Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategist & Industry Analyst from Altimeter, and last year’s KMWorld 2011 keynote speaker just shared an amazing look the social media workflow, process and triage. He starts with
The 10 Attributes of Successful of Social Media Workflow
First, let’s align the goals of having a successful social media workflow in place, benchmark your goals against the following attributes:
- 1) Alignment with corporate goals and customer goals.
- 2) Buy-in and agreement to the process from all involved business units in the organization.
- 3) Few or no overlapping tasks and resources.
- 4) Clear articulation of who will do what, when, where, and how.
- 5) Organizational alignment through training, testing, and refinement.
- 6) Integration with existing business systems, processes, and software in existing channels.
- 7) A clear, easy-to-reference document with clear labels and requires little explanation.
- 8] Scope includes all possible scenarios are included when to respond –and when notto respond.
- 9) Periodic improvements on the process as the business evolves.
- 10) Measurable business impacts report to all stakeholders on a periodic basis.
He then discusses 6 roadblocks and risks that need to be identified and moves onto to strategy, which BTW could be used for any planning activities:
Starting with Strategy
Ensure all social media activities (and all else we do) align with the company mission and goals, let’s ensure we’re prepared in having a strategic direction with our peers, executives, and team. Start by:
- Ensure the Goals are Established and Aligned. Obtain agreement from an executive sponsor, ideally one that spans the business groups in which you will engage. Remember, something as pedantic as creating a workflow diagram will excite the organization, resulting in groups to balk, or give their buy-in. Do this by reminding all teams that this is alignment with corporate goals like: customer satisfaction, generating new leads, reducing internal confusion. Clearly label the business goals, and assign interim business KPIs that directly map to these goals.
- Next, Map out Existing Processes and Interview Teams. Expert Jason Falls shared that “Getting the right stakeholders on board from the onset that makes a triage process successful”. Whether you’re in corp comm, customer care, or legal, you’ll need to get buyin from other groups. Start by obtaining existing workflows of how customers are routed, and then interview each team for their needs. Lead with business goals, but instead put on your listening cap to get their important point of view before you assert yours. Then, bring all diagrams back to one document, then ascertain the best process and provide suggested workflows. By allowing business units to vote, modify, and provide input will extend your influence from ‘over-reaching’ to instead getting the ideal ‘buy-in’.
- Avoid the Mine Field by Including Overlooked Stakeholders. Projects can quickly become disparaging if one group inserts and stops the process because their needs were not met. Remember to obtain buy in from corporate functions that are often overlooked including: PR, Corp Comm, Customer Care, IT, Call Center, Regional Field. In particular, loop in Legal, Risk and Compliance in the early days. Jason Falls shared that a leading airline carrier in United States involved legal early on, and had an ongoing role: ”A member of senior management and legal are on-call 24/7 to approve and mitigate messages when needed. That’s pretty strong.”
- Rollout Internally through Education, Testing, and Breaking. Emailing a powerpoint triage to all teams that will be involved in the day to day is not sufficient. Ensure a proper kickoff is initiated by conducting a training session, as well as conducting mock process drills in real time. Start with having teams identify message and which routing path it should go into, then simulate how teams will tag, flag, and pass on messages. Ensure proper followup and recording of incident is inputted to correct systems. Be sure to take the process to the limit by simulating crises (see full post) and taking the organization to the level where the workflow is designed to not engage due to critical crises situation.
- Continual Iterations and Coverage, Periodic Measurements. Don’t expect this workflow to perfect in the future, plan on periodic assessments to improve in real time, or at key scheduled dates. Ensure that fire response (corp comm, legal, execs) teams are actively updated on the impacts of the workflow as they may not be involved in daily affairs. Provide all stakeholders periodic reports based on the business KPIs agreed upon, including potential items such as: reduced time to respond to customers, increased customer satisfaction, number of successful incidents resolved, or leads passed to sales for followup.
Jeremiah then moves on to a detailed look at tactics & supplies some great resources:
Key Industry Resources
- Edelman’s David Armano writes: Social Media Policy & Rules Of Engagement.
- Edelman has published a Slideshare on Social Business for Complex Orgs, see slides 18 and on.
- How to craft an org chart by Social Media Powered
- Isra Garcia has an interesting time based workflow that segments the day into specific times to respond.
- While not specific to social, understand the origins of medical triages used in nursing in this slideshare.
- Great industry wide resource on reading Triage diagrams
- Socialfish has some helpful FAQs, and provided the ASCE diagram above.
- Microsoft on building quality workflows –beyond social
He then sums up by looking at the future of workflows — that they will fade into the background and be assisted by technology. Great, piece, Jeremiah. Thanks!