Everyone wants to do Social Media. Everyone is on Social Media. It’s all happening, but this rush to get on and get results is having one worrying side-effect. That is the fact that brands or products or individuals, most Social Media campaigns lack proper planning and hence are doomed to fail. So what are the key features of a good social media plan?
Diligence and proper planning is extremely critical for any Social Media activity or campaign. But off late, everyone gets on the bus and then they think “What next?”. This is the wrong way to go about Social Media. The very nature of the medium lends itself to rapid changes in trends and acceptance, so planning is essential and so is course correction being an integral part of the plan.
There are no hard and fast rules here, but there are some broad guidelines that we can all agree upon. That is just common sense of the garden variety. There are some key elements that need to be part of your plan and the planning process itself. If you overlook these important things, then the campaign is doomed to fail even before you begin. Let us try and look at these things today. Remember, these are not rules, just guidelines.
Target Segment: Think long and hard, what are we saying? Who is going to listen? Are they the people that we want to engage with an generate a connection? If not, how do we get in front of the right eyes? The answers to these questions mean the difference between success and failure for your campaign. If you are a design house, it makes sense to design nifty info-graphics and put them up on Pinterest to engage visually. If you are a publisher wanting to create traction for a new book, the process changes and so forth. Also the answer to those questions will lead you to the next point
Key Target Platform: While it would be completely senseless to ignore any social channel for a campaign, there should be one key platform that will be the thrust point for the campaign. We will drive the key engagement from there. For example, a film maker wanting to tease a trailer and generate a buzz, Youtube is the natural choice to start a campaign and go viral with it. Note that you will be using all channels, just that you will drive the eyeballs finally to Youtube here. Similarly, if I am a call in food delivery service and want to generate a buzz, I would go with Twitter/Facebook getting people to my online ordering page customized with a proper landing mechanism that is platform based. Ok, now, we know who, we know where. What next?
Resource Allocation: The right parts of the plan should be given to the right people to execute, anything other than this, will create a mess and a lot of unwanted entropy will creep into your process. Also, sometimes the key question becomes “Staff them or Contract them?”. Remember that each one has it’s own plus and minus parts. Weight all factors and take the right call. After all, proof of the pudding is in the eating!
Key Metrics & Right Analysis: This is the single most important factor in any campaign that determines the ROI of the campaign very directly. Look at what you want to measure and ensure that you are measuring the right thing in the right way. For example, when looking at mentions/quotes on twitter, a blind dictionary match is as good as nothing. Why? Think of this scenario, I make pizza, so when I see a million people mentioning my pizza, I can’t conclude that it’s all good. I need to understand whether they are saying good things or bad things about my pizza. That is the challenge, the human mind and subsequently natural language are extremely complicated instruments. Something as small as a comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence and hence the sentiment associated with it. So a fair amount of NLP and reasonably good sentiment analysis tools are needed here. Otherwise, we will be living in positive Utopia and the world will be laughing at us. Ok, we got that part right, now what?
Course Correction using Analysis: Here is where you get impersonal and ignore all the good things, look long and hard at the things that are going wrong. After that you sit down with all the key stake-holders and analyze them thread-bare. Do not leave that meeting till you have translated concerns and issues into action items aimed at rectification. All this while bearing in mind that you need to do these and keep doing the things going right as they are. That is the right mix of actions
If you have all of the above covered, you should be good to go, but then, Social Media is like diabetes, unique to each patient, so there will be customization or deviations. These are fine as long as we have the target in site. Happy shooting