Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Plan Your Social Media

Social Media should be a part of your Marketing Plan. Social Media is not to be seen as an  isolated one - off case. You need to be sure on how exactly you will use the Social Media Platforms like Facebook and others. Just the way your Marketing Plan would have a set of tactical steps for action, your Social Media is to have an action plan as well. The most worrying situation is when Business houses set up the Facebook Page and then they do not keep the Page active. This leaves a bad impression for the Brand and Business. Add to this the Page is open for Spammers. 
Social Media Specialist: Working on Social Media requires expertise in many Marketing functions. For instance the person handling your Facebook Page is to be aware of the Brand Personality and how should the Brand Behave on the Social Media Platform. It is critical to understand the Brand Print and Personality. This will then be useful to know what kind of execution you will do on the Social Media Platform. The tone of voice is to be culled out from the Brand Personality. The person also needs to be sensitive to the pulse of the Consumer and other Stake-Holders. They need to understand how best Customer Care is rendered. They need to have the maturity on handling real time Comments.

Negative Comments Crises Management: While we all are certain and anxious that our Customers are happy with our products and services, we also know that there would be some issues which would end up being a deterrent to Customer Satisfaction efforts.  It is important that once you know the Brand Personality you have an agreed Crises Management written mandate. Crises in terms of unforeseen incident with your Business and Brand. Crises also means Negative Comments. The reason being that while you are in an open space of the internet there are Customers who can voice their opinion and suggestions. This not only comes to you but also goes to other Existing Customers and Future Customers as well. Any negative publicity needs to b e understood in a matured manner and not be responded due to anger. Practically all Brands see Negative Comments. It is a good idea to have 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. Your tackling of Negative Comments should be in line with your brand personality.

Monitor And Listening: It is important that you have a well constructed Monitoring System in place. This will keep you on top of the various Comments going out in the World Wide Web. It would be great if you have an alert system to send you an alert whenever your Business / Brand is mentions in the OnLine World. 

Pre-decide On Key Performance Indicators: KPI or Key Performance Indicators are important. Many a times when important personnel from the Brand / Business side are not clear on what happens in the Social Media atmosphere  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 with your Page is important. 

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, script writing, coding 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: One of the main reasons for your Page to come up ahead on Search Engines like is selecting the right KeyWords. 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. 

Page Philosophy: While you have your Brand Philosophy in tact you will also need to decide on what is your Page Differentiation and Philosophy. It is important 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.

Consumer Mind-Set: 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. Add to this there are various reasons as to why a person could have joined your Facebook Page for instance. The reason could be as  simple as they want a response to a specific problem with regards to your product / service. Since they may have not received a good and satisfying reply from your Costume Care persons they have joined your Page to ask you. 

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. If feedback via your Monitoring Method throws up the fact that changes are required then do so. 

Competitor Study: You need to be aware on what others are doing. 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. Also keep in mind that your Posts will be one of the many Posts that come onto your Audiences Feed. So you are not only fighting with Competitors but also other Posts.

Understand The Social Media Site's Functionality and Its Perception As well: It is best to really know the functions of the Social Media Platforms that you take up. To use them optimally is the best way to get resul

Acquisition: It is necessary that you plan how and from where your target audience should flow into your Page. You need to have your Social Media URL on each and every communication - OnLine and OffLine.

Retention: How will you nurture and limit the attrition is also vital. This if done well then your existing Audience will become your Brand Ambassadors. 

I work as Freelance Social Media Network Online Professional. My Business Page is on Facebook at: Do join me.