Is Social Media Difficult?

First looking at this title you may think “Obviously not because a trillion folks are using social media.”

But I think if you think about this question more, you cannot focus on the actual acts of “tweeting” or “posting on Facebook,” but rather how do you continue to build and maintain a successful social media program? How is success tracked or even measured?

The answer to whether social media is hard is yes. Why? Because most marketing folks tend to focus on the tactics rather than the planning before jumping in.  To be honest, it is the more fun and exciting piece. The tactics show activity, but maybe not the right activity. Not focusing on the details impacts the tactics and more importantly the success. Focusing on the more “fun activities” also gets you in hot water with executives who want to measure or rather know what their return on investment is on those efforts.

So how do you get your social media efforts to be successful? You PLAN for it!

Planning Takes the Difficulty out of the Equation

I think the most important aspect is the planning. Think P.O.S.T.

Planning is key, but often not the focus of conversations. Often times the conversation ends up with the fun aspects of social media: interacting with your audience and sharing information. In your planning you need to identify a few things:

1) Why are you using social media? Answering because our competitions is using social media is not, repeat, not a viable reason.

2) Who will be involved? This goes beyond marketing. Who in your organization has great stuff to share. Everyone is an expert.

3) Define the contributors from the reviewers. HUGE. lot’s of people like to critic, but few like to do the work.

4) Will you engage your employee to share company news or commercial insight?

5) If employees will be involved, do you plan to give guidance?

Devil is in the Details

Lots of articles on setting goals and objectives, but you need someone to drive this. You have to get folks onboard or at least adhere to one set of guidelines of what the organization plans to do. Otherwise, you will be running in different directions and never accomplish anything other than transactional success of “ I gained XX followers or likes.” So what’s the big deal?

Your Executive Team Cares About the Bottom-Line

Those are meaningless to your executive team. Those folks do not care about transactional data, but do care whether you are mitigating customer service issues or increase engagement. The difficulty is not in implementing social media, but rather planning for success.

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