• how your objective can be achieved (strategy)
• how your company can benefit from applying a specific strategy (what it means to your company)
• technical, staffing and training needs (requirements)
• metrics to measure/track for success
To help marketers develop their own social media plan in a systematic way, I developed a framework addressing all of the above components. The framework is based on the five social media objectives outlined in Groundswell, a must-read book written by Charlene Lei and Josh Bernoff: listening, talking, supporting, energizing and embracing. These are the most common objectives that are pursued by most of the companies today.
Over the past few months, I have covered these five media objectives in three blog posts. In this post, I have brought them all together as an executive summary and for easy access. I suggest that you go through all of them first before you start mapping out your plan so that you have a clear picture of what it takes to accomplish each objective and how you need to prioritize them.
1) Listening: Listening is the first step and the most important one in building your social media strategy. It can support various business units at your organization from corporate communications to customer support/service and product development. Data you collect through listening is a gold mine and that data will help inform your overarching social media plan. In addition to the components of a plan that I mentioned above (strategy, requirements, benefits and metrics), the post outlines an approach to keywords for monitoring/listening as well as frequency of reporting.
2) Talking: In order to create a dialogue with your customers and to spread the message about your product/service through social media, you need to start “talking” while listening. It is critical that you first understand where your customers talk about your products/services and how they participate in social media activities. This post talks about how you can compile that type of data and three steps involved in building your “talking” strategy.
3) Supporting, energizing and embracing: Pursing energizing, supporting or embracing as an objective can make a powerful impact on your company. However, planning and executing those goals are usually more challenging than that of “listening” and “talking”. Read this post to learn about what each objective means and channels that you can leverage to pursue those goals.
I also developed the below chart to give you a high level view of channels that can be explored to achieve any of the objectives. Note that listening is placed separately on the side from all the other objectives since it should be the first step in developing your strategy and the knowledge and the insight you gained from listening will feed into and inform your other goals.
|Social media objectives identified by Groundswell|
I welcome your feedback and would love to hear if you’ve used the framework described on this blog to build your overarching social media plan or to execute one or two objectives. What were some of the obstacles you ran into? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog.