Video: Advice from the SAS social media manager


“The Nuts & Bolts of Social Media,” is the title of the series of video interview segments we're producing, beginning with the Chris Brogan interviews, and continuing on with some of our internal social media champions, and when possible, with customers. Look for future posts tagged "The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media."

Here is Deb Orton's discussion with Dave Thomas, the Social Media Manager at SAS, providing us with a behind-the-scenes look at how SAS has prepared for engaging in social media. What came out of this candid discussion is a good list of suggestions for companies looking for a starting point to engage in social media.

There are many great points that Dave makes, but here are the three that stood out for me:

  1. Set up a listening apparatus. The idea here is to hear what people are already saying before you start putting out your own messages. Yes, this may seem very basic, but it’s easy to forget and it's fundamentally important because it serves to remind that listening is as important as talking in social media, just as it is for face-to-face communications.
  2. Keep in mind what’s important to your business. Again, this may seem basic, but for that reason it may be easy to lose sight of. Engaging in social media should complement your existing means of communicating, and should not be undertaken as a stand-alone effort. Work it in to your existing marketing / communications strategy and your existing goals and objectives.
  3. Develop policies and guidelines for social media engagement. To develop them, engage a broad cross-section of departments in your company that includes both evangelists and skeptics so people in both camps can learn from each other. Make it a point to involve both H.R. and legal early in the process because they often can see hazards in situations that others cannot. Be sure the policies and guidelines are short, useful and practical, with plenty of both “Dos” and “Don’ts.”

Grab a pen and be ready to hit the pause button often because there are many good tips in this segment. My favorite quote is this: If you don't have a written policy in place, you have a de facto policy that says "do what you want."



About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - a Digital Marketing Principal here at SAS focused on Content Strategy. I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome college-age kids, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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