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Getting Engaged: The 5Cs of Social [Part 1]

So you’re thinking about getting [socially] engaged with your customers, prospects, brand advocates, employees, potential employees, partners, affiliates? Well, congratulations! This is very exciting news. Done right, social media engagement can support many different types of business processes in a way that feels very “real”. Just as importantly, your organization can benefit from improved efficiency and a deeper understanding of the conversations happening about your brand and industry.

In this post, we’ll review some of the tools, tactics, and gotchas you need to know to help ensure a successful Social Engagement program. In our follow up post later this week, we’ll look at the tactics I recommend when taking on a new initiative, and how the 5Cs come into play.

Step 1: Check your foundation.


Before you implement your engagement program(s), be certain your organization has a strong foundation. This foundation is comprised of three major ideas: purpose, champions, and policy. Your purpose is the REASON your brand or department is interested in engaging. It’s your “Why are we doing this?” It may sound like a given, but many companies don’t have a clear picture of their purpose before making their engagement program(s) reality.

Your Champions are the executive sponsors who will help support the program, but should also include your Legal team, IT resources, and potentially Marketing and HR as well. Your champion checklist needs to include the key leadership resources that will make certain you have the tools you need and the guidance the program requires.

Lastly, I highly recommend rolling out Social Media Policy to all employees before beginning an engagement program of any kind. This is an often overlooked but uber-important component of weaving social into the fabric of your business. Your policy lets employees know what is “in bounds” and what’s “out of bounds” when sharing on Social platforms. If you’re new to this idea, Radian6 has a terrific series on pulling together a policy that works.

Step 2: Listen UP!

Good communication begins with listening. Be sure you take the time to listen to the conversations happening around your brand, products, and industry before you implement your engagement programs. At this stage of the game, you may not have the benefit of a best-of-breed Listening tool like Radian6 to get your started. Below you’ll find some FREE resources to help get the ball rolling. These tools do have limitations (did I mention they’re FREE?), but will offer some insight to get your creativity flowing on social conversations and key topics.

  • Search for basic key terms, lists, accounts. Can be aggregated.
  • What’s Happening: Think “Web Wide Aggregation”
  • SocialMention: Answers the question: “What’s being said about…”
  • Wordle: Create word clouds from any RSS feed or text
  • Google Analytics: Measure & analyze traffic from social sources

You’re listening for the content and conversations relevant to your potential engagement program(s). At this point, you’re working to get a clear picture on:

  • Who is talking about your brand, your competitors and your industry
  • Where those conversations are taking place
  • When they’re happening
  • What topics are really resonating
  • Why people are talking

From there, it’s your goal to define How a social engagement program adds value to these conversations while measurably building business (how success will impact your bottom line). Taking the time needed to perform this listening exercise offers a real-world definition of potential return, giving your team the ability to understand potential cost benefit and craft a make sense budget.

Looking Ahead

Later this week, we’ll post the next steps to successful Social Engagement programs – and, yes, that includes the 5Cs!


Jennifer Phillips (@CRMjen) is a Certified Administrator, Service and Sales Cloud Consultant. She’s also a MVP, the Orlando User Group leader and an SCRM Certified Professional. In her spare time, she’s an avid cupcake enthusiast.



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Jennifer Phillips

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