One of the key takeaways I had from the Blogwell conference was how well some of the companies were making their corporate content available outside of the corporate websites. Cisco with its video distribution strategy, The Home Depot with its Twitter distribution method and Kaiser’s ability to channel it’s health information into its own social network.
It’s becoming very obvious that a social media strategy cannot stand alone without a solid distribution strategy. It’s not just about social bookmarks or posting to a Facebook or MySpace page. Engaging community is nothing new, but understanding where content fits in the community is a good first step. After all, all social media activities are really just tactics. Channel management is the strategy. Customer engagement is the broader strategy. And, adding revenue is the overall strategy.
You could argue engaging with customers though social media is a strategy, but really it’s not. The strategy for any company should be to create and nurture happy customers. The how to do keep them happy is the tactic. After all, any employee engaging a customer face-to-face, over a customer service hotline or in a social network is acting upon the broader strategy of keeping customers happy.
What the companies who presented at Blogwell have done really well is extending their reach of happy, informed customers. The Home Depot taking its How-to videos from the corporate website and placing them on YouTube is an excellent example of taking content and pushing it for a broader audience to consume.
For me the homework after the conference isn’t how these companies created a social media presence, but how they’re able to successfully extend it.