Tag Archives: Social Media Strategies Summit

Seven Factors that Can Make or Break Your Social Media Program

Currently, I am working on my presentation, Social Media on a Budget for GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Summit.  As my copresenter, Veronica and I begin revamping this presentation, I realize there are several factors that affect whether a social media program will be successful or not.  Many factors to success are outside the scope of the marketing or PR team leading the charge. It is important to note while marketing or other functions maintain the corporate social channels, many other departments need to be involved. This list is not exhaustive; however, I believe these seven factors can make or break your social media program:

Social Media is NOT a Campaign, but a Commitment.

An important, but often overlooked aspect of getting involved in social media is that it takes resources, content, and money to make it work. I see many businesses running to create a Twitter feed or Google+ page, but then those feeds and pages go dormant because no one thought past the launch phase. To make social media work it takes planning.

You Need Executive Champion.

Any new initiative needs executive support otherwise it is doomed to never get off the ground. Working with my former managing director helped me understand what the C suite wanted. By sharing mini case studies with executives, I was able to leverage our wins in terms of what the C-Suite cared about: minimizing risk to the organization, increasing our awareness, and sharing our client success stories that peaked industry reporters interest.

Know the Difference between Strategy and Tactic

Simply enough, but many folks start with tactics first. I wrote in May about the importance of social media planning and strategy. Strategy is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over adversaries or best exploiting emerging possibilities. When I built our first social media strategy at Hobsons, I focused on two goals: awareness and engagement. (Two may be too many if you are just starting out.) With those two goals in mind, my team and I built a plan of action around them.

When planning out a strategy, you must be focused. In our case, if anything in the plan didn’t relate to awareness or engagement, it didn’t make the cut. It is too easy to get distracted and run in multiple directions.

You Need a Plan

While the cost to enter social media is low, maintaining social channels can be high. You need to outline more than tactics, but why your organization is getting involved in social media. I think while everyone is running to the next new shiny object, it is important to outline:

People. Objective. Strategy. Technology

People. Objective. Strategy. Technology

  • Who will be involved?
  • What’s the point of your social media activities (objective)?
  • How do you plan to reach your audience (strategy)?
  • Where is your audience now? (Technology/Platform)

Social Media is Not a One-Person show, You Need an Army

Let’s be clear that I am not advocating that everyone in your organization needs to “tweet” or post your company’s business on their Facebook page. Rather instead of focusing on the 100 percent, focus on those who are interested and want to participate. If folks “raise their hands” make sure you provide them with social media guidelines or a playbook.

You Need to Outline Social Media Governance and Policies

Nothing sexy about governance or policy, but they are crucial to your social media program. Too many firms skip this step until a social media gaffe turns into a full blown social media crisis. Provide guidance to employees by way of a social policy or playbook. Edelman did a fabulous job in this blog post outlining social media governance that’s worth a look.

Don’t Forget to Measure and Report

Don’t forget about measurement. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a whole lot of activity, but without measurement. You made the case to make social media more strategic, but didn’t provide proof points to your boss or executives. You can provide a lot of data to your team, so focus on what you are trying to communicate. Inc. recently published a great article on the common metrics to measure social.  Whatever your measurement is, make sure it ties back to your objectives. Did you move the needle or not?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher  has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. She is currently working in the DC metro area building content marketing programs from the ground up.


Eight Easy Ways to Curate Content

Written by guest blogger, 

Increasingly, social media marketers are responsible for curating content for blogs, social media accounts, and other digital mediums. This can be an overwhelming task without some help. Utilizing one of the many online tools available for content curation certainly lessens the pressure of finding content on your own. If you are looking for an easy way to curate web content for your marketing campaign, try one of these eight easy ways.

1) Pocket

Pocket, as its name suggests, is the virtual equivalent of putting something in your pocket for later. With just the click of a button, Pocket saves a digital item or article for later viewing on your phone, tablet or computer. You don’t even need an internet connection.

2) Pinterest

Not just a place to find recipes and DIY project, the virtual bulletin board Pinterest is a great way to find content and an even better way to organize it. Just be careful while you are combing the pages to not get sucked into a funny meme board and lose your way.

3) Family Features

If you are looking for full article content to supplement your original content, services like Family Features can help. family-feature--e1375032954731They offer both automated solutions and a la carte options for your blog or website. They also offer Spanish language translation if you have Spanish speaking readers.

4) Pearltrees

Pearltrees is a place to collect and organize online content in a natural way. Just like the name suggests, Pearltrees allows users to organize online data into “trees” in a similar way to Pinterest’s boards. Rachel Metscher PearltreeUsers can invite others to collaborate on a tree or users can split the tree into sections to share.

5) Stumblupon

Stumbleupon is a service that recommends pages based on your interests. You can thumbs up or thumbs down to content Stumbleupon suggests. Users can also bookmark and curate favorites. Many sites across the web have a “Stumble It” button for users to bookmark content. Stumbleupon learns from bookmarks to make better suggestions for content.

6) Twitter

Twitter may surprise you as a mention on this list, but with certain features it can be a great curation tool. Plus, you are probably already using Twitter anyway. You can use the “favorites” features to save worthwhile tweets or tweets you want to read later. You can also build Twitter lists of related accounts which is a curation tool on its own.

7) Faveous

Can’t remember which social network you found that article or video you wanted to use for a blog? With Faveous, you can collect all those favorite items in one place across social platforms. faveous--e1375037012419Faveous automatically saves any of your likes, tweets, favorites, etc. into one place for easier viewing later. For example, if you find an article on your mobile phone, but don’t want to read it on the small screen, you can later log onto Faveous to read it on your computer’s larger screen.

8 ) Paper.li

Paper.li allows you to create your own online newspaper by curating articles and content from your favorite sites. It’s an excellent way to share a large amount of content in one place and a unique way to present it.

Original article appeared on Social Media Strategies Summit blog.

Wendy Parish is a communication consultant and owner of Wendy Parish Consulting. She helps clients get the word out in a variety of mediums. You can find her writing smeared all over the internet at a variety of sites including Marketing Dive, DIY Insanity, and of course her tweets @ParishWendy. Her career has taken her to the U.K. and all over the U.S, but she now resides in Iowa and couldn’t be happier.

5 Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Written by guest blogger, 

Mistakes. We all make them. Well, all humans anyway. But the great thing is that we can learn from them and move on. Even better, you can learn from others’ mistakes and avoid making them all together. This tactic can be applied to social media — a place where a mistake can haunt you.

Learn from these five common social media mistakes and help to avoid making your own.

1) Leave an account inactive.

When a consumer searches for your business or businesses in your area and comes across an inactive account, certain assumptions will be made. Either the consumer will assume you are no longer in business, that you don’t care enough about your customers to keep up to date information, or that you don’t understand social media. None of these are things you want consumers to think about your business so make an effort to post and update your profile regularly.Rachel Metscher Musings Five Social Media Misakes

2) Attempt too much.

It can be tempting to create an account for every hot, new social platform, but it’s not always the best thing for your business. Take a deep breath and really evaluate the social network to see if it can provide value for your business. Ask yourself questions like this: does your accounting firm really need an Instagram or would you be better served focusing all your energy on Twitter? Spreading yourself too thin across social networks will wear you and your brand image ragged.

3) Fail to use analytics.

How can you know if a social media campaign is effective if you don’t have proper measurements in place? It seems like common sense, but so many marketers and brands make the mistake of launching social media campaigns for the sake of launching a campaign. If you have proper measurement and analytics tools in place, you can accurately gauge which tactics are working and which you should drop. The time to read measurements may seem like it’s slowing you down, but it will save you tons of time and money in the future on potentially wasteful endeavors.

4) Talk without listening.

Social media is filled with chatterboxes who have plenty to say, but never listen. Don’t let your brand be one of those chatterboxes. The word social is built right into the name so it should be no surprise that you will need to actually devote energy to social interactions. Take the time to listen to what followers and customers are telling you on social media. Especially make sure you respond to any direct communication or you risk serious public ridicule.

5) Not taking the time to learn the mechanics of each platform.

I think we can all strum up some memories of people and brands making embarrassing mistakes because they didn’t understand a social platform. If the person handling your social media doesn’t understand which messages are private and which are public, you could run into some very big problems down the line. There also have been some examples recently of employees responsible for handling social media accounts mistook brand accounts for their own and posted inappropriate messages. Mistakes like this are sometimes unavoidable, but understanding all the mechanics will help avoid most of them.

Wendy Parish is a communication consultant and owner of Wendy Parish Consulting. She helps clients get the word out in a variety of mediums. You can find her writing smeared all over the internet at a variety of sites including Marketing Dive, DIY Insanity, and of course her tweets @ParishWendy. Her career has taken her to the U.K. and all over the U.S, but she now resides in Iowa and couldn’t be happier.