Running a multi-channel social business program, even for a small company, can be a huge investment in time and resources, as many as 500 per year. And for larger companies, social media teams of 40 to 50 full time employees are not uncommon.
There are many factors to consider before diving into social feet first. Will a multi-channel social media initiative broaden your reach and measurably increase your revenues? How long will it take?
Here are some suggestions for successfully engaging the social customer using social channels:
Consider deploying a methodology called l-P-O-S-T-m, which was partly developed by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book, Groundswell, l-P-O-S-T-m stands for listen, people, objectives, strategy, tools and measure. (I added the "L" and "M").
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Recently a big customs brokerage company was having trouble making a list of “watering holes” because there were only a couple of relevant spots in their industry. Our recommendation was to call 250 of their current customers and 250 of their lapsed customers, and ask them six simple questions:
o Have you ever used the social web to search for information on our industry? (YouTube, blogs, forums, LinkedIn, etc.)
o Where do you go to find information on our industry?
o Where do you find videos to help you learn the tactics of our industry?
o Have you ever created original content on the Internet?
o What kind of content?
o Have you ever posted a review of a business that you’ve worked with?
Dive a little deeper into the People in your strategy. Obviously, you’re going for current and prospective customers, but now, you have some data on where they are and which social tools will best reach them.
Be sure to select the measurements that connect directly to your business objective first. Put a premium on all measurements that can be automatically determined by your social media monitoring system. These types of measures are highly indicative of future revenue and don’t take lots of man-hours to complete.
Adam Metz is the Director of Social Business at The Pedowitz Group, a social demand generation firm. He is also the author of social strategy book There Is No Secret Sauce and the forthcoming book on social business, The Social Customer. To obtain a complimentary copy of There Is No Secret Sauce, email: email@example.com.