Getting Started on Social Media

Posted by JamieKelly on a Friday in July, 2013

10 steps you should implement at the start…

Let’s be clear from the outset: social media is not a panacea that will solve all marketing woes. The best plan in the world can still fall flat, such are the vagaries of the social dynamic. However, the truth is that social media is now an integral part of the marketing fabric and cannot be ignored.

Social media are the channels where information and people are connected via dialogue. Social media strategy defines and measures marketing programs across social channels and the resulting activity within and across the social network.

But the majority of social media strategies employed by some of the best brands aren’t linking activity to business goals and results, so they are hijacking themselves before they have begun! You need to put the framework for success in place and then let your marketing people do their thing.

What are the 10 steps to building a social media framework for success?

One: Define the business goals.

A business needs to know what it is trying to accomplish with its social media use.  Be sure you can communicate the value of actions to those who don’t ‘get’ social media. You need to know how social media strategies create direct or anecdotal impact on business objectives. If that means starting slow, targeted and very focused – then so be it.

Two: Establish the long-term vision.

A vision is one thing, articulating that vision for all to understand, is another. So keep it simple. Having a vision for becoming a social business is essential if the business is to meet its goals. The value that will subsequently be realised, both internally among stakeholders and externally to customers (and shareholders), needs to be clearly articulated too.

Three: Define the roadmap and deliverable initiatives which make up the vision.

A strategic social business roadmap should look at 18 months to  3 years ahead. The priority is that all the planned social media initiatives will support the business goals working collectively and not in isolation. What you do via LinkedIn has to be supported across Twitter and other sharing networks.

Four: Ensure executive support.

In many companies social media will exist in its own marketing silo, which is an error; it must be integrated to empower the rest of the business. Top executives have to endorse the social media strategy as a priority, and see it of high business value. Provide evidence of campaign success and business value to leverage their buy in.

Five: Establish process, governance and guidelines.

Get the COO and IT teams on board to be clear who will take responsibility for the infrastructure to support the social strategy. Make sure the data and CRM teams are aligned. Create an implementation team to prioritise initiatives, create guidelines and processes; then assign roles and responsibilities. Make it a clear performance-related deliverable.

Six: Invest in technology platforms that will deliver.

Social technology must fulfil two primary functions: 1) enable or optimise your strategic roadmap and 2) deliver ROI-definined reporting. Without the latter you’ll be laughed out of the boardroom. All ROI values have to be related to your business goals. Insight comes from reporting based on robust data. Get that sorted up front.

Seven: Secure staff, resources, and funding.

Determine where resources are best applied now and over the duration of your roadmap. Is out sourcing better than in sourcing? No matter what, ensure that you train staff on the vision, purpose, business value-creation, and metrics/reporting to ensure a consistent approach as you grow.

Eight: Get your CRM and data sorted.

Your customer database is rubbish. Admit it. Pull all you have together, define buying cycles, preferences, propensity to purchase and general likes. Find out what influencers they follow and individuals’ purchasing triggers. The more you know about people and business the more you can create social content and comms that pulls the trigger on purchasing decisions. Build a CRM system that offers some answers and not just more questions.

Nine: Marketing – integrate, be bold…

Take your data and design campaigns that offer dynamic multi-channel experiences. Build content that enriches a user experience and challenges the audience status quo. You have the power to talk about, engage and educate your audience whenever and however you want. You just need to have the will to do it. (A good agency helps to!)

Ten: Stop talking and DO it!

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steev

Steevan Glover is Quantum’s Marketing Services Lead. As a B2B digital marketing pioneer with twenty years experience and award-winning success in delivering campaigns TTL and BTL, he is vociferous about the value of embracing fast-changing digital marketing channels, but not at the expense of intelligent, creative and profitable integrated campaigns.

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