By Richard Brasser
2010 will be remembered as the year that everyone in the business world ran out and set up a Facebook fan page, started Tweeting and put together a corporate blog. It will also be remembered as the year that a lot of us forgot to apply the tried and true strategic processes that had made us successful in other mediums.
I am amazed at how many experienced marketing professionals have jumped into the social media realm, only to find that they missed their mark. Whether they were caught up in the excitement and buzz, or whether they were pressured by senior management to “get a Facebook page up ASAP,” skipping critical steps has caused a lot of heartburn. There is no doubt that social media is transforming our ability to expand our reach and connect in ways that were never possible. It is also true that a well-executed social marketing plan can pay huge dividends. However, without a well-thought through strategic approach, the effort is destined to fail…or at least underperform.
Here are 7 critical questions to answer before launching a social media initiative:
- What is the number one business driver that you are trying to influence? Leads, brand awareness, legitimacy, customer service, brand recognition, human resource management…
- Who are the most important people that you need to communicate with to achieve that goal?
- What is their Technographics profile? a.k.a. – how they currently behave in the social media world. Google it if you don’t know where to start.
- Key Performance Indicators – What are you going to measure and what results do you need to achieve to justify the budget?
- What technologies and processes are you going to use to acquire and measure the data?
- What are the specific roles and responsibilities of each key team member?
- What is the specific value that people will gain from engaging with your content? a.k.a. – Why should they care?
The social media landscape is vast and ever-changing. New platforms, technologies and communities are popping up all over the place. It can be quite overwhelming to understand and prioritize what technology to embrace. The number one mistake that I see companies large and small make every day is choosing technology without developing the tangible business objectives and strategic plan first.
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With over 11 years of experience in the interactive media world, Richard has become one of the leading experts in social media and interactive marketing.