Before you jump on the social media bandwagon, make sure you ask these 10 questions.
Awhile back, Sean Carton, Chief Strategy Officer for Philadelphia interactive design firm idfive , posted an excellent checklist of questions to ask before developing a social media strategy. Here are the highlights:
1. What are we trying to accomplish?
Your first step in developing a social media strategy is to get clear on what you want your outcomes to be. Is it more sales, conversions, brand engagement, or awareness?
2. Why are we using social media?
Is it to build stronger relationships with your customers? Create buzz? Become a thought leader? Before jumping on the social media bandwagon,make sure it’s going where you need to go.
3. What kind of social media will help us best achieve our goals?
Do you need to utilize social networking sites, blogs, real-time updates (e.g., Twitter), social news sites, media-sharing sites, review/directory sites, virtual worlds, or display ads on social media sites?
4. Are we prepared to let go of control of our brand?
You can’t participate in social media without engaging in a conversation with customers. Which requires you to give up control. Is your company willing to do that?
5. What will we do to encourage participation?
Make sure you have a plan to drive people to your social media site or viral video. And the time, money and expertise to execute that plan. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed.
6. Who will maintain our social media presence?
Participating in social media takes a lot of work. It won’t happen unless it becomes part of someone’s job. Do you have someone ready to commit a big chunk of time to maintaining your social media presence?
7. Do we have the resources to keep this up, or will this be a short campaign?
If you’re investing in a long-term social strategy, make sure you budget resources to continue your social media presence beyond the current fiscal year.
8. How does engaging users through social media integrate into our overall marketing/communications strategy?
Social media works best if you fit it into what you’re trying to do in all your other channels, and visa versa.
9. How do we measure success? And failure?
Are you measuring views, followers, comments, or subscribers? What happens if you don’t get there?
10. What are we cutting back on to do social media?
If you spend more money on social media and other nontraditional forms of marketing, you have to spend less on something else. Figure that out before you start, or you could have an expensive mistake to explain.
Thanks to Sean for another insightful post.