What is the Twitter Triangle?

I was at the IABC Southern Region Conference in New Orleans last week talking about Digital Donuts and the Twitter Triangle.

Let's hold off about the donuts for another post but the Twitter Triangle deserves some explanation as the concept proved popular among the audience of communication managers.  Basically the triangle answers the question about which is the best platform to use to communicate internally or externally with staff.  Often I am asked - should we focus on twitter/yammer or facebook?  And what about the CEO blog?

What the triangle sets out to explain is that your strategy has to cover three areas of human activity - you can't just do one and be successful. 

Firstly you need to have some significant content - some substantive stuff that you are putting out there about an issue, an initiative or a piece of knowledge.  These are your articles on the intranet, your CEO blogs, your wiki pages.  They do not have to be written by you - indeed these are the voices of the company not of corporate comms and they form the bedrock of your social media strategy.

At the top of the triangle comes twitter - or yammer if your prefer a closed user group - or indeed chatter if you are into salesforce.com.  These are the sign posts to content.  They help people find the useful stiff that is being written, and here the comms professional does have a key role to promote useful content and respond to the buzz about issues in your company.  Without the signposts how are people going to find the good stuff?  No one, trust me, is trawling the intranet for fun.

The middle part of the triangle is the community part.  This is how you build trust in your tweets and other signposts.  By building relationships on community sites such as facebook, YouTube and even your SharePoint intranet (when you have upgraded to 2010) you gain credibility and influence.  This is perhaps the most misunderstood part of a social media strategy.  It is not enough to talk to people on a one-to-one basis online; it will dissipate your energy and you'll never reach critical mass.  Rather you have to connect with the networks that matter.  This means the communities inside your organisation where people share knowledge based on their job function, geography or just likes/dislikes. 

So that's the Twitter Triangle - a three part approach to harnessing the power of social media inside the enterprise.

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If you want to find out more about the Social Media Triangle, Marc hosted a simplyseminar with Silvia Cambie on the 1st December. The whole content is here on storify - but in a quick and easily accessible manner complete with videos and contributions from attendees.

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