Maturing in your use of social media requires a different way of thinking. Integrating social media into your communication practices is much more than getting a Facebook page, or starting to send out tweets on Twitter. You can see my full presentation on this topic below,
After conducting quite a few social media efforts for a wide variety of clients, I have found the following five steps to be the most critical to overall success. What would you add to these?
Five Steps to Strategic Social Media Management
1. Situation Audit: Know the Landscape
Social media shouldn’t sit by itself. it should be integrated with the overall communications and marketing program. Evaluate what you are already doing in social media with a simple SWOT Analysis to see what you could be doing better. Also, look at
2. Build a Business Case: Start With the End in Mind
PRSA has a really nice section on their website about building a business case for public relations. But it really comes down to managing expectations and spelling out opportunity costs for not engaging. And engaging goes well beyond publishing your links in social networks.
3. Become a Conductor: Plan It and Practice
The realities of the relentless need to create content in social media require you to make, and work a plan. It also requires you to be a sociologist, looking at what is needed in your stakeholder community that your organization is prepared to fill.
4. Human Resources: You Need an Orchestra of Voices
More than ever, the person running the social media team needs to be a conductor rather than a soloist. Moreover, the whole organization needs to be a part of that mix. There are subject matter experts (SMEs) in your organization that have amazing credibility with your stakeholders. You should be adding them to the mix. You also will be building a community that extends inside and outside of the organizational walls. As such, you will need a more open leadership style and need to build in relational objectives.
5. Measurement and Objectives: Proving It!
One of the hardest things that a communication professional faces is the overall expectation to prove the value of what you do. As a result, most people measure the easy stuff, Facebook friends, web traffic, and other numbers that can be very high and impressive looking. The problem becomes that this never satisfies the bosses, because they are looking to achieve business objectives like sales, legislation, donations, attendance, etc. The first measures are outputs, or interest, while the second set of objectives are outcomes or actions that are taken by your community, You have to measure both, the first is like asking for a date and the second is more like going steady, it requires committed action.
Measurement guru Katie Paine recommends a Kick Butt Index. Others like the Online Promoter Score. Olivier Blanchard has a pretty great set of resources on the basics of measuring ROI. And you can always read Mashable’s 100 Ways to Measure Social Media, or my own Social Media Measurement Triad and this one about measurement resources.
Finally, I have put together this Slideshare presentation that outlines these concepts in more detail. Would love to hear what you think is important to your social media program. What have you found to be invaluable to your approach in your organization? Always love to hear what is working.