Using this simple blueprint I can build a support plan that is right for your needs, tailored to the most effective way of delivering the Three R’s – Revenue, Referral and Recommendation
1. Establish the Purpose for Redefining Your Communications
What is the one simple statement of commercial need that a refreshed communications plan can answer?
Solution: I can supply you with a briefing guide to define the opportunity and develop a robust strategy that is linked to your commercial goals
2. Identify the Internal Champion
Who has the capability and passion to take this on, assign people and budget and keep it going? In most organisations that person tends to be in marketing but today it’s equally likely that it needs to be in customer service.
Solution: I can write a specification for both the overall champion and a job spec for the day to day tasks that need to be managed
3. Set the Ground Rules
Do you have a policies in place for social media? For example whose job is it to write blogs and deal with responses? Are blog comments the individual’s or the company’s? How do you deal with the fast moving nature of social media – are there multiple layers of approval before any comment is published?
Solution: I can draw up a simple, effective and HR friendly social media policy so everyone knows where they stand
4. What’s Already There?
What conversations involving you and you competitors are already taking place? Who is punching above their weight in these discussions? Are there damaging misconceptions being repeated as fact?
Solution: I can build simple effective search strategies which reveal what’s really going on across a wide range of social media and present it to you in dashboard form showing how important each blog, forum and Tweet is to your business.
5. Market Your Social Media Presence
How are you going to make people aware of the content of your blog, Twitterfeed and Facebook page? How will a social media presence help drive awareness and response for your other marketing campaigns?
Solution: Use the data acquired through social media search to engage directly with consumers who have shown an interest in your category and drive them towards your campaigns through a mixture of incentive and relevance to their need.
6. Develop a Messaging Hierarchy
Different social media channels are better suited to certain types of communication – for example dividing between outbound campaigns and inbound customer service and word of mouth. You need to have a clear hierarchy of message for each channel
Solution: Use a methodology – Total Message View to distil the purpose/message/ outcome for each channel on one sheet.
7. You’ve Got Followers, Now What?
Having engaged with consumers and begun a conversation, what next? How will you manage the ebbs and flows of volume (and therefore cost) in the conversations?
Solution: Design a flexible resourcing plan based on cost per conversation or engagement so that you can manage the workflows at low risk and with real transparency on costs.
8. What Can You See and Act on?
The cloud, conversations, engagement – these are all terms open to interpretation and businesses need information on which to base decisions. This should not be a barrier to engaging in social media in a planned way
Solution: Dashboard reports give you instant measurability on what’s happening and allow everyone to make changes in message and strategy based on sound information.
9. Return on Investment
Social media is even harder to measure than PR, right? Well there’s certainly no silver bullet. If you have asked the right questions at step 1 – about which marketing channels make the most money and what stands in your way, then measurability is a lot more straightforward.
Solution: Bake-in the metrics at the outset based on a grown-up conversation about your business plan and existing measures of marketing effectiveness.
Every day you are not exploiting the opportunity and managing the risks of social media, one of your competitors could be taking the lead.
Here are some more interesting and authoritative reference sources to expand the theme, this time looking at the challenges and opportunities for social media in protecting reputation.
Each link opens in a new window.
The latest brand to come under fire in social media is Paperchase, who have been accused of plagiarising the work of an illustrator. She blogged about her attempts to contact Paperchase and this was re-tweeted by an author with 1.5 million followers. As well as spreading the word, consumers have been commenting directly on the plagiarism claims on Amazon.
There has been a fair amount of analysis of the problems Eurostar faced at the turn of the year. This summary is a balanced digest of what happened and what happened next.