CEO and Founder of MTO (Made to Order) Agency Gretchen Fox has taken her years as a social media guru to help other entities develop their online presence. The Los Angeles-based company’s new assessment tool STARR ranks companies and artists’ social media with a short questionnaire that exposes strengths and weakness.
“There are a couple things that are happening in the industry,” said Fox, Live Nation’s ex-VP of Social Media. “One of the things is that a lot of people have an overinflated sense of how good they are at social media.”
The STARR tool allows entities to honestly evaluate how they are doing in five key areas of social media: social identity and branding, community, content, marketing and sales, and social intelligence. Once the questionnaire is complete, users can see where they fall on a scale of zero to five and the reasons they’ve landed on that number.
“A lot of music organizations already have established audiences, so it’s hard for them to tell that there is room for improvement,” Fox explained. “I’m pretty confident that most companies are going to fall between a two and a three.”
Exemplarily organizations reach Level 5 STARR status because they fulfill the five pillars:
• Stand Out Authority Status
• Top Fans & Follower Engagement
• Agile Adoption of Tech and Trends
• ROI Positive Social Marketing
• Real-time responsiveness
According to Fox, companies that score a five on the assessment are in a world where social media becomes a profit center and not a cost center. Anywhere below a five could mean that the company is not allocating enough resources to get a significant return on its investment. This is an issue that starts with the head of many organizations.
“A major problem at almost every organization is that the people who really get the importance of social media are usually not the CEO. It’s usually coming from young, savvy people,” Fox told Amplify. “Then they are caught in this situation where CEOs don’t really get the importance of it and think of it as this little thing on the side instead of a fundamental communication tool that should be baked into every single thing that they are doing including strategy.”
Fox explains that in order to properly respond to the missed opportunities in social media, there needs to be buy-in from CEOs and executives who she suggests often shrug off social media to interns or those who have less knowledge and/or say in the organization.
“A lot of this is designed to help organizations see where they’re at and also for people who are working on it to be able to hold a flag and be able to say, ‘Look, this is where we are at. We’re not reaching our potential. These are the areas where we are not,'” Fox said.
Fox recommends several employees, from top to bottom in the organization, take the assessment since there tends to be varying opinions on social aptitude. Once an organization has determined the holes in its social media structure, it will be easier to address them.
Besides some of the more obvious components to social media like content and marketing, Fox’s agency encourages companies and artists in the music industry to build a community with fans and to be consistent with the tone of the brand.
Capturing the artist’s tone on social media “is one of the trickiest spots because it is so obvious when managers and publicists are writing copy for artists’ pages. They are not identifying the voice of the artist” and building on the persona that fans have gravitated to them for, Fox said.
Another huge deficit for the music industry is what MTO calls social intelligence.
“Social intelligence is how well the organization is using the social feedback loop,” Fox said. The social feedback loop is when companies are listening to what is happening and responding. “Not just responding to customer service, but going and integrating the feedback from online back into the organization. Organizations should be listening to people who are complaining or commenting about shows to see how to improve themselves from within.”
She added, “It’s not a pain point that organizations are aware of.”
By using the assessment tools, organizations will become aware of their deficiencies and, with necessary resources, be able to address them. Fox explained that it’s not just about being aware of the holes, but making a commitment and a road map for tending to them.