Step 7: Social Media Strategy Development – Channel Action Plans

Social Media Action Plan Using a Balanced Scorecard approach, previous posts in our Social Media Strategy Series have covered a wide range of issues including how to evaluate your social media landscape; conducting an internal audit of progress made and ‘readiness to engage’; customer mapping and segmentation analysis; social media objectives, KPIs and targets. Step 7 in our Social Media Development Cycle involves two key decisions:

* Agree and prioritize the key social media actions and initiatives you need to take

* Develop and implement Channel Action Plans for ‘getting there’

In terms of the first of these, the two key questions to address are the number of social media channels to use and your depth of engagement in each channel. This will be influenced by factors such as your overall strategic objectives for social media, customers and where they ‘hang out’ on social media, time and resources and so on. A previous post listed generic options in this area. The present post focuses more on the development of Channel Action Plans for ‘getting there’.

We would recommend cascading the Balanced Scorecard approach for developing Channel Action Plans. For each priority Social Media Channel, agreement should be reached on:

* The overall objectives for that channel

* The main KPIs to be used in evaluating on-going channel performance

* The specific targets to be achieved

* The key actions and initiatives to be taken to ensure channel success

To assist in this area, we have developed a number of templates that our client companies find very useful in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating Social Media Channel Action Plans. The bullet point list below summarises the key issues we address in implementing a Facebook Page Action Plan. With appropriate adjustments, a similar approach can be used for other channels.

Facebook Page Action Plan – Key Issues to Address

1. Objectives

Document the key objectives to be achieved from your Facebook Page. Ensure that these are closely aligned with and supportive of your overall strategic objectives for social media as agreed in earlier stages of the Balanced Scorecard. If appropriate, prioritize your objectives – Priority 1, 2, 3 etc

2. KPIs and Targets

For each priority objective, agree the KPIs to be used for measuring on-going performance and business impact. Agree targets for each KPI. The ‘6Is’ approach is useful in this respect. Agree SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) targets for Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy, Influence, Insight and Impact. Use Facebook Insights to monitor progress benchmarked against agreed targets.

3. Customer Segments

Undertake a Customer Mapping and Segmentation Analysis to identify and agree priority customer groups and the key objectives to be achieved for each customer segment from the Facebook Page

4. Key Actions

Once Objectives, KPIs, Targets and Customers have been agreed, a number of key actions and initiatives are required to ensure the success of your page.

* Channel Set-Up

Profile Page: Your Facebook ‘business’ page needs to be set up from a ‘personal profile’ page. Do you already have a profile page that you can use for this or does one need to be set up? Create Your Page: Go to www.facebook.com/pages and follow the instructions covering Page Type; Page Name; Image; Basic Page Info; Settings; eMail Notifications; Permissions; Moderation Blocklist/ Profanity Blocklist; Manage Administrators; Apps; Facebook Insights; Landing Page; Integration Options etc

* Content Plan

Agree a Content Plan for the page covering issues relating to content tone and style; themes and messages; frequency/timing of posts; sources of inspiration; response policy etc

* Content Management Plan

You will need a Content Management Plan to support the above covering roles & responsibilities; acceptable use policy; profanity blocking; content monitoring and moderation etc

* Building the Community

Use a variety of ways to build the community, including offline channels – invite existing contacts; market on your own existing online channels e.g. web site, twitter etc; market on ‘external’ online channels, especially the key ‘hubs’ where your customer ‘hang-out’; encourage referrals and recommendations; identify and work with key influencers

* Conversations

Encourage comment, engagement and word-of-mouth. Agree an appropriate response policy for user generated posts and comments.

* Conversions

Encourage a ‘call-to-action’ – make an enquiry, sales, visit the web site, make a recommendation

* Performance Measurement

Use tools such as Facebook Insights, Social Bakers, Export.ly, Hootsuite and HyperAlerts to monitor and evaluate performance on an on-going basis. Agree the frequency and type of Performance Report to be delivered

* Organisation and People

A number of key issues need to be agreed here covering roles, responsibilities, reporting, time and resource commitment, training required, Facebook Acceptable Use Policy, which support apps to use e.g. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Mediafeedia, Hyperalerts etc

As usual, feedback and comment on this post is very welcome.

Jim, Alan, Vincent

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