Brands are beginning to understand the implications of social media beyond the marketing function it often serves.
Some large organizations are hiring internal social media specialists to change the way employees communicate with one another and the people they do business with.
When the shift in mindset from marketing strategy to organizational change takes place, many brands do not know how or where to start.
For this reason, it's important to develop and share a clear philosophy with your employees. While many strategies may exist throughout an organization (for marketing, communications, customer service, etc), a philosophy is a mindset that every employee should adopt regardless of the business function they perform.
A philosophy, in simple terms, is a theory that determines your point of view. I believe this, so I see things like this.
An Example of Social Media Philosophy
Here's a philosophy a consumer-focused organization may adopt:
Our philosophy is that social media will humanize the brand.
While a strategy may define exactly how to humanize a brand, the philosophy offers the paradigm for the organizational use of social media.
Any employee can ask, "Does this activity humanize our brand?" If the answer is no, the activity may need to be evaluated to see if it serves the needs and goals of the organization. Eventually, the philosophy will become second nature. The culture of the business will reflect the philosophy the organization adopts, and employees will pursue business activities that reflect the environment in which they are created.
Now, Back To Strategy
After taking a pause from the strategy discussion to determine what philosophy you will adopt, revisit your strategies and measure them against what you truly believe social media can do for your brand and customers.
Strategies are extremely important. When created apart from a more in-depth philosophy that runs through the veins of your organization, however, they may not be as effective.
Image credit: Flickr / dakine kane (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ltobrooklyn/2739207080/)