Your 4 Step Process To Increasing Social’s Impact On Your Business (Without Spending A Dollar)
Looking to increase the impact social has on your business?
If you're the Director, Head, or VP of Social Media and want to increase the impact social it is having on your organization, what are you to do?
The most popular answer is to build out your social team. In other words, throw more people at the problem and pray for the desired result.
What did you say? There’s not enough budget to grow the team right now? You’re not alone. At most companies, that is the case. You’re in a catch-22. To get more budget you need to show results. To show results you need more budget. Or do you?
In this post, I will outline four things you can do today to boost the impact social has on your organization and secure a bigger budget for next year.
1) Break Out Of The Social Media Silo
Whether you’ve been running social for year or you just started, if you are tasked with increasing the impact of social on your business, you're going to need some help. Since you may or may not have budget to add people to the social team, you will need to look elsewhere in the organization for the brain power and leg work needed to reach your goal. Not only does this give you more power to move the ball forward, it also helps you leverage social to impact additional functions inside the business. First thing's first, figure out which employees are passionate about social media. What area of the company do they sit? Have a dialogue with these individuals and get them on board to help you execute the following steps.
2) Formulate Your Strategy
To drive business results, you need to be able to track your activity back to key business metrics. Create buy-in for the plan by working with your newly formed, cross-functional team to develop it. Start by listing a set of areas where you think you all can help impact the company.
Brand Awareness & Thought Leadership
Employee Communications & Engagement
Insights & Analytics
Think through what success looks like in each of sample areas and start to flesh out your plan. Don’t forget to document specific metrics, tactics, goals, and deadlines to ensure you all continue to move the ball down the field. Lastly, ask people to volunteer to take command or own a specific item or set of items on the list. Ideally, each area would match the employee’s function at the company, but it doesn’t have to. Heck, if a function isn’t being represented, go out and recruit another person to you join the group.
Have your newly-minted team members go out into the organization tasked with communicating your plan with key stakeholders. Encourage them to share the plan and get feedback on the plan. Guide them to ask specific questions about whether or not your plan matches the goals of other people inside each function. Lastly, have each group member report back with their findings, so that you can incorporate their learnings into the plan.
4) Establish Communication Process
As you begin to execute your shiny, new strategy, you will want to setup a communication process to ensure everyone is on the same page and team members are sharing their findings with each other. To do this, consider scheduling bi-weekly one-on-ones as well as group meetings. Be clear to outline, how they should communicate any issue that arise. It is crucial to set expectations, but be available to provide guidance.
BONUS: Establish A Training Program
While picking people that are passionate about social media will decrease the training time needed to get started, passion is not sufficient. To really drive impact, you will need to establish a semi-formal training program. Seeing as how you head up social, you will be the professor. Start by developing a social media playbook (physical & digital) for each function you hope to impact. Inside share must do’s and don’ts as well as process information, additional resources, application specific training. At the conclusion of crafting this document, it might seem like your job is done, but to ensure usage follow-up with each team member to discuss the content. Lastly, setup a time quarterly for on-going training. This could be executed internally or by having your team members attend a conference and reporting back on what they learned.
Now you’re really moving. You’ve got buy-in, extra brain power, and a solid strategy. Now it all comes down to execution and continued communication. Need more help fleshing out your social strategy? Check out the three blog post:
What did I miss? What else could you do? Put your ideas in the comments below!