Is overambition the flaw in your social media plan?

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm by Native Consultancy

What is the secret to getting results from social media?

New research published today over at eMarketer provides some insight to this question from its recent poll of B2B and B2C marketing professionals.

For a start, it confirms that content is king. Whether you want to support hard outcomes like increasing lead generation or goals which drive awareness and build reputation such as customer engagement, you need to be an organisation which speaks regularly through blogs, video, audio and whitepapers. These were the tactics ranked most effective in the research.

The trouble is these same tactics are also ranked as the ones which were hardest to execute by those polled with staff limitations standing in the way of nearly half (42%) of organisations who struggled to achieve their social media goals.

So what can organisations do to ensure their social media programmes are easier to implement?

The first area to address is the issue of time. Creating great content requires slick editorial processes in order to turn out freshly minted copy when people want to read it. Forgetting to budget adequately for the time needed to deliver this and failing to put in place a system which will keep a social media machine running are common causes of dereailed social media programmes. Anticipating these issues and realistically assessing the capability of the organisations to support content creation is therefore a critical part of initial planning.

The second area to address is the scope of social media activity.

Many social media programmes simply try to achieve too much when an organisation would be better served with something which delivers on one clear business objective. Build back from this and you are more likely to come up with an elegant social media programme which can effectively be delivered to budget and on time, supported by the right content.

So while it is important to be ambitious with social media plans, they have to be tempered with a realistic understanding of what the people in your organisation are ready and able to support.

If you allocate the right people resources and don’t overstretch in what you are trying to do, you’ll have the right foundations to ensure your organisation isn’t one of those who find social media objectives so hard to achieve.

Richard Edwards is managing director of Native Consultancy