Social Media Chat

The Power of Social Media

OBJECTIVE: Build a list of Core SM Principles to guide an organization's effective use of social media, and establish context around how they should be applied. Here's what we have so far

co-created in the public domain by #SMCHAT member discussion 8/19-8/26.

Q17a SM FOUNDATIONAL APPROACH & MINDSET: Describe optimal behavior in approaching SM:
(Core SM Principles)


Honest, sincere; building trust over time


Implies real, authentic connection & personal investment (no lip service)
Receptive, listening, paying attention


Sensitive to time variables & needs of stakeholders you need to engage; empathetic
Able and willing to act
"Near real-time" more generally applicable to SM (blog comment responses, etc.)
"Real-time" (interactive) is valuable, but specific to twitter (micro-blogging)
[RT @hacool "despite IM and chat, much of SM is still done via time shifting with each responding when time allows"]


Flexible, organic, fluid, willing/able to change; emergent

Q17b TYPES OF SM CONNECTIONS: How can SM principles be applied?
(Modes of Communicating)


Communication from one person to many
Warning - this must be limited and managed in SM (esp. on Twitter);
ie., necessary to create opportunity, BUT .. w/ so much info, "broadcast only" is a negative
Outcome: Educate & inform
Degree of trust often TBD
[RT @jaysmet "broadcast tolerated in SM only if they trust you to engage in collaboration most of the time"]
[RT @marketingveep "some of the best collab starts with a 1:n question and request for help"]
[RT @hacool "the response to one can be seen by others and spark wider dialog"]


Personal connection between two people that is real & authentic (see above)
Easily overlooked or taken for granted in high-volume SM interaction
Authentic, Adaptive, Responsive, Engaged
Outcome: Interact and relate; brainstorm, compare notes
Critical for advancing trust

3 CHAT (n:n open)

Guided communication exchange among like-minded people (from Q1-Q4)
Authentic, Responsive, Engaged
Clear domain boundaries, generally bounded scope
Community of practice - social (eg., book club)
Outcome: Educate & inform; entertain
Outcome: Interact and relate; brainstorm, compare notes
Low need for trust initially, but trust is emergent as connections are established
[RT @valworkman "the nice thing about SM is it lets organizations become personal"

4 COLLABORATION (n:n team)

Focused communication among like-minded people to solve a problem (from Q1-Q4)
Authentic, Adaptive, Responsive, Engaged
Soft domain boundaries, emergent
Feedback loop (eg., blog comments)
Community of practice - professional (eg., Six-Sigma, PMP)
Outcome: Educate & inform
Outcome: Interact and relate; brainstorm, compare notes
Outcome: Knowledge co-creation, generate ideas, innovate
Requires trust

Q17c SM CHARACTERISTICS: If principles applied per above, describe results:
(Profiles of Content or Outcomes)


Provides opportunities for non-engaged stakeholders to engage later
Visibility, subject to scrutiny
Builds trust and AUTHENTICITY over time
[RT @bplukowski "honest means being able to say you can't be transparent sometimes!]"
[RT @paulellisuk "transparency: the implict ability to audit & scrutinize, drives honesty"]
[RT @uyendang "the stakes are higher now for companies who engage in SM to be "transparent" .. it isn't like the measured press releases"]


Finding value w/o seeking it
Increases w/ broader inputs, function of timing, luck, people making connections
Requires listening, paying attention
[RT @hacool "opportunities appear before us when we're not specfically looking for them"]
[RT @jaysmet "Twitter is a serendipity engine"]
[RT @ideasurge "you must have broad awareness of possibilities"]


Goal-oriented with outcomes in mind
Clarity of signal, consistency of message
Brevity (specific to Twitter 140c & microblogging, where FOCUS is forced)
[RT @marketingveep "orgs will always struggle to keep SM interactions focused and directed by sheer nature of dynamic communication"]
[RT @joekikta "focus is always a problem with any human interaction: convos, meetings, smchat.."]


Sharing of specific information
Not overwhelming
Content communicated in language of audience
Clear domain boundary established or attempted (no fuzzy lines)
Synthesis of related info (content relationships established)
Hashtag needed for Twitter, sync w/ blog categories & tags for continuity
[RT @jaysmet "biggest piece missing from SM is a layer of synthesis and sense-making"]

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Guys -

Great conversation at SMCHAT today to generate this result .. I just hope my notes and transcription did the conversation justice.

Note: some definitions are still a bit soft. We were democratic ('voting' w/ tweets) to produce a general consensus. We also tried to be consistent, keeping true to our outline, listing synonyms, and force ranking ... which resulted in not 13 Principles, but rather ..

4 CORE SM foundational principles, which lead to 4 modes of interaction and 4 outcomes.

The only deviation you will notice is that, when I pulled notes from our early Q1-Q4 chats (see CHARTER write-up), there was a pretty clear differentiation between low-trust CHAT interaction vs. higher-trust, deliverable-oriented COLLABORATION

Let me know if that makes sense, or what we should change ...

BTW, I'm still going through and adding "RT quotables" to the above, as I find them .. we did all this today in only 400 tweets (and ok, the 600 tweets from last week !!).

Thanks everyone, super progress.

Chris 8/26 9:30et
Me again -

Just added RT's to relevant sections, to reinforce points and provide some tie-back for intent. Hope you like the color commentary - and some credit, where it's due !!

Only issues that surfaced in the deep dive were these:

(1) whole discussion around Transparency was pretty inconclusive as to where it went, but everyone was adamant that we needed it; some dialog (much less) re: Visible as an outcome; please decide if Transparency makes sense as an outcome. I don't think it's a behavior "he acted 'transparently'" ... I think that's where honesty & authenticity play ..
(2) should Receptivity, Awareness, or Listening be a core principal, since it's so important to Serendipity (where it came up) and also to Engagement and Relationship? [I just added them under "Engaged" as a placeholder; I think they fit there; Q would be if this point deserves more focus .. ?
(3) are u guys ok with high-level structure of Principle, Mode & Outcome? There may be a better outline out there, but we clearly came up with MANY items that were critically important but not "principles" .. I'm open, whatever resonates most ...

Anyway, closing up shop for now; post comments here with your thoughts, but we're already starting to get some public RT's, I think the hard work is paying off -

Thanks again -

Chris 8/26 11:55pET
Chris, this is awesome. WOW, the work you have put into this. Of course not to forget to include the brains and contribution of the #smchat faithful and participants.

It is difficult to add to this without taking an hour out to really digest this and pick out a starting point. I'm going to set some time aside when I can.

I would like to say I find this discussion more helpful than the many 'how to leverage social media" debates. With such a wide net to cast, understanding the creature that social media is allows us to work towards satisfying our unique objectives.
Chris, this is excellent. Thanks for all your work pulling together such a solid summation of a dynamic interaction. It's a great resource. I agree with Alasdair that this exchange and these fundamentals are much more interesting and valuable than the repetitive- one-size-fits-all- discussions that often take place around social media. Look forward to continuing to develop and refine...

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