With the busy workplace of today, tasking your employees with the responsibilities of maintaining your company's social media channel, could very well prove to be the straw that will break the camel's back.
Short deadlines, shorter yet budgets, and too many ideas that can't be converted into projects create a lot of frustration.
Yet by having a presence in social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs helps companies stay relevant and in front of their audience. Companies realize that SEO is of utmost importance, and having multiple channels utilizing keywords and recurring themes and topics helps put an organization out there side by side with their audience's hot buttons.
Companies have tons of material to work from when they stop and think about it, even when respecting proprietary and non disclosure concerns. There's always more ideas than money, and social media provides an outlet to explore and experiment.
Environmental and competition scans can help populate topic lists for social media postings and discussion starters.
These topic lists help cover gaps in information that aren't covered by typical dissemination channels companies use--such as periodicals, newsletters, press conferences, and other traditional dissemination channels.
It's important to stay relevant and provide interesting, actionable content but what are the ingredients that go into making your organization's social media effort successful?
Cross-disciplinary efforts usually prove more productive because of the resourcefulness created by pooling together a variety of perspectives.
Organizations can typically find that assigning social media management to a taskforce helps achieve their goals faster than when weighing down a sole employee with multiple channels.
The taskforce's various perspectives help with outside-the-box thinking, brainstorming, and developing a consistent dissemination plan across channels.
A taskforce also allows you to hit a greater number of channels while maintaining the enthusiasm and energy required to keep the messages fresh in each.
Master The Game
Don't just pursue social media because your competitor or everyone else is doing it.
Initiating the interactivity portion of social media requires personality and the ability to engage your audience into a conversation--with a little, very subtle push.
Don't just shove information out there, be useful and engaging. Be open to collaboration and fresh ideas. Many traditional media channels (such as newspapers) have no issue with interacting with their competitors online, retweeting and commenting on each other's useful information. It's a collaborative and open environment, after all.
But with all this touchy-feely interactiveness, how can a company stay focused on the bottom line results?
Develop clear objectives, guidelines, and metrics for your social media taskforce--but better yet, have them participate in creating those guidelines so that they have buy-in from the word go:
- There should be tangible and trackable results from this resource investment
- Make sure they have a vested interest in keeping reports and spreadsheets for the metrics to be able to benchmark progress
- Help create the framework necessary for employees to be empowered and productive.
- Don't just delegate and forget it, make sure the taskforce or employee responsible is sold on the idea this is a valuable effort and expenditure of their time. You need excitement and energy behind developing a workable strategy and implementing it.
- Make sure that top level support trickles down in a variety of ways: recognizing the team as the effort begins, helping your taskforce stay connected to information sources, allowing them access to events that are worth a peek into, and having top level program and project managers with news worth sharing.
Tracking topics and posts helps prevent repetition and maps out white space that needs coverage.
When the group first gets off the ground, they may need to be fed some suggestions and topics to get them started.
Make sure that there are particular role assignments for taskforce participants so that they can become experts in their particular areas--and the go-to person when a particular channel needs to be tapped into.
As the learning curve starts to wind down, and the taskforce gains esteem and comfort levels, you'll increase in interest and enthusiasm within the organization.
Top management is best served by staying connected to the effort.
Scan the team's work and comment on it! Many CEOs have Twitter accounts and by showing their presence stimulate both the employees and audience. Praise and appreciation is hard to come by these days, it helps motivate and...it's cheaper than a raise.
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