So your company has jumped into social media, and perhaps doing quite well, how do you manage the flow content between business units and employee advocates? How do you keep all of the business units using social media in their own voice but one that resonates with the brand? The answers to these questions is simple – a Social Media Center of Excellence.
Yes the Social Media Center of Excellence drives adoption but it is so much more than that. It can help with governance, deployment, training and technology. The Center of Excellence will also drive the culture change that will be necessary to achieve and sustain results from the effort.
Align the vision and mission of the Center of Excellence to that of the organization. Set clearly defined goals and objectives that will determine its success. Develop a charter for the Center that will answer the what’s in it for me question. Make sure the program has a stickiness to it that will keep the participation high. Go deeper than collaboration and innovation to a place where the needs, wants and desires of the business units are aligned.
Filling your Social Media Center of Excellence with strategists and business leaders will only get you so far. You must also fill The Center with employees who wield a level of influence of others especially between departments. These employees will cross-pollinate the purpose of The Center in ways that can’t be done through corporate directives.
Communicators take something complex and make it simple. Add these types of employees to your Center and they will start a word-of-mouth outbreak. Their enthusiasm and articulation of the purpose for The Center can exponentially improve your chances of success. These employees are usually your best change agents.
Social, when done right, touches all departments not just marketing. Including employees from all departments will provide other viewpoints that would otherwise be missed. This will also enable you to spread the social philosophies more quickly throughout the organization.
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of Social Media Center of Excellence. Strategy, technology, deployment, content and policies should be on the list. Don’t allow The Center to act as a rigid govenator, instead provide freedom within boxes so that the social media messaging comes through as authentic.
Social media is a long-term process that can be slow acting. Take time to recognize and celebrate short wins to continue the momentum. If you have to, create wins. After the celebration of the win is over, let the employees know that one step closer to success isn’t success and keep pushing them forward. This will ensure the success of your Social Media Center of Excellence.
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