- June 22, 2014
- Posted by: Con P. Sweeney
- Category: Social Media
To those of you who have been following my blog series, Developing a Social Media Program if this is your first visit to my blog then you may wish to go back to the beginning before starting this post but as each article is designed to be standalone, feel free to stay here! (The earlier posts will still be out there!)
In this post, I’ll define the eighth and final component of developing a social media program, Continual Improvement. This is the eighth of the eight posts each of which I’ve blogged about separately.
By now, you have a fully functioning social media program in place. Goals and objectives have been determined and measures identified to ensure success. Social media apps including a blog have been identified, integrated, and normalized. A community of followers is being developed. Content is being created and published. A program to measure results has been discussed.
All that remains is to monitor progress and refine the social media program as we go forward.
Social media is not a static medium. It’s dynamic and responds to changes in the economic environment surrounding it and to changes within the organization that owns it. If nothing else the social media apps change themselves often without notice or much detail. (A pet peeve of mine with some vendors who will remain nameless for now.)
The first task is to establish a baseline for the social media program as it starts. These are raw data and they may be ugly. Don’t worry about that. You need to start somewhere. Think of this as an opportunity.
Next, review the metrics regularly. Too frequently may distract from actually running the business. Not frequently enough and opportunities may be missed or, worse, damage done to your brand. Institute a dashboard with the key measures.
Third, take corrective action as appropriate. Good metrics that are not acted upon do no one any good.
Fourth, use a methodology such as Six Sigma to see where quality can be improved and defects (i.e., missed metrics) corrected. (Don’t be frightened by this, there are a number of tools here which can be easily used.)
Fifth, don’t forget to revise your metrics as goals and objectives change especially as part of the annual business planning process. (You do have one, correct?) It’s not unheard of for an initally well exeucted spcial media program to become disconnected from its organizations goals and objectives taking on a life of its own.
Sixth, don’t become complacent. If goals and objectives are being met regularly then devise stretch goals to go past the original targets.
Finally, remember what gets measured gets reviewed. A well known but unstudied problem helps no one. Experiment with metrics to see what impact there can be on results. Don’t be afraid to fail.
At the conclusion of this blog series, you now have a normalized and integrated social media program. You can create content and publish regularly. Finally, you have put in place mechanisms to measure your successes and the value they produce.
You now know what you want to do and how you’re going to do it.
But, a social media program is not a static event, a fire and forget activity. Continually go back and review your results.
This is the end of my series on developing and running a social media program.
I hope you’ve found it helpful. I’ll be blogging regularly on topics in social media and I hope you’ll become a regular reader! Please share my links with your friends and colleagues.
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look froward 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.