When your company decides to step up and create a social media program there are a lot of things to consider. You need to decide what the look of your Facebook page is going to be. You need to decide what content you are going to place on your page. You need to consider who is going to be the one to do the updates. You need to determine if you need to take a stance on a particular issue, who your fans and friends are, and when and how to announce your efforts to clients and vendors.
Whew! That is a lot of stuff to consider before you even sign up or put a word out into the social media stratosphere. Any good social media program, however, does its homework before setting up that profile page on Facebook. Or, before anyone sends out a Tweet that is connected to the company name, a plan needs to be in place. The plans should then be analyzed, discussed and revisited.
What is going to determine your success, though? Is it the number of “Likes” your page has? Is it the number of followers on Twitter? Those are good places to start, but the real reason you jumped into the social media pool was to increase the overall “chatter” about your company, right? You want that thing you posted to become a viral sensation that everyone passes around from one person to the next, correct? Hopefully, whatever it is being passed around, is a good thing and not something embarrassing.
This is the step that many companies forget. They forget to measure. There is still the mind set that social media is some kind of passing fad and, while it would be good to get something out there, it really isn’t going to do much good. So, why bother? It’s not like measuring sales figures or revenues, is it?
This article from Ragan Communications has some great first steps and things to consider: http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/42690.aspx
Being able to measure your success on social media is particularly true if your management is still dubious about the benefits of social media. Remember, there are still plenty of people without Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts who think that the best way to do anything is face-to-face. They may have points on that, as well, but you know better because you have studied and you know what social media can do. Now, how do you prove it?
There are some easy and basic first steps. Signing up for Google Alerts is a free way, but there are some serious flaws in that system. Google Analytics are also free and should be part of every web page, blog and online endeavor you are undertaking. However, from that point forward things get more complicated, detailed and potentially expensive.
As always, you should remember that you don’t have to navigate all of this alone. There are people who can help you, advise you and monitor your progress for you. They are experts in the field of extending your message across the social media spectrum. It never hurts when you need to ask for help.