Social is a Team Sport
It’s ironic how we marketers have a tendency to behave in the least social way when it comes to working on projects in social. How many times have you witnessed, or even been a part of, a team that worked individually on what was meant to be a joint project, only to come together sporadically to unsuccessfully “share” their ideas? Whether it’s for social or not, agreeing on a common vision, a course of action, and collaborating on this goal together will not only lead to greater chances for success, but it will help get you there faster, and with less stress, as well.
The panel members at the breakout session on Collaboration at the first ever Facebook Marketing Conference in New York City on February 29, 2012, spoke about how working together cohesively as a team led to their project’s success. Moderated by Facebook Director of Global Creative Solutions Mark D’Arcy, the panel consisted of Sarah Robb O’Hagan – President of Gatorade, Randall Brown – Gatorade Director of Digital Strategy, Joe Grigsby – Partner and Group Planning Director of digital marketing agency VML, and Chris Barbour – Facebook Marketing Strategist, Global Creative Solutions. Together, the team worked on a Gatorade product that will be launching soon on Facebook.
One of the keys to their success was changing how they looked at and worked with Facebook. They stopped using Facebook as just another website, because doing so would yield the same results. Instead, they leveraged the platform, and its opportunities and reach, to realize its full potential. The panel, all members of a group that collaborated as a team to build something together, also shared their five elements for success:
1) Clear executive mandate and ongoing champion
Getting the right people behind the project that you’re entering into will give it the push it needs to get going in the right direction.
2) All-team discovery session
All the teams that touch the project need to come together to define the challenge, identify the target audience, and create the partnership structures. Not only is establishing trust and a common language critical, but bringing the teams together will help quickly identify good ideas with which to move forward, and kill bad ideas right off the bat.
Video highlight [8:35] – Chris Barbour talks about the process and Involver’s part in it
3) Identification of social insight
Your desired objective cannot be about what you want your audience to care about; changing human behavior is no easy task. Focus instead on learning what they already care about, what stories they’re telling, and what would get them to share these with the people they know. Finally, provide them the enhanced means to continue to practice these innately human behaviors.
Video highlight [16:25] Social’s about fundamentals. Build on top of existing behaviors rather than trying to create new ones.
4) Hacking the solution
A strategy is not an idea. A strategy is a plan and a great launching off point for directed creative thinking toward the solution. The solution may not necessarily arise from the entire team as a whole, but perhaps from a smaller breakout group, who can then bring it into the larger team.
Video highlight [19:25] Putting value into strategies.
5) Execution roadmap
Mutually supportive group dynamics and communication are crucial in taking a solution from plan to fruition. To translate good ideas into actual tangible, ready-to-ship solutions , collaboration comes into play wherein the team identifies the right partners who bring with them the necessary expertise. With members of the team doing what they do best, the team as a whole is working toward the most important thing—doing right by the consumer—all the while, maintaining an efficiency that addresses social’s massive scale.
Video highlights [24:30] Scaling solutions across the open web; [26:30] Bringing in the right partners, including Involver
Social isn’t just about technology. It’s about people, process and structure. It’s about teams coming together to develop transformational solutions that bring utility not only to the brand, but more importantly, the consumer.