There’s a great post on Executive Gov.com by Camille Tuutti that starts by saying; “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has released his social-media strategy, which details goals of increasing interaction with Twitter and Facebook followers and identifying new social-media platforms to use.”
You can read Camille’s post here (it’s worth it). Go on, I can wait here for you to read it and then jump back.
Adm. Mullen’s approach to social media execution is like a good military campaign (in my opinion), and that’s a good thing. Hey, he’s Navy, right?
Many companies and organizations jump at social media simply because the believe that they ‘have to’, or that they ‘need to’. To me, as a seasoned communicator, it seems that as soon as something is not going to cost millions of dollars, or euros, or whatever, that common strategic sense goes out of the window. I know of no businesses that would waste money on a, let’s call it a ‘traditional’ campaign without at least setting a goal they would like to achieve or objective they want to meet.
Yet the moment social media is mentioned and how cost effective it is in relation to say, a print campaign, then goals and objectives and planning fly straight out of the window. This is a mistake. Businesses should take time to plan their social media strategy and believe me, opening accounts on Twitter, Facebook and the like is not a strategy. Nor is making a few posts, a couple of tweets or strong arming everyone you know to become a ‘fan’ or ‘like’ your Facebook page. Of course, if Adm. Mullen was to strong-arm those he could to ‘like’ his Facebook page, this could be interesting. He is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after all.
My point is that they seem to have a plan. A very detailed plan and one that includes defining what, when and how they are going to communicate. Both during and after office hours. In other words, they know what they want to achieve, they have planned objectives to meet and a decent tactical analysis on what it’s going to take to make it. To top it off, there is a review to see if it has worked. They treated their social media campaign just like any other campaign (military or marketing).
Now, some businesses could learn a lot from this approach.