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Michael Brito
Michael Brito

Earlier

Implementing a social media strategy Add to ...

Social networking is here to stay, and in the future it will play an increasingly important role in day-to-day business. For that reason, there is mounting focus on how companies can reap the benefits of social media and change their corporate culture enough to accommodate this shift.

Michael Brito is a senior vice-president of Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital and leads the digital team in Silicon Valley.

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He provides strategic counsel, guidance, and best practices to several of Edelman’s top global tech accounts and is responsible for driving new business, growing existing business, mentoring junior staff members and maintaining strong client relationships.

Previously, he worked for major companies in Silicon Valley, including Sony Electronics, Hewlett Packard, Yahoo! and Intel, working in various marketing, social media and community management roles.

Mr. Brito says companies that use social media effectively have invested plenty of effort to hammer out who is responsible for each aspect of their social media plan, and the governance model used to oversee it.

“It’s causing organizational chaos internally,” he says. “All of a sudden you have kind of a land grab for roles and responsibilities ... think of marketing versus PR versus customer support, they all feel they own the customer experience.”

So what is the best route through the social media minefield? Michael Brito joined us for a live chat.

12:50

Niamh O'Doherty - Hi everyone, and welcome to our live chat. My name is Niamh O'Doherty and I'll be processing your questions. Please feel free to send them in now.

12:53

[Comment From Michael Brito ]

Hi .. i am here too!

12:54

Niamh O'Doherty - Hi Michael! So, first off, perhaps you could tell us why implementing a social media strategy is so important for businesses right now.

12:56

[Comment From Michael Brito]

sure, well there is certainly an expectation from consumers that "brands" engage in social media

12:56

[Comment From Michael Brito]

much of it is solving customer problems, providing helpful information and soliciting feedback about how to improve products

1:00

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Social media is more than just facebook / twitter. its about having internal processes, workflows, budgets aligned as well

1:01

Niamh O'Doherty - Great! Well, on to the questions....

1:01

[Comment From Ricardo Beck Giuliani ]

How do you think every brand having a social media presence will affect the already noisy online world?

1:02

[Comment From Michael Brito]

its really noisy... yes, but people want "relevant content" .. i.e. a link to a driver, a location to a store, more info on interest rates and maybe solving a customer problem is my phone service is out... brands need to listen to the online conversation and provide THAT relevant content. not spitting one way marketing messages and press releases at the community

1:03

[Comment From Dorothy ]

Is a social media strategy/plan needed for every type of business? I am a consultant .. independent with associates

1:04

[Comment From Michael Brito]

not necessarily ..

1:05

[Comment From Michael Brito]

a good social media strategy starts with listening to the online conversation...

1:05

[Comment From Michael Brito]

if people are talking about the brand (either positively or negatively) .. OR

1:05

[Comment From Michael Brito]

if they are talking about the industry you work in .. AND then you can ADD VALUE to the conversation then ..

1:05

[Comment From Michael Brito]

yes!

1:06

[Comment From Queenie ]

I'm a social media marketer/coach with plenty of pages, groups and accounts. Currently, I'm working with a professional School in building up their social media presence and community there. Your insight on the internal uncertainty is spot on! I'm working with each person to ensure their comfort level of what's to come. But, at times this may be a challenge. And to speak of collaboration (each person plays a role) is an eye-opener as they think as the social media person should take this on themselves, which we both know is totally inappropriate. What would you suggest to help them get through the changes?

1:09

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Queenie .. you are certainly starting off on the right foot! Internal collab is HUGELY important to social media (i call it social business) .. or rather, operationalizing social media .. but

1:09

[Comment From Michael Brito]

if internal team DONT see the value in social or better yet, if the company leadership doesn't see the value, it will be very hard for you to facilitate change

1:10

[Comment From Michael Brito]

this Value Model might help . http://www.britopian.com/2011/09/25/the-social-business-value-creation-model/

1:11

[Comment From Rachel ]

How can social media be effective when people are actually working during the day and not being engaged in social media? How do you know which social media platforms to target?

1:11

[Comment From Queenie ]

The leadership does see the value... it's getting some of the staff from various depts on board that is the challenge.

1:11

[Comment From Queenie ]

Thank you for your insight and time ; )

1:12

[Comment From Michael Brito]

people are working yes .. and they are also on Facebook and Twitter all day. AND .. there are NO business hours in social media. It's a 24/7 channel .. so it makes it hard to scale internally

1:12

[Comment From selena_cameron ]

You must do a huge range of work with diverse clients. In your view, what are the biggest challenges the sm discipline is facing? For me, measurement is one. But I'd be interested in hearing your view on others.

1:12

[Comment From Michael Brito]

re: Platforms .. it depends where the conversation is happening and/or where your target customer is spending his/her time..

1:13

[Comment From Michael Brito]

measurement, buy in from executive leadership, budget for sure are the top 3

1:15

[Comment From selena_cameron ]

Ah, budget :) Know that one well. Thanks.

1:16

[Comment From Todd ]

I work in the Oil Analysis industry. Essentially we analyze samples of oil that companies use on their construction equipment (ie. trucks) and then we let them know the health of their equipment. How can a company like ours utilize social media such as facebook, since our clients/industry isn't what you would typically see on social media platforms?

1:17

[Comment From Michael Brito]

maybe Facebook isn't the right answer. maybe it's Twitter, Google+ or a corporate blog (everyone uses google and google loves blog content) .. you can do research on what people are searching for and create blog content

1:18

[Comment From Amy ]

I'm part of a large organization that is looking at opening up access to social media for all employees (it's currently blocked; some employees have it as an exception). Do you have any advice on how to strike a balance between individual employees creating their own social media accounts they use at work (e.g. creating a twitter account to share information with other professionals) vs. creating corporate accounts to retain control over messaging, etc.? there is some concern in our organization that individual accounts will be mistaken for official accounts.

1:18

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Amy -- really good questions. every company struggles with this ..

1:19

[Comment From Michael Brito]

I would say having a governance policy that is c0-created with employees and management is important .

1:19

[Comment From Michael Brito]

i.e... how to create accounts, naming nomenclature, content ideas ..

1:19

[Comment From Michael Brito]

and TRAINING is very important

1:20

[Comment From Jason ]

Hi Michael -- What do you recommend for social media monitoring, i.e., understanding your users and brand better... Hootsuite, Sprout Social?

1:21

[Comment From Amy ]

Thanks for the tips!

1:21

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Jason -- Hootsuite is okay for engagement and listening to Twitter only. i would take a look at Simply Measured.. @simplymeasured on Twitter .. good tool, not too expensive

1:22

[Comment From Spock ]

I'm a leading blogger in the field and have written hundreds of articles convincing businesses how they can best take advantage of social media. I'm starting to tear my hair out as in all my research I have yet to come up with any small to mid sized business who can 1) calculate their social media ROI accurately and/or 2) has ever made a dime off of social media. IMHO social media for business is PR only, there is no real way to make any money off of it (from sales that wouldn't have been achieved through more conventional means). What is your experience with ROI, is it an illusion or not?

1:25

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Spock .. love that name. I think you are approaching it wrong. If your sole intention is to use social media to make money .. it wont work. Stick to search, or other direct marketing ..

1:26

[Comment From Michael Brito]

but if you want to delight customer by solving their problems (customer loyalty) or create customer advocacy .. then social is the right channel.

1:26

[Comment From Michael Brito]

ROI -- yes, there are proven models out there...

1:26

[Comment From Guest]

Is there a fine line of too much talk? I find I delete companies that send out too much information. How do you know when enough is enough?

1:28

[Comment From Spock ]

Of course, as a customer service channel it's great, but I have to crank out article after article showing businesses how they can make hard sales on social media, when in reality the emperor has no clothes. Thanks for the input, Michael. Live long and prosper! :)

1:28

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Guest -- the community will let you know when enough is enough .. brands need to spend more time listening and less time talking ..

1:30

[Comment From simonm223 ]

Solving customer problems is good certainly, but what about using social media to communicate proactively?

1:31

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Simon -- yes! customer service is reactive . .

1:31

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Proactive content is about being able to "add value" to the conversation .. i.e. providing helpful information, sharing tips/tricks about the product

1:31

[Comment From Queenie ]

That's why we're here Spock, we need to collaborate as Social Media marketers to let the world understand what's happening. We are already ahead of the curve as we live and breathe this everyday. There's tonnes of articles out there and Harvard Business Review just came out with one today, indicating businesses are now seeing the IMPORTANCE of Social Media -> http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/the_six_attitudes_leaders_take.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

1:33

[Comment From Jen ]

How can I implement social media into a series of workshops for high school students? Are people in that age group using twitter?

1:34

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Jen -- it depends. maybe you can ask them which tool they use and then build the workshops in the networks they belong to

1:35

[Comment From Spock ]

Excellent article Queenie, thanks. My concern remains how the manhours required to maintain a social media presence (for sales, of course) are simply not returned in hard income. But... keep boldly going where no marketer has gone before! :)

1:35

[Comment From Jen ]

I help run a not-for-profit org. to promote youth engagement in the community.

1:36

[Comment From ferg ]

building off of amy's point - is it important for there to be a unified message between what employees with work accounts are saying and that of the corporate account? as in, should the company be strongly monitoring their employees' social media activity?

1:37

[Comment From Michael Brito]

yes, there should be SOME message consistency .. but people (employees) need to be human .. and share branded content in a personal way

1:37

[Comment From Michael Brito]

ALSO ..

1:37

[Comment From Michael Brito]

the Edelman Trust Barometer study finds that consumers/individuals need to hear things 3 - 5 times before they believe it ..

1:38

[Comment From Michael Brito]

so the brand, the employees and even customers need to be aligned in order for the community to to believe what you are saying

1:38

[Comment From Karine ]

Do you have any resources you can share on where to start when building social media policy for the workplace?

1:39

[Comment From Michael Brito]

karine -- google "social media Policy" and there are a lot of good resource..

1:40

[Comment From Rachel ]

I am an independent marketing communications planner and writer. Of all of the social media channels, which do you think is the best for targeting the business community. Facebook is more personal, twitter I'm not sure, I think Linked In is used consistently. Any other advice for how I can target businesses? I do have a blog that I write communications tips and tools on every day.

1:40

[Comment From Michael Brito]

by the way .. Hi, I am Michael Brito .. work at Edelman and respond faster on Twitter than i do email. Http://twitter.com/Britopian

1:40

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Rachel -- yes, linkedin .. groups and Q&A ..

1:40

[Comment From Karine ]

Another challenge in building social media as part of my workplan is figuring out how much time to devote to it. Some colleagues seem to think that once we have the accounts, they will update themselves...

1:40

[Comment From Michael Brito]

also, create blog content specifically for Google..

1:41

[Comment From Queenie ]

You're welcome Spock. I treat Social Media as a "Community" bulletin board or newsletter. It is a tool to attract the right customers (who are interested) to come to us. We know it's about community-level thinking. The more we attract, the more aware they become of what we offer, the shorter the time to share/spread the message back to the customers, the more the Sales (or ROI) will go up. It will be measured, just not in the short run... As with anything else it takes time to build. Have a great day everyone! Thank you so much for your time and initiative Michael. This has been awesome and look forward to see more of it in the near future.

1:41

[Comment From Michael Brito]

KArine ..yes, i hear that a lot. it takes time, effort and a lot of elbow grease to make an impact!

1:42

Niamh O'Doherty - Michael, do you agree with one person taking charge of a company's social media strategy or should it be spread out amongst a group?

1:44

[Comment From tattva ]

hi brito, how would u use social media to market a travel insurance agency? any ideas?

1:44

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Niamh - i would say a team .. many companies create a Center Of Excellence ..

1:44

[Comment From Michael Brito]

they are responsible for writing governance, policies, and enabling the rest of the marketing organization to execute programs ..

1:45

[Comment From Michael Brito]

tattva - oh, that's easy start with twitter -- http://twitter.com/#!/search/travel there is a lot of conversation about travel there

1:46

[Comment From tattva ]

thanks

1:46

Niamh O'Doherty - Any other questions folks? Michael, anything you think hasn't been covered yet?

1:48

[Comment From Guest]

How do i apply the social media aspect to industries who are not into improving ways through technology and social media?

1:48

[Comment From Michael Brito]

no, this was good!!!

1:48

[Comment From Michael Brito]

guest -i don't understand the question

1:49

Niamh O'Doherty - While we're waiting for clarification... Michael, what does the future look like for this topic? Will social media stay a leading part of day to day business?

1:51

[Comment From Ricardo Beck Giuliani ]

What are actions and ways to help better the community interaction amongst them selves? I would love to get the followers that I have to interact with each other, they would have a lot of value to add.

1:54

[Comment From Michael Brito]

Niamh - yes! but the future is about operationalizing social media internally - tearing down silos, increasing effectiveness, cutting costs .. communicating more ..

1:57

Niamh O'Doherty - Right folks, I guess its time to wrap it up. Thanks so much for your time Michael.

1:57

[Comment From Michael Brito ]

thank you everyone!! had a great time

1:58

Niamh O'Doherty - Everyone, please feel free to continue the discussion in the comments section. Looks like there's a lot to discuss still! Thanks.



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