Social media program: four things to consider before rolling one out

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Social media program: four things to consider before rolling one out

managing social media when you're a small business in alberta

Before rolling out your social media program, here are some things to consider.

What’s the goal of your social media program?social media icons, g+ , youtube, linkedin, snapchat, pinterest, Facebook, twitter, instagram, social media program

Your goal can be as simple as “offer customers an alternative way to reach us.” From there, you can drill down even further into targets and identify a number that would satisfy, like: “Reply to customer inquiries 2-5 times per week in the first six months.” Identifying a goal is important so you know what you’re trying to accomplish with the program and it can keep you on track. Also, it makes it easier to explain to CSRs and/or other individuals in the company who may be involved in the execution of the program.

Which social media sites do you need to use? You may prefer one social media site to another because you already know how it works, but identifying the most logical social media channels that you’ll find your customers or prospects on will be key. Consider building a customer persona. A customer persona are the key characteristics of your ideal customer: age, gender, interests, location – even the social sites that they’re most likely to use. If your customers are more likely to be on Facebook but your business is only available on Twitter, you need to stop everything you’re doing and go set up a Facebook business page. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But always think of where your customers are online and make sure you meet them there.

Have you identified your social media benchmarks? To track your social media progress, you need to set benchmarks. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may be able to find this information easily with a quick Google search. Otherwise, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper and take a look at your competitors! To track your progress and compare benchmarks it can be as simple as opening up an excel spreadsheet and noting how many customer service correspondence you’ve via social media in a certain amount of time (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly.) The key is to track the information so you can continuously improve your efforts.

What resources will you use to begin your social media program?
Identifying how much time and resources you’re willing to direct to these efforts is critical. Social media is meant to enhance your current communications and marketing programs. Some social media consultants will insist that companies spend hours on social media sites every day. But we all know that that’s not realistic for many businesses. There are ways to make the most of your time online and tools you can put in place to make your efforts more efficient. (We’ll touch on those down the road.) But you need to have an idea of what you’re willing to expend and for what time period in order to make solid business decisions.

Implementing a social media program isn’t ‘easy’ – and it’s not rocket science either. But there many moving pieces to consider before jumping right in. To be visible and valuable you’ve first got to decide how you’ll use social media to help your customers; you must identify your goals & targets, track your progress and make tweaks along the way which will keep you stay on course.

Remember: these types of programs take time, so be patient!

Other Blogs:
What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start

Need help getting started? Give me a buzz! 🙂

 

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.