Social media in action

This is post is part of the Institutionalizing Social Media series. To see previous installments or to learn more about the series, click here.

What do piles of sand, rocks and mortar have in common with your social media plan?

For starters, they are all ingredients in constructing a strong foundation, but that is just part of the equation. Without an action they are just stuff. Similarly, the basic ingredients in a social media plan (discussed here) need to be set into motion to be more than just theories on getting away from the social silo and building a program that your whole organization can benefit from. Don’t worry I won’t bore you with the nuances of mixing concrete.

So how do you start putting your plan into action?

The first step is to look at your plan (if you don’t have a plan, check out this post before reading on) and determine your starting point. The smartest starting point is an area that will get people excited about getting onboard, and in turn inspire more people to join the effort. It does not always have to be an area with an immediate impact to the business.

That excitement factor can be captured by engaging the team or individual that demonstrates the most eagerness or interest in the space. Chances are they won’t shy away from the legwork and will really be proud of moving the needle for their area of the business, even if the movement is a ripple and not a tidal wave.

Ball Return

Truth be told, no one is original and people always want to keep up with the Joneses. So after piloting with a few select internal partners, be ready for more groups to come to you asking how they can get on the social gravy train. It is important to remember to stay within your team’s means. Make sure you are not spread too thin and that you can scale the roll out.

One thing to keep in mind while you scale-up the program is that it is easy to get excited early on – the major hurdle is keeping the wave going. To maintain your progress (i) make sure you have a system in place to track results, (ii) internally showcase what has been accomplished, and (iii) be prepared to demonstrate how your accomplishments can scale-up as involvement within the social space grows (see future posts for more details on these three action items). Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

When you build a house, every brick contributes to the structure’s integrity. The same can be said for small wins while implementing your program. An incremental change here may not be the million dollars in revenue that your CMO wants to see, but it is a step towards that goal. To reinforce your program internally, celebrate the small wins and demonstrate how they all add up to a larger win for the company. Home runs are great, but stringing together a number of singles and doubles can rack up the score and are more frequent.

Building out your company’s social media plan is a marathon and not a sprint; there are no quick fixes. It takes sweat equity. Following the steps above will help you meet your goals.

Tune in next week for the next installment of Institutionalizing Social Media, if you want to get it sent to your email, please click here.

Image – Steve Snodgrass


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