Social media for sales and operations cannot begin to be explained in one blog post. Nor is it covered in one week of my intro to Social Media Marketing course. The tools, concepts, and principles we discuss are revisited in the subsequent social media courses and much of the rationale stems from traditional marketing practices. As I have stated in my previous posts, social media is a tool meant to integrate into an organizations marketing strategy and overall operations, it is not meant to stand-alone.
A social media marketing plan will directly affect an organizations people and processes at various levels of involvement. To help you identify possible areas of weaknesses or even strengths, ask yourself:
1. Do you have the resources to invest in an infrastructure for social?
2. Can you commit to a social media marketing strategy for the long-term?
3. Are roles and expectations clearly identified and documented?
4. What new roles will be created?
5. Do you have the resources to acquire the right people for new roles?
6. Will roles be cross-functional?
7. What experience level is needed for each role?
8. Do you have staff to address acquiring data, analyzing data, and getting data to the right people?
9. Are you prepared to address governance issues?
10. How will you determine what can be shared via Social platforms on (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs etc.)?
11. Have you identified the target audience; do they use social media; what various social channels appropriate for your organization to engage with consumers on (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare etc.)?
12. Will social be outside of marketing or within marketing?
13. Who specifically will have access to corporate team accounts?
14. Who will post information, and what kind of information will be posted?
15. Will there be someone to ensure correct responses are given?
16. Will sales and support have access to social accounts? What about PR?
17. Will you create or curate content? Who will create or curate the content?
18. Have you created and documented social media guidelines for employees?
19. Have you set clear, measurable, and documented goals for your social endeavor?
20. Are you ready for transparency?
By addressing these questions, you can better prepare for what is to come. The fastest and most direct route to a social media failure is lack of goal setting and lack of planning. A social media marketing strategy must include (and is certainly not limited to) conversation with consumers, providing relevant and timely content, and it revolves around meaningful relationships.
I hope these questions prompted you to think about the varying degrees of preparation it takes to add or modify roles and processes for social media marketing.