A 12-Step Checklist to Jumpstart Your Social Program

  |  September 15, 2011   |  Comments

Ways to engage through useful content.

jumpstartsocialmediaI have had a phenomenal opportunity to run workshops across the globe on social media integration. The best thing about these events has been the interaction with great brands and even greater people. I have leveraged these conversations to create a quick-start guide including a simple checklist to help you create or "fine-tune" your social strategy.

This checklist has been broken into three parts. In part one, I focus on aligning our objectives with the people that we pursue. In part two, I offer ideas on engaging through useful content. Part three is about processes, procedures, and of course, measures of success.

Aligning Goals With People

    1. Who is your consumer? Think about the profiles of the consumers that you seek. Look at what appeals to these consumers and build a few personas based on their assumed likes and dislikes. A better way to do this is to align some of your key products and services with these consumer personas.
    2. Can you segment your consumers correctly? You cannot speak with the same message to all your consumers. Ideally, you are seeking a 1:1 dialogue with each consumer. While you try to reach that stage, think about aligning your consumers into segments. I suggest two approaches to segmentation. The first approach is based on the consumers' interaction with your brand. The second approach is to group your consumers into prospects, customers, and past-customers. Now overlay the approaches to be more precise.
    3. What do you do as a business? List the objectives of your business. Do not worry about social media at this stage. Focus primarily on your brand and what your brand is trying to accomplish.
    4. What do you want to do with social media? Look at your business objectives and see what you can do via social media. The idea here is to align your core business proposition along your social media channels, so you can use social media to help you achieve those core business objectives.

You should now have consumer groups aligned with your business objectives and matched up with what you are trying to achieve via social media.

Drive Consumer Engagement Through Content

    1. What content would you use? Since you have grouped your consumers into segments, you already have an idea of the perceived interests of these segments. Now think about the type of content that would work to engage with each segment.
    2. What social channels should you use? Think about the right social media channels for your brand. Focus on a few, aligning these channels to your consumers, your business, and the type of content that you are going to serve.
    3. How will you share your content with consumers and over what channels? Align the content with your consumers and think about ways to attract your consumers to look at your content. Intrigue and incentive tend to attract people. While incentives can fade away, intrigue is more sustainable. Also, think about creating interactive conversations across all your channels.
    4. Think about interaction opportunities. Think about reasons why the consumer will interact with your brand and how you can use social media to engage with that consumer. Examples include satisfaction surveys, queries about products or services, transactional receipts, and testimonials.

Avoid asking your consumers to simply follow you or join you on social media. Come up with compelling reasons that will engage your consumer.

Minding Your P's, Q's, and R's

  1. Do you have a policy for your social media? Remember, you need an internal policy for your employees, an external policy so your consumers know what to expect, and a procedure document that states who does what on your social media channels.
  2. Create a campaign calendar. You need to create a plan to engage your consumers by coming up with a draft of what you are going to be doing on your social channels. Having a plan keeps you on course for engagement.
  3. Establish success metrics. The three ways to measure success on social channels include engagement, cost savings, and an increase in "attributable" revenue. Put simple metrics together to gauge your success.
  4. Create social ownership. Think about whom in your organization should run social media and assign responsibility.

The "R" is very important – you have to be able to report on your measures of success as this will help you track your goals.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.

He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.

Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.

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