Adapted from presentations by Shoutlet Sales Director David Favero. Follow him on Twitter at @mdavidfavero.
Adopting a social media management system (SMMS) is an exciting step in the evolution of a social program. Aside from the task of assessing what your company needs and deciding on a platform, there’s the – dare we say – fun step of starting to use it as part of your daily social efforts. Before jumping in, here are ten things to consider when tackling your social plans using an SMMS platform.
Social media management systems provide a robust feature set to help your team execute their ideas and conversations, but like all tools, they require people to get the most value from the features they provide. Altimeter Group found that the average size of the social media team alone is 11 employees. With social media extending into many departments across a company, determining who in the organization will be looped in as a user will help create seamless execution.
Edelman Digital’s David Armano has written about the “three Ps” of social media tools: Platform, People, and Process. Without processes, even the smartest teams and best platforms won’t perform to their full effect. After defining your stakeholders, insuring your team can effectively execute the details of the system’s workflow process is something to hammer out right away. For example, how will you use your SMMS to help local-level social media franchises and agents manage their content? How will you route customer responses to the correct people when their input is required?
Engagement is one of the primary goals of many social media programs. Using a SMMS to optimize for engagement can help your company meet these objectives by using the data you already have. While general studies on social media engagement (i.e. how often to post to Facebook) can offer guidelines, your company’s data alone will give you the most accurate answers and help you craft a better content and publishing strategy – the “publishing sweet spot” that will make the most impact.
Paid, Earned, and Owned
Finding the mix of paid, earned, and owned media that allows your brand to reach your social connections, drive interaction, and meet your goals for social media can be assisted by the right social software. Platforms that integrate promotion into the flow of creation and publishing can make this process seamless.
Any company can work from a social media plan that ignores what customers are saying in the space, but the most effective plans take into account what people are saying. From responding to an individual’s comments, as in the case of a hotel guest who tweets about a faulty air conditioning unit and receives a free upgrade without requesting it, to uncovering themes from hundreds of conversations that shape content strategy, green-light an SMMS that supports the kind of listening your team needs.
How flexible can you be? While your social media pros might not be flexible yogis themselves, your SMMS should be able to bend at a moment’s notice. Social media moves fast; know your range of maneuverability and whether your platform will be able to keep up – especially when it comes to making changes to Facebook apps. Case in point: After the release of the new Facebook Timelines for brands, impressions to Pages’ apps decreased, according to PageLever. Knowing that you can control the costs and changes to your own apps, especially on short notice when findings like these are released, puts your team in control.
At the end of the day, social media should move the needle on business goals. And those business goals are not just different for each company; they often differ among departments in the same organization. Only by looking at your own analytics, often provided through your SMMS, can help you further those goals. Whether that means tracking PTAT (People Talking About This), Foursquare check-ins, or traffic to your website from social sites, knowing the SMMS you have can give you these metrics is essential.
Social data could add years to a CMO’s tenure, writes Paul Dunay in AdAge. Does your SMMS vendor let you take advantage of the data you’re capturing from your social campaigns and engagements? Being able to capture and synthesize information such as user social network interactions, interests, tags placed on conversations in social media, etc. can provide insights to help improve everything from customer service to remarketing efforts.
Just as social media is flowing into silos across the organization, it’s also touching every aspect of great marketing campaigns. Social media plans to support larger-scale marketing efforts are no longer being tacked on at the end of the process – rather social media is being integrated at every step. Having an SMMS platform that can support this integration on the technology side helps your team keep up with this trend. How does your platform integrate with email? Your current CRM? Web analytics? Your e-commerce technology?
Social media teams are well aware of the potential risks of a social media crisis. While a rogue tweet could do serious damage, so could the unintended release of your community’s social data. Glitzy features are great, but mean little when sub-par security protocols create a problem.
Social media management systems are one of many, many tools available to digital teams today – just take a peek at the slide below from LUMA Partners. Once you take the leap and adopt an SMMS, make sure you get the most from it with these 10 guidelines. Still selecting a platform? Download our white paper, Social Media Management Systems: How to Build a Case for Adoption and Choose the Right Platform.