In my digital media class, we have been working through the often theoretical foundation of building a social media strategy. Starting with Cluetrain Manifesto, which changed several student’s perspective of the power and use of social media by empowering consumers and having companies enter the conversation. Written in 1999, this book is certainly forward looking to the way the social web should work.
Then we built on that foundation with Here Comes Everybody. Written nearly ten years after Cluetrain, this book offers a retrospective as to how different technologies have been executed. One of my students did a nice job of pulling out a few of the nuggets.
Now, we are reading Groundswell, which for good reason, is part of the canon of digital marketing strategy. Groundswell is definitely one of my favorite reads, and while it is dated by about 5 years, the focus and approach is still as relevant as it was in 2007-08.
For the major project this semester, the class has divided into 5 groups that are tackling the social media strategy for an event venues, a restaurant, a church, a non-profit and higher education. Drawing from the material above, here is one approach to crafting the digital strategy.
Here are a few considerations when crafting the social media strategy document:
- Being concise is key. A 40 page strategy document is one that will go unread.
- Start small. Perhaps this strategy is only for one campaign to test the water.
- What are the consequences?
- Appoint an (important) ambassador.
- Use great care in selecting your technology.
- Build something new only when absolutely necessary.
01. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The executive summary should cover all of the bases who, what, where, when and why in no more than 2-3 paragraphs.
02. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY AND EXECUTION
Groundswell does a nice job of creating the foundation of the social strategy under thisÂ mnemonic: POST.Â
02.01 -People – Focus on People Not Numbers
- Who is the “real world” focus audience?
- What are their technographic profiles?
- Who are your influencers? (think minnows, not whales)
- Who is going to manage for the organization?
02.02 – Objectives – Identify the Call to Action
While this is not a complete list, it covers many of the objectives common to digital strategy.Â
- Listening – (research)
- Talking – (marketing)
- Energizing – (sales)
- Supporting – (customer service)
- Embracing – (development)
- Reacting – (crisis / PR)
02.03 – Strategy – (and how does it fit within the overall business strategy)
How are you going to get from point A (where you are now) to point B (the Objectives). If you think about this in transportation terms, are we going to drive, fly or go by train? The tactics for how to execute the strategy should also be explained for each strategy.
02.04 Technology / Networks
This is by no means a complete list. Add to it as your strategy requires. Sometimes you need to cross the river but there’s no bridge, so you have to build one. If there isn’t a technology available to accomplish your strategy, you may have to consider building the application yourself. This can be both cost and time consuming, so proceed with extreme caution. Â
Putting Section 2 together — I really like how Neicole put all of this together into a table. Here is an example of how that would tie the O S T together.
Objective #1: Talking – raise awareness in group of supporters| Objective #2: Energizing the base to donate $$
Strategy #1: Use a website, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter to communicate my message to people | Strategy #2 Offer to shave my head or grow out my hair in return for donation dollars
1. Create a WordPress Website~~
2. Gather content~~
3. Develop the Call To Action~~
4. Create Video~~
5. Share with Community~~
1. Create Form/Payment Integration through Wufoo~~
2. Build integration into the website~~
3. Build an email campaign to send to friends~~
4. Share the word on Social Media~~
03. – Timeline
When are you going to implement the tactics of your strategy? When will you expect results from these efforts?Â
- Who is playing in the same sandbox?
- Are they using a social media strategy?
- What are they doing, and are they doing it well?
- How are we different?
- What can we learn from them?
05. Cost Analysis
- What are the technology fees to implement this strategy?
- How much time will it take to implement the strategy?
- What outside resources will be needed to execute the plan?
- How much time will it take to educate the team charged with the implementation?
- What are the opportunity costs?
- Will the execution of this plan realize any savings in the organization?
- How much income do we expect to raise through this plan?
- What are the expected financial results?
06. Metrics – Connect to Objectives
- What tools are you going to measure the results?
- Google Analytics
- Facebook likes
- Twitter followers
- Blog subscribers
- Email subscribers
- What specific results are you going to measure? (How do the results compare to the goals/objectives?)
- Number of “leads” (what was the cost per lead?)
- Number of transactions (how much was the cost per transaction?)
- Number of customer issue resolutions (how much was the cost per resolution?)
- Number of customer engagements
As the social media strategy is implemented, the results should be analyzed in comparison to the goals. If the results do not meet the goals, then identify the changes or tweaks that need to be made and make the necessary changes. Rinse and repeat until it is meeting orÂ exceedingÂ the goals.
This post is a work in progress and will be updated from time to time. How would you change it?