Five simple steps to social media nirvana

Hi, Talia Hagon here again, to conclude our two-part social media soiree.

Okay, we’ve agreed that a social media strategy that feeds into the overarching corporate strategy is a vital component of the modern organisation. We’ve also accepted that the board must ensure that social media and the social media strategy gets the high priority it deserves if they’re to fulfil their primary role of charting a successful course for the company.

So what next? What are the most important things to consider before you launch your organisation into the dynamic world of social media?

I’d argue there are five non-negotiables.

The first is to actually take a step backwards. Stop and reflect, think about why you’ll have a social media presence and what do you expect to come out of it. With a clear understanding of your objectives, you can step forward and embark on the social media journey.

Secondly, appreciate that if you’re going to do it, you need to do it properly – and that involves extensive research into what your competitors are doing in this space. Understand what they’re doing, see what’s working for them and what’s not…and use this intelligence to create a best practice social media strategy.

This will help to ensure that you have a great feel for the tools available, their strengths and weaknesses and how you can best use them to reach your audience most effectively and efficiently. Remember, too, that your content and the tone of voice you use should reflect how your brand would sound had it a personality.

Moving onto number four – in the world of social media just as in most areas of business, what you can’t measure you can’t manage. It’s important to set clear and measurable KPIs that will provide you with regular updates on how you’re travelling against your agreed objectives and what sort of return on investment your organisation is getting.

Finally, have a detailed risk management plan that allows you to mitigate risk and outline how best to respond to future crises or potential crises.

Now it’s time for implementation – and this is where I’ve seen so many diligent organisations come unstuck. They’ve done all the groundwork, they’ve developed a cracker of a strategy and then they go and toss it all away.

They allocate it to either the youngest person in the office (they know social media, right?), or the receptionist, or perhaps the person down the corridor who’s a little ‘light on’ when it comes to workload.

Then they’re surprised and disenchanted when their social media representation is erratic. They find there are months between posts and unanswered queries; in other cases they achieve very little ‘reach’ having spent much time and energy practically talking to themselves as the person at the helm has no experience in social media for business (yes, it’s vastly different to being active on your own social media accounts!)

Treat implementation as importantly as you do all other aspects of the strategy and you’re sure to reap the enormous benefits. Give it to someone in the organisation who is social media savvy but who also understands the organisation, its values, its positioning and the overall business strategy.

Or consider outsourcing it as this removes the emotion and places it in the hands of an expert who calls on all their nous to regularly curate, create and publish content on your behalf.

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Thanks Talia for your guest blog and for all the great work you do for Governance Matters. If you want to find out more about Talia follow the link to her website here.

Until next time,
Kate.

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