Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parameters To Plan Your Social Media Strategy

What are the parameters that one is to consider while working on Social Media? What is it that can make it tick and the lack of it can make it a resounding failure. We all commence the Social Media project with a bang. All concerned persons are very enthusiastic and very keen as well. Many would start to enroll and read up on any help Page found online. No one doubts the enthusiasm and the passion with which it all is started.

However somewhere you will notice that the steam is going out. Suddenly not many who showed interest initially are no more interested. Add to this the intensity of the passion and enthusiasm diminishes. This is inevitable given that other priorities take over and somehow interest and involvement levels decreases.  

What perhaps requires to be done is that you may need to have a check list that enables you to keep your understanding and your team's processes in place.

A quick check on parameters would be as follows. I have given hyperlink to various aspects that need a little more explanation so that you can read each criteria in its complete perspective.

  • On-Page SEO: It may not be essential to know technology in order to do SEO. Yes, there are specialists who can do off - page SEO which is done via programming and in the edit HTML formats. However with limited knowledge of programming you need to be aware of where all you can work to ensure that the various search engines throw up your page when your target audience do their search.
  • Key-Word:This is critical. Before you post your first comment / information you need to decide and be sure of what are your Key-Words. This would emit from doing Key-Word research of your category, competitors and what your Brand is to personify and identify with. Add to this be realistic and think in terms of your target audience. What would they type in search engines is essential that you know.
  • Brand Personality: It is important that your written words and any behavior stays inline with the Brand Personality. Same goes for any audio and video that you may upload.
  • Page Philosophy: While you have your Brand Philosophy in tact you also need to decide on what is your Page Differentiation and Philosophy. It is essential that you pre-decide on the reason as to 'why should people join your Page'. Is it that they will receive exclusive offers, or a launch preview etc.
  • Escalation Matrix: When you receive a query from your customer who is connected on your Page / Blog / Site what will you do if that query was not thought of previously. You need to have a person in the Company at your Client's side who can answer you almost 24/7.
  • Consumer Mind-Set: This is crucial. You need to understand what your customer thinks about your category, brand, competitors, online as a medium and the particular Social Media Site that you plan to establish your brand / business in. For instance there are customers in certain part of the world who will not use Social Media to talk with certain categories where they feel it is best to meet the relationship officer. So you need to understand your customer's usage and attitude towards the Social Media Sites.
  • Tackling Negative Comments: This is inevitable. At sometime or the other someone will post a very critical remark and so on. Your tackling of negative comments should be in line with your brand personality.
  • Competitor Study: Both, Direct Competitor and Notional as well. Who is your competitor, what is their offline and online activity is all important to be well understood. And yes what are they doing on Social Media Sites is crucial for you to keep updated with constantly.
  • Understand The Social Media Site's Functionality and Its Perception As well: It is best to really know the functions of the Social Media Sites that you take up. To use them optimally is the best way to get results.
  • Have A Diary Of Content Posts - Keep To Consistency And Freshness: Post information that is relevant to your customers. Post information that is topical. Inform and befriend your customer. Befriending does not mean that you cross the limits though.
  • Monitoring / Listening and Measuring Tools: There are lots of free and paid tools that you will get online. Use these regularly. Listening and then taking part in conversations is the key. Ofcourse this does not mean that you step into a conversation and become an irritant.
  • Adaptability To Change As Per Feed-Back From The Measuring And Monitoring Tools: Rules and plans should be pre-decided, however they are not to be rigid. You need to change your plan of action if required.
  • Pre-decide On Key Performance Indicators: This is important. It is sometimes the main cause of Social Media endeavors being left half way, people loosing interest, the steam goes out and the top management puts these efforts in the side line. Have your performance indicators well laid out. Let them be realistic and let them be such that they contribute towards the marketing and business goals. For instance having lots of followers and fans should not be a blind criteria, how much are they engaging and involving is important.
  • Add To This It Is Crucial That The Person Working On The Social Media Sites Has Relevant Knowledge Of Direct Marketing Along With Social Media Knowledge
  • A Delegated Leader Who Will Be Responsible And Accountable And Has Authority
  • Acquisition: It is necessary that you plan how and from where your target audience should flow into your Page.
  • Retention: How will you nurture and limit the attrition is also vital.
Social Media is like an investment. What you do today leaves footprints on the internet that enables you to draw positive fruits later on. Ofcourse if you do not use it wisely then you could suffer as well. Social Media requires focus, planning, adherence to plan, continuity, consistency and freshness.

When we do all of the above we can then be ready to start our venture into Social Media. Any other parameters that come to your mind share them here.

My Business Page is on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pervarakapadia