaging

If you ever, ever, ever feel the need to communicate to those in your OPEN community via auto messaging of any kind, at any time, it is time to reevaluate your social strategy. It may even be time to realize that if your team needs (or chooses) to speak through canned messages and auto-DMs, maybe you don’t belong on social yet. We agree: you were not–you are not–ready. Hire someone who is. Quickly.

Excerpted from Chapter 13, A World Gone Social by Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt