Edelman's David Armano, an expert in idea conceptualization, has put together a chart that lets you graph your progress as a social media high-flyer in four steps: crawling, walking, running and flying. At which point might you find yourself? If you feel you're still in the crawling stage, never fear: We all know learning to fly doesn't happen overnight!
Let's break Armano's themes down, and consider some hints for moving up to the next stage:
Crawling: People, Process, Procedure. The first stage of evolution is admitting you have a problem, and acknowledging that it can't be solved by plugging "social media" into one function (marketing). Crawling involves producing infrastructure in preparation for an organizational redesign. Educating your teams, standardizing procedures and active listening are crucial at this stage.
Walking: Managing Your Properties. Define your engagement strategy across multiple departments, from customer care to outbound marketing. Assets such as meaningful content become especially important because they're less risky than over-engaging too quickly.
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