You are not alone if you feel that your social media program has gotten a bit out of control. Do you wish you had a social media policy? Have no idea what is being published when by your social media team? Have nightmares about a PR crisis or waking up to see a picture of you passed out at your desk on the cover of your Facebook timeline as a joke by your social media team?
If these sound familiar, don’t freak out on me. It’s okay. The first step is acknowledging them which this post will help you do. The second step is taming that wild social media beast and learning how to get a grip on your social media once and for all.
The #1 question you need to answer to get a grip on your social media is WHY!
Social media is nothing more than a tool, a medium to help you connect with the right people and businesses to enhance your life and grow your business. It’s similar to networking but with a lot of tools that come along with it.
Learning the tools is only a small part of what’s required to see results using social media. Many people double spin on learning the tools but never learn the art of social media which includes engagement, inspiration and connecting, truly connecting with their audiences and communities.
You must start on the inside of your organization and work out. You must at the same time start on the outside of your organization and work in. The goal is to understand yourself as well as you do your clients and communities. You must know what they need and know exactly how you can provide value, relevancy and help them solve problems.
To see real results such as enhanced brand equity and awareness, increased leads, growth in web traffic, growth in email subscribers, increased revenue or whatever your business goals and objectives are, you must obviously know what goals and objectives you want to achieve.
Developing a social media program with no plan, goals or objectives is like expecting to get on a plane for vacation with no plane ticket, itenerary or idea where you are going when you get to the destination.
You need more than a set of random acts of social media and marketing (RAMs). RAMs will eat every last morsel of return on investment you have left. The best way to identify a RAM is that it is not funded, resourced, in the plan or have metrics to measure success.
For purposes of this post I take a light hearted approach to understanding signs of needing to get a grip on social. Often times doing something or being something seems unreachable. However, if you can look at certain behaviors and understand that they in themselves may be stopping you from achieving desired results then it’s a good step forward.
1. You are already wondering how many of these signs are going to hit home for you. Your blood pressure may have even soared few points.
2. You have already printed or planned to share this post with your CEO, partner or boss.
3. You wish this post had more on how to “get a grip on social media” instead of telling you what you already know is true.
4. Your social media plan fits into one of the below categories:
a. Was implemented with a template you found via a Google search by an unknown author.
b. Was implemented with a template that came in a direct mail piece you received in the mail last year.
c. You developed the social media plan on a two hour plane ride to visit your grandma in Kentucky.
d. Your social media intern developed the plan based on the template their communications professor gave them in community college.
e. You do not have a social media plan.
f. You are thinking, “Why would I need a social media plan, I don’t have a business or marketing plan. We don’t do “plans” around this place.”
g. All of the above
5. Your CEO or Owner of your organization does not know you have invested any resources in social media. If they find out they will likely kill the project and fire you.
6. If I gave you 60 seconds to name every social media network you are on, it would either take you 2 seconds because there are none or you couldn’t answer because you don’t know.
7. If there was an emergency, PR crisis or urgent need of any sort you have no idea where to find the logon and passwords to your social media accounts.
8. Social media policy? What’s that? We have good employees, we don’t need policies!
9. Your social media policy reads “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff.”
10. You receive 10 employee resignations the day the social media policy is distributed for employee signatures.
11. The new hired marketing manager’s face turned bright red when she was asked to engage with real clients and partners on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
12. Your social media team consists of you and your social media intern who has no business experience.
13. Your social media consultant consists of your dog, your husband and your 7 yr old son who knows more about Foursquare and Twitter than your CEO.
14. Your 7 yr old son knows better than your social media team and CEO that it is stupid to buy Twitter followers and Facebook likes if you want real business results.
15.You have been executing social media for a year but couldn’t articulate your objectives and results even if it came with a free “get out of no Likes Facebook jail card” .
16. Random acts of social media and marketing is your way of life. Your boss has earned the “RAMs RAWK” t-shirt.
17. Nobody within your organization has been properly trained on how to use social media for real results.
18. When I talk about “integrating social media into the DNA of your business” it give you nightmares.
19. When I write “you need goals and objectives” in every post I publish you want to throw a tomato or other rotten vegetable at me. However, you know I am right and that is why you still read my posts.
20. Your social media team and other departments still work as silos. They spend half of their time competing, debating and arguing on the best way to implement social. Hello…. this is where a plan will help get everyone marching to the beat of the same drummer!
21. Your social media priorities are driven by your CEO or Board of Directors and whatever class they most recently attended. If it was a Pinterest class then Pinterest becomes the priority of the week or month.
22. You are the only one who executes social media at your organization. Primary reason is you have no plan and it’s easier just to do yourself.
23. Your CEO is counting on social media to save his or her broken business.
24. Your CEO told you to stop wasting time on investing in the people in your social network communities. His / her last directive to you was “it’s all about the bottom line, get out there and get some likes.”
25. Your management team decided to put social media on hold for three more months. They think it’s okay to quit posting to Facebook for a few months and that you can always come back to it later when you have some good coupon offers in the New Year.
26. You have no content plan. You post content and status updates to your business social media platforms based on your own personal mood.
27. You spent thousands of dollars on a website with social media buttons. You thought you were getting a social website. You didn’t realize it took more than a Twitter button to see results with social media.
28. The web developer or social media agency that built your website is now out of business.
29. You didn’t worry about a plan when you purchased your website as the same developer or agency told you plans were a waste of time and you just needed to “be social.”
30. Your top goal for social media this year is to “be social.”
31. You have never thought about the term relevency in regard to social media. You think “hmmmm…. posting relevant information might actually get people to read it and become interested in my business.” Yes, keep up with those thoughts… we are making progress!
32. You have no idea what it means to do research on where your target markets are online or how they are engaging on the social platforms.
33. Sentiment? Sounds cool but you don’t know what it means or how to measure it when it comes to social media.
34. Social listening? Your idea of social listening is heading to the nearest bar and gossiping with other “social media gurus” about your assumed competition. Unfortunately for you your competition has done their homework and already know what sentiment, ROI, social business integration means and how to both implement and measure it.
35. Social business? Isn’t that a business that has a website with those Twitter and Facebook buttons?
36. You know more about what your competitors are doing on Twitter and Facebook than you do about your own customers.
37. You can’t remember the last time you emailed your subscribers with anything other than spam trying to sell them something.
38. ROI = Return on Investment. You sure would like some when it comes to social media marketing.
39. Your social media efforts are not funded. You have resorted to an online yard sale and an employee kitty to obtain enough funds for a new intern and design for the new Facebook page.
40. You have nightmares about your website and the multiple teams working on content. You know your brand is being dilluted and you have no idea how to fix it. Reminder, this is where the plan comes in useful again. Go ahead… throw a tomato at me, I’m use to it.
41. You are confident you are losing touch with your audiences including clients, colleagues, partners and associations.
42. You really do want to stop begging for Facebook likes.
43. You are not dealing with any of these issues head on. You are ignoring them and up to now was hoping, wishing and praying they would go away.
44. This post makes you want to finally once and for all “Get a Grip on Social Media!”
45. You are going to read this list again and count the number that hit home for you. Don’t do it. Your time is better spent working on your plan inclusive of business goals and objectives. Get to work my friend! If you need help, call me.
So how did you do? How many hit home for you? What are your greatest challenges in integrating social media into the DNA of your business? Do you know how to set goals, develop and implement a plan, measure results? Do you feel like you are at a loss for how to move your business forward? If you have been thru this phase and you now have a grip on social media, how did you do it? What tips can you offer others? We are all better as a team helping one another than we are working as individual silos!
You are not alone. Social media is a game changer. It challenges our thinking, our communication and way of life and business. It removes walls of privacy, increases transparency. It’s more than business, it’s personal. So when we think of a social business we have to take the people into consideration. We can’t ignore the people. We must look at people, processes, bottlenecks, risk areas and more. We must set priorities for integration. It’s about so much more than a Facebook page.
This is part of the series titled “How to Get a Grip on Social Media.” The series will include a free newsletter, webinars, whitepapers, tips and best practices to get a handle on your business and social media.