Before you get lost in the weeds of tactical execution, it’s important to develop a strategic framework to guide decision-making, prioritization, and resource allocation. Often, the best place to begin is by asking the right questions. Here are five important questions to help you get started.
What Is Being Said and Who Is Saying It?
The first step for most organizations is to be able to monitor what conversations are taking place on Facebook. What’s being said? Is it positive or negative? How is the frequency and sentiment changing over time? What are people asking for (could signify an unmet need that needs to be addressed)?
Who Said It and Are They Allowed?
Increasingly, monitoring is not enough. Federal law and industry regulation are being extended into the realm of social media. To avoid lawsuits and hefty fines, companies need to start taking corporate governance and compliance seriously.
What Should Be Said?
The mantra that “content is king” has never held more true than it does on Facebook. Relevant, timely, interesting content is how companies generate a following, captivate fans, and influence audiences in the Facebook Era.
Distributed organizations face an added challenge when it comes to coordinating and empowering remote employees and agents who sell or otherwise represent the brand on Facebook. Typically individuals in these customer-facing roles tend to be more sales people than marketers, so internal systems must be put in place to coordinate the periodic dissemination of marketing messages to the field.
What’s the ROI?
What is the value of a Facebook fan? Which initiatives are driving results, and which ones are less effective? Which of my people are demonstrating best practices? Early on, measurement will focus on fan count, number of likes/posts/comments, and other first-order metrics. As Facebook programs mature, companies will need to tie social media engagement back to business outcomes such as sales, customer retention, and referrals (requiring integration to ERP
Whom Should I Work with and How Much Do I Spend?
There are thousands of social media vendors out there, and new ones are cropping up every day. Whom should you work with? It depends on the business objectives you are trying to address and how much you’d like to outsource.
Costs can range anywhere from $1,000 for a one-off project to a recurring monthly fee for services or technology retained. If you either have high fan interaction volume or multiple social presences being managed in your organization, it’s almost guaranteed that you will need some sort of technology to help coordinate all the moving
parts and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Table 1 illustrates the landscape of top social media vendors that can help up your team’s social media velocity and productivity.