In the immortal words of Richard Saul Wurman, creator of TED conferences, we are currently living in the ‘age of also’. Just one of the signs of this age is the pre-occupation with facebook that is rife at the moment amongst brands. However, the ‘age of also’ is at the same time the 'age of also-ran’. With this in mind there are dangers involved with implementing a facebook page. If you’re not careful, it can be an ambush. An ambush into which so many have already walked, leaving a myriad of brands languishing with a few thousand fans and a handful of comments.
Here are 10 things for you to watch out for so you can avoid the ambush
1. Don’t rush
Almost everyone has been in a situation where a client (or their boss, on the client side) has asked them to set up a Facebook page or another social media presence because… well, because it’s there. Also, because their competitors are doing it, not to mention that consumers are spending time there. But rushing into creating a social media presence is the fastest way to enter the ambush, there are a number of questions which need to be asked before you should embark.
2. What are your social use cases?
What exactly do you want to use different social platforms for? Brand awareness, customer service, loyalty, sentiment-shaping, early-warning eavesdropping, NPD? Commerce? Or a mix unique to your brand? There are salient, powerful moments in every brand’s customer ‘journey’ that social media can enhance and amplify. Define them precisely.
3, Consider your user’s journey
Social media does not exist in isolation, you need to consider that consumers are going to be transitioning seamlessly between paid, earned, and owned content. Mapping out these potential paths between social channels and content is as important as understanding what you’re trying to use social media to deliver.
4 . Are you organised in the best way to unlock the social knowledge of your organisation?
The battle is lost before it has even begun if your organisation is not prepared. Silos don’t work here. Use cases are numerous even for medium-sized brands and require multi-disciplinary expertise to feed into and support community managers.
5. Who is your core team, how are they structured?
Brand, marketing, sales, customer service, PR, operations, IT – all are required for a proper social media presence. So, which model is yours? Decentralised? Centralised? Hub-and-spoke? Dandelion? Honeycomb? Different companies, different solutions. But make sure it’s there before you start.
6. Who is your nominated jackhammer operative?
No matter which model you choose, you will need a champion to lead the charge through the proverbial social media ambush. Someone will need to guide the cross-functional team through decisions and connect people across the organisation to help make tough decisions.
7. What is your preferred strategic path?
Are you going to use your company’s vision, mission and objectives and develop a social plan as a launching pad for your social strategy? Or perhaps you are already having conversations with key audiences and feel it’s best to craft the strategy around them, with your vision and mission in mind? You need to think about using the best-suited approach.
8. Do all senior managers understand the changing nature of risk?
Brands can’t fully control social media. It’s not broadcast. They have to let the consumers in. In order for social conversations to be successful there has to be some acceptance of risk. The value of a fan is seriously diminished if they are only staying because of vouchers or being bribed for their ‘likes’. To earn respect sometimes you will have to deal with complaints too. Learn to let go. A little, at least.
9. Where is your content budget going to come from?
You have either increased your overall marketing kitty, or some channels are going to get a trim. Which ones? Do you have a robust case for it? Even if you don’t, the question remains: ‘Where is your content budget going to come from?’. Without it, you may have a page, but not presence.
10. How are you going to track and attribute the effects of social media?
What do you plan do to after the ‘Like’? Something? Nothing? Anything? What is social interaction “worth” to you - How much is it helping your content, your other channels and your business? You need to ensure that you are achieving the goals that you set out to achieve and consider that it is partly about use cases and partly about content.
- Martial arts