If you haven’t yet jumped into the social media waters, or if you’re just at the wading stage, we’ve got seven steps to help you take the plunge.
- Audit your competitors. Make a list of your top competitors and look at the content they are posting and with whom they interact. Do interactions build relationships or generate leads? Which issues get the most feedback? From there you can start to outline the information gaps you can fill.
- Assess your current social media efforts. Make a list of your current social media channels. Note the kind of information being shared and how often. This will help to benchmark the success of your new or expanded program.
- Create objectives. Social media objectives should support the goals of your marketing plan. When developing objectives, keep in mind the kind of support you need to reach them. Objectives should include what audiences you want to reach, how you want to position your company, etc.
- Identify social channels to target. These should include the likely suspects–Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn–as well as YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare and others.
- Develop a content plan. For each channel, outline content strategies. Strategies should include the tone you want to take in each channel, the kind of content that will be posted, how frequently you will post, and who will author content. Using a variety of channels, there is an opportunity to share content. For example, a blog post can be tweet fodder. Review which technology will be needed to automate posts, such as Hootsuite or SocialOomph. Identify how you will integrate and monitor social interactions.
- Create and adopt social media policies. Share these policies throughout the organization. Think about who is authorized to post, the information that can and cannot be posted, processes for negative comments, etc.
- Identify performance metrics. How will you measure progress and success? How often will you measure progress? Develop goals for followers/fans, interactions/feedback, clicks, conversions, etc. Outline how you will measure and what tools will be needed.
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