I've been spending a lot of time talking with folks in large companies about their "Social Media efforts."
I'm seeing a pattern emerging that seems to cover about 95% of all such situations. And I can describe it through a weird sort of analogy...
What is a door without any walls?
Intellectually and philosophically interesting but at the end of the day neither real nor worthwhile.
What is four walls without a door?
A prison cell.
Most (the 95% noted above) large companies seem to either be approach Social Media with a lot of big ideas and energy but no grounding in business goals and no integration with existing business practices and systems - or they are building systems and metrics and requirements, but without any vision or ideas.
When it comes right down to it... the former will fail to capture any long term interest from your audience (a door with no walls) and the latter will repel your audience (a prison cell).
The 5% who do seem to be figuring this out all seem to have identified something really simple. And I'll sum it up as follows:
1 - Your Social Media Strategy should focus on engagement.
2 - Your Social Media Strategy should balance what your audience wants with what your business needs.
3 - Your Social Media Strategy should be transliminal (a big word used to describe something that allows the audience to transit across various touchpoints and digital channels while linking them).
4 - Your Social Media Strategy should be authentic.
5 - Your Social Media Strategy should be integrated.
Now.... each of these points is a rather large topic in and of itself, so don't think I mean this is "easy."