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When Your Star Leaves: Building a Sustainable Social Media Program

Donald Jones, Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

This document is confidential and is intended solely for the use and information of the client to whom it is addressed.

Who am I?
Donald Jones, Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton One of the leaders for our Digital Strategy & Social Media Practice in the Health market Connect with me on Linkedin: Find me on Twitter: Friend me on Facebook: Follow me on Foursquare: Find me on Google+

LeBron James Steve Jobs

Stars leave, yours will too Are you ready?

Source: kevin dooley under Creative Commons license via

How social media programs get started

Evangelists Rogues Consultants Pioneers That person becomes that social media guy/ girl in the office
Source: rfduck under Creative Commons license via

The career path of the social media strategist

Source: Jeremiah Owyang, 2010, The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Available at:

You know your social media program is failing if

Your Facebook hasnt been updated in 2 months (since your intern left) Your Twitter feed is primarily press releases pushed out via RSS You cant update your YouTube channel because your social media person is out on vacation You receive a comment on your blog that requires a response, but no one knows what to do Every department has started a Facebook Page and you dont know who is posting or what they are posting Your blog only gets updated about once a month because it takes that long to get something approved Your internal corporate wiki is a ghost town Youve been doing social media for two years, but have no written social media policy Your social media person quits one day to work for Google, and you give control of your social media to your computer guys because they know all that techy stuff

You need more than a social media guru

Internal External
Policy Development Technology Assessment Agile Development Program Management Mobile Apps Social Media Monitoring & Analysis Stakeholder Outreach Social CRM Reputation Management Social Media Measurement Privacy Impact Assessment Web Governance Web Development Paid Media

Enteprise 2.0 Strategy and Implementation Collaboration Audit Community Management User Adoption Change Management Training/Coaching Innovation Management Knowledge Management

There is a better way: Think strategically




Scaling: Being ready for growth

Tactics Reverse Mentoring: Encouraging mentoring by staff who are more familiar with social media Dedicated Internal Collaboration: Providing an internal collaboration space to promote adoption Department-Wide Training: Offering training across the entire department Remaining Challenges Lack of Centralized Knowledge: Sharing knowledge among diverse staff Quality Control: Maintaining high quality without centralized control Lack of Metrics: Creating metrics aligned with the goals of your organization, financial and otherwise Incentives to Scale: Providing incentives to encourage experts to share knowledge

Integrating: Making social media part of daily practice

Tactics Assessments: Including social media use in assessments Recruiting and Hiring: Recruiting and hiring skilled staff Integrated Process Teams: Promoting collaboration among teams so that projects are not owned solely by a social media office Change Management: Leveraging the discipline of change management to ease the transition Remaining Challenges Budget and Staffing: Appropriately allocating funding and staff resources to social media Subject Matter Expert Buckets: Expanding adoption and understanding beyond a group of social media experts

Normalizing: Not a shiny object any more

Tactics Leadership Commitment to Innovation and Risk-Taking: Promoting calculated risk-taking to encourage new and innovative idea generation Incentives and Disincentives: Ensuring that staff have appropriate incentives and disincentives to promote adoption and to discourage laggard behavior Integration into Strategy: Integrating social media into the mission, vision and strategic plans Remaining Challenges Repeatability: Successfully repeating the process as new innovations gain momentum Backsliding: Ensuring that social media use is sustained even under new leadership

Case Study: Air Force Medical Service (AFMS)

Source: Air Force Medical Service. Use of the DoD imagery does not constitute or imply endorsement.

Problem: Help 75+ Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) around the world use social media to better engage with their patients while understanding staff changes quickly with short notice
Source: Air Force Medical Service. Use of the DoD imagery does not constitute or imply endorsement.

Getting Started
Hold focus groups with MTFs who were already on Facebook, those interested but havent started yet, and those that resisted Use data to inform development of Social Media Toolkit which included: Social Media Policy and Protocol How to Get Started (Responsibilities, Getting Started Checklist, Tips/Tricks) Profile Content Guidelines (Required Information and Checklist) Facebook Templates (Basic, Advanced, Awesome) How to Manage Accounts (Ownership, Time Saving Tips, Transitioning Accounts) How to Build a Fan Base (Outreach Tips) How to Develop Content (Sources, Themes, Sample Messagings, Posting & Blogging Tips and Tricks) Reporting Success (Metrics, Insights) Beyond Facebook (Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) FAQs (Informed by questions that came up in the focus groups) Additional Tips, Tools, Resources, Supplemental Materials
Source: scjody under Creative Commons license via

Getting and Keeping It Going

Present comprehensive plan to Air Force Surgeon General to obtain his buy-in and support for implementation across the system Establish a main Air Force Medical Service Facebook Page to model how to do it right and provide a place to find approved content Provide the Social Media Toolkit in a centralized Knowledge Exchange available to all MTFs Schedule regular virtual and in person training sessions including Facebook 101 and Going Beyond the Basics Hold monthly Social Media Working Group calls to share successes, new tips, and discuss challenges Provide ongoing reporting to leadership on progress of project, including compliance, successes and challenges Integrate social media into overarching health communications campaigns such as around diabetes, suicide prevention, physical fitness or global health initiatives
Source: Air Force Medical Service Page on Facebook. Use of the DoD imagery does not constitute or imply endorsement.

49 of the 75 MTFs have Facebook Pages AFMS main page has 3,685 Fans since launching in January with an active fan base USAF Hospital Langley was able to promote flu shots via their Page. They had a record number of people come in for flu shots as a result. Misawa 35th Medical Group was able to communicate important news and updates during the crisis in Japan. Vandenberg 30th Medical Group used Facebook to communicate operational hours during tsunami warnings keeping their Fan Base informed and up to date. Scott AFB Clinic saves time by responding to Fans questions via Facebook and posting materials that address FAQs.
Source: Air Force Medical Service Misawa 35th Medical Group Page on Use of the DoD imagery does not constitute or imply endorsement.

10 Tips for Sustainable Social Media Programs

Source: foilman under Creative Commons license via

Plan your social media program as if your star wont be here tomorrow
Your stars role will likely change in the next year, whether by their action or because of changes in leadership. Assume the torch will need to be passed to someone else, and plan for it
Source: itsjed under Creative Commons license via

Recognize your program needs to be scalable

Once different departments begin to use social media, the bandwagon effect will take hold. Anticipate demand for help, for social media across your organization will increase as different departments see how it can be successful.
Source: Dimitri N. under Creative Commons license via

Make your social media program future proof

If you want to sustain your program, think about social media in a platform agnostic way. Policy, strategy, monitoring, messaging, engagement and metrics possess the same first principles, no matter the technology.
Source: cogdogblog under Creative Commons license via

Make sure your superstar knows their success will be remembered by your organizations ability to sustain the effort after they are gone
Mentoring and nurturing talent is integral to long-term success. If your social media program disappears when your star disappears, your program, and your star, will be seen as a failure.
Source: foxypar4 under Creative Commons license via

Integrate and normalize social media into daily communication practice across your organization
Digital and social media are integral for communicating with your consumers and valuable for communicating in your organization. Find ways to incorporate social media into your communication, training and performance systems
Source: loop_oh under Creative Commons license via

Dont stop at a star, build a whole constellation of people who understand and use social media throughout your organization
Think about creating a social media coalition within your organization. Identify champions in different departments and engage them regularly in meetings to share successes and challenges

Understand and communicate that social media is beyond a fad: all media is now social
While people in your organization are still getting on board, the reality is that social engagement with your content is now a fact of life. Ignore it at your peril
Source: Tony the Misfit under Creative Commons license via

Recognize that there will always be social media resistors. Diffuse it with solid data
Some people will never get social media, but tangible data and results can at least help them understand its value, even if its not for them. Use case studies and metrics to make your case
Source: Number 6 (Bill Lapp) under Creative Commons license via

Craft a flexible social media policy and demonstrate its value

Make it nimble enough to deal with a variety of situations and engage leadership on it regularly. Demonstrating that your policy works builds credibility for your social media team beyond your star

Source: grendelkhan under Creative Commons license via

Align your goals, objectives, measurement and reporting

The single best way to make your social media program sustainable is to have clear goals for its use, tangible objectives for implementation and the proper metrics and reporting to highlight success and course correct as needed
Source: timsnell under Creative Commons license via

Thank You For Listening!

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Contact Me
Donald Jones, Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton
Email: Phone: 202-556-1972 Twitter: @oleandros