One of the most vital roles of a leader is ensuring that the vision of the organisation is well communicated to their team, before the team can then transport the messaging into public space. It is important that a communication plan rests on three pillars:
- Identify objectives – what do you want to achieve with it?
- Define your target market.
- Key messages and content need to be designed. Make sure you have a say in it.
With social media it is essential that you first understand social media, accept it and then draft a usage policy. You will also need to educate and train all staff. Drivers in the organisation have a driver’s licence with experience ie are trained. Those operating in social media should have a licence and be trained. Decide on which avenues are best e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, Twitter. Get one medium perfected, and then move onto another. Co-ordinate all messaging for consistency and integrate where possible. Integrate social media with all other communication e.g. traditional media.
Ideally you would have a digital manager to champion the process and to oversee the online reputation management. They too would monitor and measure your social media activity. I have a 10-point plan that may help you as a leader become a thought leader in social media:
- Establish yourself as a thought leader and build authority using your knowledge, expertise and uniqueness.
- Participate in relevant conversations.
- Build credibility in cyberspace by combining and integrating with traditional media coverage.
- Plan for a crisis. Appoint and educate a qualified person to manage messaging when it goes pear-shaped.
- As a leader you should be prepared for change and preparing others for it simultaneously.
- It is a cluttered environment, so be as distinctive and memorable as possible.
- Create impact. Use your personality and engage the hearts and souls of your audience.
- Be authentic, in fact make that your competitive advantage.
- Engage offline and online equally but not independently.
- You need to be able to react timeously and appropriately to all comments about the company brand and your social media commentary.
Don’t think of old and new media, think of old and now.