I’m not going to make you wade through countless paragraphs filled with anecdotes and hints before you find out what the title refers to. No, I’m going to give it to you right here and right now: If you’re taking your company into social media marketing and you want tangible results, and you don’t want to waste either time or money, the one thing you absolutely must have is a Social Media Plan.
Let me lay that plan out for you in six steps…
- Schedule a Leadership Team Meeting. Why? Because you need to set clear objectives and goals for your social media engagement, and heads of different departments will have different objectives. Being clear about what you want from the project right from the start is crucial to its success. Not only that, you need to get leadership on board with the idea of venturing boldly into social media. Fears and concerns need to be aired, guidelines need to be created.
- Set Measureable Objectives. Each department in your organization has its own focus, so each one is likely to have different objectives for a social media campaign. You need to hear from sales, IT, marketing, PR, etc. Sales might want to use promo codes. Marketing might want to try contests or videos. Along with specific department objectives, take a look at the big picture as well. Does your organization need to focus on branding, new product launches, or reputation management, customer loyalty and customer service? Once your objectives are in place, you will be able to track how well they are being met, document it, and know what’s working and what isn’t.
- Create a Small Social Media Start-Up Committee. They will implement and oversee the first phase of your foray into Facebook, Twitter, et al. Best practice would be to include one or two of the most enthusiastic and social savvy people from each department. These might not be the department heads, but perhaps younger staff. So if you are wondering who will manage this small and hopefully excited group…
- Hire a Social Media Brand Manager. I’m talking about a full time, salaried position. I’m talking about hiring a social media expert. The size of your firm will dictate whether or not this step is necessary, practical, or even possible. The social media brand manager will oversee the daily activities of the start-up committee, and report directly to the executive team. He or she will set up properly optimized social media profiles on all the major social sites, monitor all feedback, set up metrics and tracking, and coordinate input from all different departments.
- Pick Which Social Media Portals to Start With. I have long recommended starting with what I call the “big five” – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Blogging. Depending on your organization, you might want to consider Pinterest and Google+ as well. Each site has its strengths and different potential uses for your organization.
- Productivity Tool Selection. Your employees already have full time jobs. Adding in social media causes many execs to worry… “I don’t want my staff spending all day tweeting.” Add the tools which can automate your social media and let everyone get back to work. In this case, the meaning of the word productivity is twofold, though. Allowing employees to engage in social media also allows them to evangelize for your brand, keep up with the latest developments in their fields, and switch mental modes while they are working. This last one has been proven time and time again to enhance productivity.
By engaging in a social media marketing program with a set plan, your chances of meeting your objectives are greatly enhanced. For more detailed information, hand your social media brand manager a copy of Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Or call our office at 888.588.9326. We’re always happy to answer any questions. Services range from consulting and training to running full social media campaigns.
And stay tuned for next week’s post, which will show you how I put this plan into action for a major national corporation, TaxMasters.