The social media strategy series: Defining your resources

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[tweetmeme] We’re almost at the end of our social media strategy series, which has covered:

Now we’re going to look at how you will resource your new social media strategy. Once you’ve decided which activities to add to the mix, you’ll need the staff to resource it … hint: it’s not automatically the job of the intern or graduate because they ‘get it’, unless they’ve had the right training and will have ongoing management to ensure they’re fully equipped to do a good job for you of course.

Commit resource to it

Social media is an ongoing activity that needs commitment, so be sure to give it what it deserves from the start. Break down your activities into specifics and estimate how much time each will take. The initial setup can take a fair amount of time, so don’t overlook this. You’ll need things like Twitter background design, avatar design, good bio profiles etc. These don’t take up a great deal of time, but if you don’t have the right resource in house, you’ll need to outsource it to ensure your online presence stays on brand.

Think about the ongoing work. How many social networking sites will you be using? Are you launching a blog? If so, how often have you decided to publish posts? Have you developed a content plan that includes things like guest blogging? If so, how often will you write and publish these?

Who’s best placed to work on it?

Think about who is best placed work on this for you. Do you already have marketing/pr/sales/customer service/hr teams? If so, each of them will need a foot in the social media camp. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a job for the comms team only, social media crosses over most departments. In fact once you’ve got a good handle on how it works for your business, you may well see the benefit of making it an employee wide activity and get everyone in on the act.

If you have a range of teams, think about which should work on this and get these teams together to discuss it. You may find a few volunteers keen to get onboard from the start, which is half the battle. Those that won’t be actively engaged in your social media activity will still need to know of your plans as it could affect what they’re doing offline. Remember, your customers or clients don’t see you as being either offline or online. They just see your brand, so make sure your teams fully understand the plan and can help you ensure all activity is integrated.

If your business is an SME with none of the teams mentioned above, this still applies to you. Who do you have  in your team that can work on this? Again, talk to them about your social media strategy and see if natural social stars volunteer. If not, it may well fall to the person that handles your communications activities for now.

Fitting it all in

If your staff are already overworked, you may be wondering how on earth to fit this new activity in. The simplest way of handling this is to review current workload and review the results. For example, if you’re already measuring your marketing activity (and if not, you should be) you will be able to work out which activities are performing well and which aren’t. Remove those tasks that aren’t delivering and replace them with your new social media activity.

It may mean juggling a few things and rearranging a few job descriptions, but doing it this ways shows your commitment to the activity and will allow your staff the time to work on it and do a great job for you.

The next post in this series will cover the guidelines and training that will ensure your team are fully equipped to engage in social media activity.

** Update: This social media strategy series has since been pulled together and published. Download the social media strategy ebook here.




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