One problem that I encounter with clients when we discuss social media is the tendency for many of them to treat social media as if it’s something removed from their business.
You may know the type.
The ones who treat social media as something to do when they get around to it.
Or, something their offspring can do for them whenever they get off their Xbox.
Best yet, it’s a program but totally disconnected from everything else in the business and no one, including the owner, knows why they’re doing it.
Yes, I know.
This isn’t you, it’s those “other” guys.
That’s why in this article I’ll discuss why a social media program should be integrated into your complete business plan and operations and not be treated as a one off.
First, let’s talk about why organizations treat social media apart from their regular business activities.
Maybe because it’s new or different.
Maybe it’s perceived as a change or an integration problem and that’s hard, isn’t it?
I want to disabuse you of these notions.
Using social media is not as hard as you think.
(Those of a certain age may remember when PC’s first showed up in offices and everyone thought they were for Moon shots. We got past that didn’t we?)
Social media shouldn’t be viewed as adding new work or steps as much as it’s extending existing activities or, maybe in some cases, replacing them.
Let’s go through this from the beginning.
Your organization has goals and objectives, a business plan. (If you don’t then you have issues other than using social media.)
In Step I of my 8 Step Approach to Developing a Social Media Program, I discuss mapping your goals and objectives to the social media apps appropriate for your business. Here’s your first chance to ensure that your social media program works in tandem with the rest of your organization and to avoid redundancy.
Social media should be part of your existing business processes yet still discrete that it can be measured. (This may be where it gets confusing.)
Next, as you go forward with your social media program you need to measure your results. (See Step VII in my 8 Step Program.)
Before you begin prepare a baseline of your existing metrics. You’ll need this to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts to your original channels.
Make sure that you can trace your metrics back to their source (original versus social media), this will help in your ongoing review of your results.
In future articles, I’ll go into these points in greater detail.
For now, look at your social media efforts and ask yourself if they’re really part of your business or just a passing fad that you can say you’re using.
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.