Case Study: Social Business Strategy for Local Government

Business Challenge

Local government had a conservative culture, and the Communications Department had been studying the community’s social media adoption for some time. Several departments wanted to create pages, but Communications wanted a defined strategy to put their best foot forward before launching presences. The mission was to explore the potential for social media to help improve communications and relationships with citizens, especially younger demographics.


As engagement partner, worked with the Communications team to develop the social business strategy. Began with the Ecosystem Audit to understand the environment. Continued with the Organization Audit to understand the government’s relevance to its ecosystem, and completed the Social Business Strategy, which detailed for several pilots to test the strategy and develop the client’s social business skills.


The Ecosystem Audit produced the Ecosystem Map and Ecosystem Report, which provided a clear blueprint of the community’s digital social activity.

  • Working with the client team, conducted persona study to define community- and business-relevant stakeholders, developed/iterated keyword families, and programmed filters.
  • Defined stakeholder interests in workstream analysis, which enabled us to locate specific conversations relevant to quality-of-life issues such as child care, night life, health & wellness, (real estate) development, physical infrastructure, government services, politics, and amenities.
  • Used SNR Analytics tools and processes to rank highest priority digital social venues that would enable the government to interact most efficiently. Developed Top10, Top20 and Top30 rankings of social venues, optimized for primary stakeholders and workstreams. Brand Analysis revealed the Top10’s weaknesses in serving stakeholders according to issues, adding clarity to the strategy.
  • Opportunity Analysis netted six social business opportunities, optimal venues in which to engage stakeholders (segmented) as well as general recommendations for capitalizing on them by applying the detailed report findings.
  • The Ecosystem Map graphically positioned the client’s Top30 venues along three axes, segmenting them alongside Stakeholders; moreover, each object’s size and proximity to client was based on quantitative metrics, which were displayed along the bottom of the map. This gave the team a quick view of venues’ strengths and weaknesses. The Ecosystem Report packaged briefs into an interactive report that included hundreds of links to specific conversations.

The Organization Audit examined the client’s internal processes and assets to determine how to best engage while maximizing efficiency and impact.

  • Used core competency analysis to compare the client with other community influencers, based on core competencies visible to stakeholders. Used online and phone surveys to conduct advanced workstream analysis.
  • Created trial pilots by synthesizing the government’s unique strengths with stakeholders’ highest priorities. Evaluated pilots’ feasibility by analyzing client’s resources and organization for their ability to deliver. Analyzed public and private case studies to vet concepts and develop relevant good practices.
  • Social Business Strategy recommended six pilots that would help the firm outperform in a highly competitive environment of ecommerce brands.


  • Some stakeholders had little activity in digital social media venues, and knowing that enabled the brand to conserve resources by focusing on those who were.
  • The engagement team saw what optimal conversations looked like, based on real interactions. Most of these took place in forums, not popular social media platforms where most organizations invest.
  • The engagement team significantly improved its understanding of how to engage by focusing on stakeholders’ motivations and highest value workstreams. By seeing and understanding stakeholders’ activities in terms of their desired outcomes, the team saw how the brand could be relevant at a new level.
  • The ecosystem audit discovered emerging social trends of which the team was aware but did not fully appreciate, which gave them significant new opportunities to engage and in areas with little competition.
  • Competitors’ investments focused on the big three, so the brand was able to engage its highest value stakeholders at a lower cost than competitors.

See also (same client)Facebook Page Launch, Fitness Program Launch, Social Event Calendar Launch, and Social Business Governance Program.

More detailed personalized case studies available on request.

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