Army Strong: Social Strategy Lessons

Early last week, Ragan’s PR Daily featured an interesting post on the United States Army Reserve’s “10 rules for social media practitioners.” Lt. Col. Andrew Morton, the chief of online and social media shared some tips the Army Reserve learned over the last several years. In summary:

1. Develop a “plan on a page”

2. Integrate with all other media

3. Plan for success, not for failure

4. Decentralize your efforts

5. Curate content that’s “real and relevant”

6. Don’t practice Web 1.5

7. Develop measurements and monitoring capability

8. Trust your subordinates, but train them

9. Develop user-engagement policies that are reasonable and enforceable

10. Collaborate, borrow, copy and steal

I found myself thinking, “He nailed it.” In our work as public relations professionals, we’re constantly advising our clients on best practices for social engagement. Sometimes it’s trial by error – essentially, getting your feet wet and giving it a try; other times, it’s learning from experience – from competitors, from colleagues in the industry or from other business lines.

A top 10 list can easily turn into a top 15, a top 20, a top 25 (you see where this is going)…but reading this article does spark me to share some of my own learnings garnered from experience at BlissPR.

1. If you build a presence, don’t abandon it. Nurture it and help it grow.

2. Be responsive. While strict legal and regulatory guidelines (for some clients) may make it difficult to respond immediately to your followers, think of alternate ways you can acknowledge comments or questions – approved stock responses, for example.

3. Abide by the 80/20 (or some other derivation) rule: in this case, for every ten shares, make only two about your own company and the other eight about other happenings, articles or posts of interest

4. Don’t build a presence on every site, just because you can. Social strategy isn’t one-size fits all.

This leads me to ask: what other advice would you offer and what companies in the social space do you currently admire?