We’ve been running social media on behalf of a client for some time now. We provide updates in regular communications program reports, and the client seemed pleased to be engaged in this area of communications, but mostly took a hands-off approach. Then, one day, the client expressed much more interest.
Following the established ProActive Communications principle – Strategies Lead Our Tactics – we had no trouble demonstrating that our approach to social media complements the overall strategic communications program by allowing us to reach and engage audiences that would otherwise be missed. Below are the four steps that ProActive Digital took to develop and implement an effective social media program for our client.
Start by identifying your targeted audiences and what it is you want them to do. With these important distinctions, it is much easier to decide which platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest, Foursquare, YouTube, etc. —will make the most sense for your organization or business.
However you choose to proceed, it typically makes sense to start slowly with one, maybe two, social platforms. Once you’ve selected your platforms it’s a smart idea to lay out a specific approach to get started, which should include basic content guidelines, promotional ideas and specific goals for a set time period.
Develop and or find compelling content to share through your chosen social platforms every day. Unless you are a sole operator, spread the responsibility by engaging members of your team to develop and share content and help manage your social community.
Then, Read. Tweet. Retweet. Post. Thank. Respond. Read. Like. Thank. Share. Pin. Read. Circle. Comment. Check in. Engage. Invite. Thank. Read. Hands down the most labor intensive (and arguably the most fun) part of social. A while back, I downloaded this free and useful, “Sample Social Media Tactical Plan” which breaks down management by outlet in clear and measurable steps.
Given the time it takes to effectively manage social, it is good to try and maximize your exposure by integrating and promoting your social presence with your other communications initiatives and outlets.
Websites, PowerPoints, videos, blog posts, e-newsletters, presentations, print items such as brochures and business cards, white papers and email signatures (among many, many other avenues) are all great places to promote your social presence (and can also serve as sharable content for your social platforms).
I even read a recent blog post where the author advocates wearing your twitter handle on a hat or shirt.
With your goals and strategy in mind, reviewing the analytics allows you to see the fruits of your labor. Where and when does your targeted audience engage with you, and what is your most effective content?
Are visits to your website/blog increasing? If so, from where? Once you have had the chance to review and digest the analytics, you will want to regularly go back and take another look at the strategy, integration and management, and make regular adjustments to continue to enhance your social presence.