Resource managementThis post was originally a response to a questions asked on LinkedIn. “What do you think is the best piece of advice for companies launching a social media presence?”

The watchwords for any company thinking about delving into social media are investment and resource management. All Social campaigns should start with 2 basic questions

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • What are you prepared to invest?

This should be followed by a realisitic evaluation of the likelihood of what you want to achieve matching the resources you are willing to invest. In my view they usually don’t.

Things that should be part of your Social Media resource planning

  • Planning the campaign. It takes time and it’s not free. Who are your customers? What are they interested in? What pressing problem are you solving for them? What other value can you give them? What is your story?
  • Platform Selection. Where are your customers really hanging out?
  • Tool selection. Considering your organisation size and type and the main focus of your social presence, what tools really suit a co-ordinated approach.
  • Monitoring & Management. Who will be responsible for monitoring and responding to social accounts? Name them.
  • Content Production. Almost all social channels require more than just status updates and relevant quality content is a requirement usually. How much content is needed? Who will produce this?
  • Ad budgets. There are still people who believe ad budgets are not required for the success of social campaigns. Unfortunately excluding an advertising budget at a minimum for channel growth would be a major error.
  • Second Level Support. Who will deal with issues that are more complex than can be dealt with by your front facing staff? What process is there to manage this?

The above isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. Importantly, proper resourcing doesn’t mean having a person for a social media role or a department devoted to it. It just means knowing who’s doing what and when and making sure THEY know it’s part of the work that needs to be done every day.

Oh and don’t fall for the pernicious “social media is free” or “everyone knows how to operate facebook” trap. Doing anything takes time and will take time away from other work. Even if it were simple reading and responding to messages, it can’t be dismissed as “not work”. It has to be accounted for in the working day.

Get good advice. Ask any advisor how a campaign will help with real business goals and objectives.

Please remember though that while all of this needs to be considered it doesn’t need to be a 5 tier organisational chart. The nature of social media does mean that there can be an element of “suck it and see” for some businesses. Having this loosely mapped between several people with other responsibilities is not an impossible feat.

Tell us about your social media resourcing horror stories (and tips to avoid them) in the comments…

One Response to “Advice for Launching a Social Media Presence”

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