The most important first step leading to an immediate assessment of long term online strategy, image building, corporate exposure and policy development is the social media audit.
Now that Facebook has passed the one billion user mark and consumes over 16% of its users online time, this seven year old company and its counterparts need to be integrated into the corporate media strategy at all companies, regardless of their B2B or B2C stakeholder relations. It’s critical to assess the temperature of social media in your industry, and the impact its having your products and services, should you choose to capitalize and acquire new customer bases or are interested in leveraging social media to inspire loyalty and grow customer relationships.
I’ve outlined some universally accepted steps that allow for the development of a social media strategy:
1. Look at your internal functions and see the business areas that could benefit from social media engagement for sales (LinkedIn), brand awareness (Twitter), CRM (Facebook) and R&D
2. Delve deep and investigate how digital, mobile and social media will support your short and long term goals of each identified business function
3. Formulate, test and finalize the mechanics with which stakeholders are engaged on the chosen platform and the agenda
4. Pick qualitative ROI metrics for success, improvement & optimization and see how they will be measured
5. Conduct on audit on the outcomes, key learning’s and add new media for the next term
Bearing in mind that most of your employees are using social media, it is paramount to conduct regular social media audits, as they offer a company a clear understanding of those social media activities, sanctioned or not. If your company has a social media usage policy for internal stakeholders, then an audit can be used to assess compliance with that policy and assess the effectiveness of their execution and recommend ways to improve. And, on monthly or quarterly basis, audits can help optimize the effectiveness of strategies and policies.
About the author: Stafford is an Associate at BodyBeat Pvt Ltd, in the customer development & management function of BodyBeat Recreational Center in Karachi. He can be reached on Facebook.