Home > Social Media Strategy > Managing the Social Media Process – A 4×5 primer

Managing the Social Media Process – A 4×5 primer

Social Media is redefining communication. Probably, the only other invention that had a similar impact on the way we communicate was when round tables were created that allowed people to sit around and talk.  Well, this post is not about “Why Social Media” .. it is in fact about “Social Media Is. Now what?”.

Businesses are embracing Social Media as a strategic channel to reach out, or meet their customers. What is yet to be seen in Social Media, is its acceptance or rather, adoption as a process.   The 4×5 primer listed below, emphasizes the process approach of social media, and suggest what organizations must do to make social media, easy and effective for them. So, keep your checklist ready!

Step 1: Assessment

First step is to assess your environment

First step - Assess your environment

  1. Audience – Start with identifying your user segments, and the persona across multiple channels.
  2. Channels -Your understanding of your audience will give you a very good idea of where they hang out the most. Instead of trying to build your brand across all the channels, it is very important to apply the 80-20 and focus on the channel that you understand the best, and are most likely to find your audience.
  3. Internal Staff – Social Media is an external facing, very strategic function. It is important that from early on put a person on the social media staff someone, who understands your business, and is great in relationship / and building connections.
  4. Approach – Define in the beginning what your approach will be- Set the tone for your brands and your approach to reach out. Whether pro-actively sharing information, or responding to a query – your approach should determine your strategies during the campaigns.
  5. Goals / Metrics – Define your success – A baseline goal that can be extrapolated and tied up to strategic goals.

Step 2: Planning

Step 2 - Planning

Step 2 - Planning

  1. Campaigns – What campaigns do you plan to run? Will it be promotional or informational? Does it need to be viral, and what is the goal of your campaign? How long will it run? A campaign creates the stream of communication a brand makes with audience – and it should be well planned.
  2. Content – Each channel has its unique characteristics and limitations. How best can you make your brand, and message visible within those unique / limiting conditions. Identify content that can be integrated with your messages, get creative – if pictures work better, use them. Or create videos, or Polls .. Extend the reach of your campaigns with content that resonates with your audience.
  3. Schedule – How do you time your campaigns? What is the right time to start running a campaign, and what interval is the best. Plan, modify and plan again – until you have found the schedule for your campaigns that get most visibility.
  4. Workflow – It is very important to decide upon the workflow, before execution. How the trends should be monitored, what actions need to be taken etc. A coordinated and collaborative team is key to the success of social media.
  5. Rules and Policies – If you have not, create a one-pager code of ethics for your social media team. Do not go over board, but, ensure that your team understands the do’s and don’ts. Remember, your reputation is stake, each time a message is shared – and damage control may be very expensive.

Step 3: Execution

Step 3 - Execution of the Plan

Step 3 - Execution of the Plan

  1. Release – Be ready to receive all kinds of reactions, including none (which, is the worst). If you have followed the 10 steps above, releasing a campaign is a small task. Just keep prepared for the follow-up actions.
  2. Monitor – Constantly monitor for mentions of keywords that relate to your business. Understand the trend, and the underlying pattern. Identify the impact of your campaign on the trends.
  3. Engage – This is one step that cannot be missed, whether or not, you have run a campaign. But, if you have run a campaign, say, about product launch – you must have your staff ready to respond to product questions, answer support calls, or be available when your audience needs you. It is not necessary to be available 24×7, but, predictable pattern of response and engaging in an 1-1 communication, can be very rewarding.
  4. Influence – Your audience is looking up to you for information that they do not know, or to understand your ideas and vision. It is very important that your messages have an attribute and tone to influence your audience.
  5. Manage – It is very important to have a common vision and integrated way to manage your planning, execution and evaluation.

Step 4: Evaluation

Step 4- Measure, Measure and Measure

Step 4- Measure, Measure and Measure!

  1. Performance – Great that we had the best video remixed, and shared. Did we meet our goals? To understand how your campaigns performed, and what you need to modify in future, it is important to measure the performance in great detail, evaluated next to the goals and metrics set in the beginning.
  2. Issues – How did you respond to the issues? What were the problems in running the campaigns, is the workflow not working? Spend time to note down and understand why, if there were any, these issues arose and how could they be reduced.
  3. Influencers – Know and keep your influencers close. Social Media offers a great way to promote your brand via your nfluencers. Identify the hub and the network of  influence.
  4. Workflow – As the workflow is important in planning and executing a campaign, it is equally important to setup a follow-up workflow. The key function will be to work with other channels, and build the bigger picture of integrated marketing channel.
  5. Benchmark – Once, you have measure the performance of your own campaigns, set them up as your benchmark. This allows you to chase your own goals, and modify them to do better.

The above list very concisely covers the 4 important areas of social media process. If you believe, something is missing, feel free to comment. And, if you have examples, do put them in comment or send us an email at info@objectivemarketer.com More on the detailed analysis, in subsequent posts.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: