More than a Tweet; Vision

It takes more than a tweet to make a company social. This is part 2 of a 7 part series.

In each part there will be an explanation, some examples, what happens when it’s not done well, some tips and resources. To close I will use an invented case study based on the NewArt Museum to demonstrate the step.


What is the vision you have for social media? What does it bring the company/organisation?

The vision should be expressed in a sentence or two, and it’s forward looking and ambitious.

A good vision statement will help you build buy-in, and it will help you make decisions for all the following steps.

It might be “We use social media to raise awareness of our brand” which positions your social media efforts into content publishing and community management. It could be “We use social to support consumers” which means your efforts focus on social care and possibly some community management. From these two examples I think you can see that defining this first is key.

In large companies it’s likely that you will want a high level vision, while various business teams within the organisation will need to define their purpose in a more specific way. In a previous job our vision for the Enterprise Social Network included “this is the way we will work”, businesses and projects then could use the concept to challenge existing processes and refine a vision for their own use of the tool. For some it because a support tool, for others it was a collaboration tool, others used it to support global communication around new programmes.

Without a well defined vision that is aligned with business goals your next steps risk losing focus, and you will struggle with subsequent decisions or conflicting demands of stakeholders.

Here are some tips on writing a vision statement, and a whole presentation on vision statements. Plus just for fun, some examples of really bad vision statements.

CASE STUDY; NewArt Museum

I’m going to  use an invented organisation to demonstrate each step in this series. Introducing the NewArt Museum.


The Museum was famous and well visited when it was first opened, but recently visitor numbers have dropped, and the analysis shows that the majority of visitors are in a 40+ age group, with very few visitors are in the 18-25 age group. The Museum has secured a art grant aimed at changing this and launched a programme under the name “Secure our Future”.

They have developed a new vision for their business; The NewArt Museum is building new audiences of art-lovers, and supporting contributions from new artists.

Translating this business vision to one for social media = leading a community of young art lovers who engage with the museum and promote its activities.

Next week in this series; Strategy

It takes more than a tweet to make a company social

It takes a lot to make a company really social, certainly more than witty tweets.

I borrowed this title from a tweet, that led to an article (in Dutch) on what it takes to make a company social. That list includes; Connections, Conversations, Consistency, Content, Context and Continuity. I agree with the article’s premise, but my list differs.

Here they are in a roughly logical order, although they inter-relate and often develop in parallel.

  1.  Vision
    What is the vision you have for social media? What does it bring the company/organisation?
  2. Strategy
    How can you reach that vision and deliver against business goals?
  3. Infrastructure
    The governance, accounts, tools, and processes needed to get build a social company, with a strong presence in social media.
  4. People
    An inspired team, committed leadership and an organisational culture built on openness and innovation.
  5. Measurement
    What are you going to measure? How will you know when you’re successful?
  6. Cold hard cash
    Generally the social media accounts themselves are free, but increasingly you need ad spend to build exposure. Some tools cost money, and of course creating content is rarely “free”.

I will delve into each of these in detail in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Personal Vision

I’ve just come back from an excellent training course that focusses on personal leadership. One of the exercises was to come up with a personal vision, that encompasses how you will be and live as a leader in the future.

Sounds easy? It turned out to be very very difficult for me, and somewhat difficult for other people in my group.

I did come away with pieces of a personal vision – I saw my team as successful in our work, and positive in the relationship we have with each other… but I also saw myself writing more, and frankly I don’t know how that’s going to happen in the short term given current workload and the rather turbulent environment in which I’m working.

I also came away with valuable learning, my 360 feedback showed me that there is a lot I am doing right as a leader (very good for my confidence!), some things to improve. The MBTI II was interesting – especially going into detail about how ‘extrovert’ behaviours might be received by introverts. As a very strong extrovert I learnt some tricks I can use to give others more space to speak in meetings, as one of my group members said “save to draft”.

In fact the group feedback was the most useful session, before it began the course leader talked about how in most cases the feedback would be 70% good – and asked us to receive it with that in mind. My group gave me feedback that was honest, insightful and useful; impressive since we’d only known each other five days.

I got a lot out of the whole week, and got a lot of energy from the classroom environment – the point where I’m now looking at how I can be in that environment more often. Perhaps as a group facilitator rather than a student. I can even see how that would bring the two threads of my personal vision together.

Image vision via pixabay