Questions You Should Ask While Creating a Social Media Strategy |

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Endorsed by the Chairman of KPMG, CEO of Whirlpool, CEO of Intuit, CEO of SAP, Gary Hamel & others!

Questions You Should Ask While Creating a Social Media Strategy


Posted by on October 28, 2008

We all hear about social media strategies and how companies need to engage with customers and build relationships.  But it’s not THAT easy.  I mean you have to start from somewhere right?  You don’t just go create a twitter account or a facebook page and then just start posting, you need a foundation, you need a starting point, what you need are questions.

I’ve put together a list of a few questions you should be asking yourself while developing a social media strategy.  I want to keep the list as concise as possible and I want to work with all of you to create this list.  Below I have put my suggestions, add your own in the comment section and/or tell me which ones I can remove/modify/combine.  Once the list is complete I will post a “final” version and give credit to everyone who participated in making the final list!

Here are some of my questions:

  • Do you have a clear goal in mind for what and why you want to use social media?
  • Do you have a department that is going to take ownership over the social media strategy or is it a mixed bag?  Who is providing budget and who is responsible?
  • Are you prepared for success and failure? How?
  • Do you know where your customers/users are? (platforms) and who they are?  Are you building new communities or tapping into existing ones?
  • What are the resources you are willing to devote to this?  How many people/hours?

I am going to leave it at 5 questions and let you guys take care of the rest.  I could keep going and going but I want to hear from you!

What questions should you ask while developing a social media strategy?

Thanks for reading

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  • http://www.shuaism.com RoyalAntsJosh

    What efforts have already been made? Did they work, did they fail, are you not sure if they worked or failed?

    What traditional tactics do you currently use? Can they be leveraged to help your social media efforts?

    How familiar is the staff with social media? Do any of them blog, use twitter, participate in a social network, visit and post to any forums etc.?

    How much do they want to get involved and to what level in the company? Do they want CEO's, VP's, etc all on LinkedIn? Do they only want mid level employees involved, do they want the whole company involved?

    Do they have plans or are they interested in using social media internally? Are they willing to implement their own instance of laconi.ca or do they want to try something like Yammer (Which I would only recommend in certain circumstances) or FriendFeed with private rooms? Do they want to create their own internal social network, is it a feasible thing with the size of their company?

    Who is going to do all the public facing work like blog posts, updates to what ever services are used, twitter representative, etc?

    Do they have a strict guideline from legal about what can and can't be said or is it going to be more like Sun's whole philosophy of “just don't say something stupid”?

    I'm sure I could come up with more, but that's what came off the top of my head.

    Enjoy your stay in Utah, if you need anything while you're here just shoot me an email or a direct message via twitter.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hey josh,

      thanks for the list. I suppose I should have narrowed down the question to focus on external social media strategy to reach or marketing to an audience. excellent questions though. I also asked the question on linkedin so i will compile something soon.

      im looking forward to the utah trip and perhaps i will email you

      thanks for the comment

  • http://insightsandingenuity.com Heather Rast

    Good premise, definitely a valuable place to devote some energy and development time. Some of my thoughts:
    1) Why is being a social media participant important to you/your company?
    2) Have you explored the 'sphere and gained enough exposure to tactics and tools to determine if you need to start with boundaries or “rules” that best suit your company? IE, negative comments, spam, controversial issues, multi-contributor, a brand tone/voice for content, etc.
    3) What value or benefit to you hope your constituents will glean from being part of your community? What unique material can (should) you provide?

    Just a few thoughts, thanks for the opportunity!

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Heather,

      again, great questions, you guys are gonna make it hard for me to compile a short list! perhaps i will be able to combine a few of these.

      thanks for the comment heather!

  • Shelagh McGrath

    I'd add…

    How do you define social media?
    Where is the linkage from the business plan to your social media strategy? Is it a business decision or a response to other pressures?
    What is the demographic of your organization?
    What technology do you presently utilize?
    Is there a need for interoperability between technology systems?

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi shelagh,

      great questions, i definitely think the technology aspect needs to be addressed. thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.B2WE.com Roy Morejon

    There needs to be methods implemented to asses KPI's and ROI for each channel. What are the KPI's for each medium?

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      excellent roy!

      thanks for this one, now when you talk about kpis for each medium are you referring to social media as a whole or to individual social media components, i.e. twitter, facebook?

      • http://www.B2WE.com Roy Morejon

        each social medium needs it's own KPI's. What are the goals and how are they going to be measured.

  • http://www.thesunrisestoday.com Tim Jahn

    Are you wiling to invest the time and effort needed for the long haul?

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      excellent point Tim, I think a lot of companies out there expect a short term return on their social media strategy when in fact it does require a longer term commitment. if companies expect amazing results in 1 month and are disappointed, then they are left upset and become anti-social media.

      thanks for the comment tim, always good to hear from you.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_upphoto&goback=.hom mabrugnolo

    Nowadays I think its important tho check out our client's gut! So…

    Are you ready to open up the doors and let your customer in?
    Are you ready to eventually hear bad thing about your brand? Ready enough to not try to hide or block the conversation in the middle of the process?

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      ah yes excellent point, i was actually on a call with a prospective client today who was concerned about receiving negative feedback from social media. understanding that you will receive positive and negative feedback is essential, it's dealing with the feedback that you get that matters.

      thanks for bringing this up. hope to hear more from you in the future!

  • http://www.thinkseer.com Laura

    Hi Jacob,

    I would ask “How will you measure success?” Depending on the medium, this could take many forms — on twitter: number of followers, on facebook: number of people to join a group, number of specific referrer visits to your site, is there an action you want people to take?

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi laura,

      so essentially you're saying measure and identify the kpis per industry right?

      I think this is a very important issue to address, everyone want to measure roi and their kpis but with social media is not as clear cut as it is with something like PPC or example. problem is that a lot of companies want a dollar amount for their return. sure there are some metrics you can look at but I think that most of the time the true value of roi is going to remain understated.

      thanks for reading and commenting laura! hope to hear more from you :)

  • http://www.deswalsh.com Des Walsh

    Good one Jacob – I for one will be awaiting eagerly the developed formulation.

    A few from me, with hopefully clarifying remarks.

    Is the chief executive enthusiastic, lukewarm or negative? If the last, get out of there now! if lukewarm, do you really need this gig?

    Is there an in-house champion with influence? If not, can you find one? He/she doesn't have to have authority, but has to be able to keep onside and supportive those who do. If you can't find one, what are you doing there? Find some people who appreciate you!

    What will success look like to them? What will failure look like? Acknowledging Laura's formulation and noting you may need to coach them on what success or failure *might* look like.

    Who else are they talking to? (If you haven't got the sale yet – and maybe even if you have! Lots of “experts” out there, as you know.)

  • http://www.yellowstoneinternational.com shelli johnson

    Who is your current customer/target audience? Who do you wish to be your customer/target audience. Sometimes the latter requires a different strategy. Never want to abandon your current customers for new ones… but need to differentiate within your customer base. Also, survey the heck out of your customers. Then where most fail, is they survey, but then do nothing with the information. Survey (Ask) your customers, learn (Listen to), and respond (take action).
    We all think we're pretty smart, and certainly we are… : > But at the end of the day, in this current Web 2.0 landscape, the customer is ALL THAT MATTERS. Let the customer and his/her feedback guide your business.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      howdy shelli,

      that is an important point, companies exist because their users/customers use their products so it is very important to take the information we receive from our users/customers and act on it.

      thanks for ready and commenting!

  • http://www.yellowstoneinternational.com shelli johnson

    Who is your current customer/target audience? Who do you wish to be your customer/target audience. Sometimes the latter requires a different strategy. Never want to abandon your current customers for new ones… but need to differentiate within your customer base. Also, survey the heck out of your customers. Then where most fail, is they survey, but then do nothing with the information. Survey (Ask) your customers, learn (Listen to), and respond (take action).
    We all think we're pretty smart, and certainly we are… : > But at the end of the day, in this current Web 2.0 landscape, the customer is ALL THAT MATTERS. Let the customer and his/her feedback guide your business.

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    howdy shelli,

    that is an important point, companies exist because their users/customers use their products so it is very important to take the information we receive from our users/customers and act on it.

    thanks for ready and commenting!


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