Social media is nothing new. It's been around for almost two decades. However, new practitioners are constantly entering field, and with every new marketing professional comes the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past. The old aphorism, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is just as true in marketing as it is in life.
In this series, we’ll examine modern enterprise social media strategy, what marketers need to know to make social media work for the midsize or enterprise organization.
Part 6: Coordinate
After we’ve settled the why - strategy and goals - and the what - audience, content, and channels - we must transition to the how. We transition into the execution of our strategy and tactics.
Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley is quoted as saying, "There is a difference between having an excellent game and having game excellence." The former could potentially be attributed to luck; the latter is an attribute built through planning, practice, and constant improvement.
To achieve game excellence in enterprise social media strategy, we need two key plans:
- Governance plan
- Execution plan
Enterprise Social Media Governance
Governance is what defines game excellence in the big picture. Who is responsible for generating results? What are the results we expect? What risks should we mitigate or protect against?
We define our governance plan using the 6 W’s:
- Who is involved, and what roles do they play from stakeholder to executor
- What activities will occur in the execution of the strategy
- Where will these activities occur, as decided in the Choose stage
- When will the activities occur
- Why will these activities occur, as identified in the Clarify stage
- How will this activities occur, as identified in the Create and Connect stages
A simple governance plan defines each of these questions and answers clearly; such a plan is easily handed to stakeholders, executives, and participants so everyone is literally on the same page.
Use the 6 W’s as a starting point for a social media governance plan. Once you’ve dug in a bit, you’ll find that it expands quickly to conform to how your organization does business.
When we look at our governance plan, we see that three of the 6 W’s were covered in our prior work in strategy and tactics - Where, Why, and How. That leaves who, what, and when for the execution plan.
The best execution plans look strikingly similar to recipes and cookbooks. We’ve already decided in large part on the why and the what, so in execution, in coordination, we determine the how.
What does the average cookbook contain? A series of recipes organized by topic, usually in a logical progression from the beginning of the meal to the end of the meal. Time - when - is implicit in the organization of a cookbook. Who is also implicit; who is the reader of the cookbook. The only part of the cookbook that is truly explicit is the what, the individual recipes.
Rather than provide canned recipes for social media execution, of which there are thousands, if not millions online, I would urge you to have each member of your social media team begin writing their own personal cookbooks.
Building the Cookbook
Consider what the average recipe in a cookbook looks like:
- Outcome desired
- How the recipe fits into the big picture
Use this template, this logical structure in your social media execution plan. Have every staff member document their processes and procedures the same way, such that you have a consistent style and formula.
For example, let’s say we’re planning our social media posting strategy. Our recipe might read something like this:
We seek to create and publish engaging content at regular intervals to serve our audience and understand when they want content.
The Big Picture
By posting around the clock at regular, frequent intervals, we eliminate bias in audience response from posting only when convenient for us.
5 social posts per day, including:
- 140 character snippets/summaries
We will need:
- A text editor
- A spreadsheet
- Social media accounts and credentials
- Social scheduling software like Buffer or Hootsuite
- Arrange all content in a spreadsheet organized by time slot, using the following time template:
- Define the time slots in the social scheduler’s settings.
- Copy and paste each post, image, and link into the social scheduler.
- Measure the results of engagement after 30 days and remove time slots which consistently lack engagement.
Auditing the Cookbook
Once the cookbooks are done, audit them, and then re-audit them every quarter. Check the recipes for correctness, and whether people adhere to their own recipes. Determine which recipes need updates, then update and train people to use the enhanced versions.
One of the most difficult challenges in an enterprise is change management. By having individuals own their cookbooks and make small, regular tweaks to their recipes, we create change gradually but effectively, constantly improving our processes.
In the next post in this series, we’ll discuss collaboration and engagement.
The 8C Enterprise Social Media Strategy Framework
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 1 of 9: Introduction
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 2 of 9: Clarify
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 3 of 9: Create
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 4 of 9: Choose
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 5 of 9: Connect
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 6 of 9: Coordinate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 7 of 9: Collaborate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 8 of 9: Communicate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 9 of 9: Conclude
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