2011 is your time to deliver. The clock is ticking.
“Itâ€™s the year of mobile”, “the year of location-based services”, social networks, twitter makes money and er…doesnâ€™t change the world, Facebook makes a multi-billionaire of everyone who has invested in it and overtakes everything…social (even Facebook) currency replaces real currency (Linden dollars anyone !!) so where do you start?
Well…whatever you read or are thinking about doing, let me tell you that this year wonâ€™t be about ANYTHING related to technology or platforms – it will be about 2 things:
Social media had its messing around time in 2009/10 – brands had extended beyond the peripheral â€œbranded outpostsâ€ and had done enough e-consultancy training to kinda understand that they needed to talk about what their customers wanted rather than them, but the screw is turning now.
Where budget holders were reluctant but ultimately resigned to giving you some money to tinker with the Facebook presence, they now want to know what your efforts are achieving. The smart ones of them will accept that it wonâ€™t solely be about money, but they WILL want to know why you are complaining you donâ€™t have enough time to get the PoS stuff out of the door, or the direct mail campaign signed off.
It is time to stand up and be accountable – justify your time to your superiors and show them that you are delivering tangible impact to the business.
Whatever your the objectives of your social media activity, make sure they are:
a) clear (i.e. defined)
c) bought-into (by various part of the business that are affected)
2) Time management
The correct management of social media and finding the time to make sure that whichever part of the business social media affects, is probably going to be your killer challenge this year – and you wonâ€™t be given any slack for cocking it up now.
Remember all the late nights you were working to get done in the day, all the stuff you never had time for because you were acting on behalf of a client during the day? Ah, yes. Wonâ€™t work this year. Youâ€™ll be expected to plan, cost, sell-in and deliver – on time and on budget like everybody else in the business.
If you did a half,-decent job, your client will likely have renewed their retainer and be expecting much more than a few tweets here and there, or several tweets at night (when their customers have gone to bed). Youâ€™ll need to be much smarter with your time, more disciplined, booked-in and better understand your customerâ€™s customer better than before. In a way, it is time to peel back the old clicheâ€™s and understand intimately and precisely,why they became clicheâ€™s in the first place. i.e.:
1. Understand exactly where they are (which channels, specific sites, pages, groups they hang out on/in)
2. Understand precisely their content preferences (i.e. what they talk about most and with what tools/channels – categorise and tag their content, are you matching this?)
3. Understand and gain a natural instinct for the posting styles, types and patterns Â – match your content output to theirs, times and type.
To help you on your way, remember, the (campaign) objective defines the time allocated to it:
1. Customer service – tends to be little and often, all day/night
2. Reputation management – sometimes a little bit of content infrequently, sometimes a lot, sometimes a lot, often
3. Content creation – less often, longer to create, long(er) approval process
4. Content curation/bookmarking – frequent, all times of the day, (sometimes) time-consuming
Taking the volumes of content of each of these types of â€œusesâ€ into account (ex. how many positive Facebook comments or images occur, how many negative Twitter ones occur, how many blog comments you need to reply to etc.) gives you a much better idea of how much time you need to respond to each. Try these as a starter:
- 2 minutes per tweet
- 10 minutes per un-researched blog comment reply
- 2 hours per properly-researched blog post – allowing 10 days for legal sign-off 😉
Remember: the objective defines the channel, the channel defines the type and quantity of content you create, the volume of comments defines the time you spend engaged with customers.
Youâ€™ve been talking about it for a long, time, youâ€™ve been practising it for a fair bit – now is the time you will be expected to deliver.
Go forth and deliver.