One of the biggest challenges facing traditional marketers (even those who’ve already ventured into the social media space) is simply this: “how can I prepare an effective social media brief (whether to brief those within my organisation or for an outside supplier)?”
Most marketers are confident in their ability to prepare a brief for a poster or a billboard or a television commercial. But should the brief for a social media campaign be pretty much the same?
- Yes, it can be — but what you’ll get as a result, unless you’re very, very lucky, is an advertising campaign masquerading as a social media programme.
- No, no, no — social media can be so much more, as long as you give an effective social media brief to those actually executing the social media programme.
So how do you prepare an effective social media brief?
The need for a comprehensive answer to that question has led us to create a four-module course covering the topic.
Here’s what the course covers:
Module One: Setting Social Objectives
What exactly do you and your organisation want to achieve through social media? We review possible answers to that question — taking into account not merely the obvious communications objectives that organisations typically set, but also those distinctly social attributes that most marketers overlook.
We show you how to review your own brand’s story and personality and how that will colour your social media efforts. We encourage you to re-examine your existing customers and prospects and determine what they might hope to hear from you through social media (and how frequently). And we take a look at social media objectives set by other organisations, for inspiration and guidance (and, in a few cases, as cautionary tales of what not to do in social media).
As a result of this module, you’ll be able to provide those who will be operating your social media programme with clear, agreed social objectives that (a) reflect your organisation, its heritage and the interests of its customers; and (b) take advantages of the rich possibilities inherent in social media.
Module Two: Agreeing Social Strategies & Tactics
Once your objectives are in place, it’s time to consider possible strategies to communicate through social media. Strategy in this context means figuring out what you want to be different after you’re done implementing your social media marketing — and that evaluation process should NOT be left to those carrying out the programme (because they’re seldom in a position to determine the relative priorities for an organisation). Is the appropriate primary strategy based around reputation management, customer service or just getting people talking about your products? Or are you looking for specific leads or even sales (and how should you do that in social media without offending everyone)?
Once the strategic possibilities have been winnowed down to a chosen few, then it’s time to look at tactics to turn those strategies into reality. Most of the tactical decisions can be carried out at an operational level — but it’s still very much worth your while understanding the sorts of tactics that are relevant in the social space. That information may shape your views on decisions such as who is the most appropriate team to implement your social media programme as well as identifying the people within your organisation who should be points of contact for the programme (it won’t be just you).
Decisions on tactics will lead in turn to decisions on which social tools should be used: Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, the list goes on.
From Module Two, you’ll develop a solid base with which to have constructive discussions (and even perhaps robust debates) with your social media implementation team.
Module Three: Planning your Programme
What should you talk about in social media? One thing you shouldn’t be is merely reactive, responding to situations and comments as they happen. Perhaps the most neglected part of the whole social media process is planning an effective, proactive social media communications schedule. Not only do you have to provide killer content that’s relevant and engages your constituents — you also need to plan out what you’re going to say in advance, tied in to topical events, matters of the moment and your own communications programme. That’s not something that can simply be left to that nephew of the CEO who’s running your Facebook page in his spare time.
In this module, we step you through the processes you’ll need to consider when developing an effective INTEGRATED social media schedule that’s linked into your other promotional efforts. We’ll also encourage you to talk to your implementation team about Content Optimisation — identifying your customers’ hottest topics and using the most popular keywords in their posts.
Module Four: Implementation
Finally, we turn to the processes required to make all this happen. We provide you with an appropriate framework for briefing your social media supplier, allocating internal and external resources and responsibilities and agreeing how the effort will be measured.
We also suggest a timetable for reviewing and adjusting your campaign, and how to evaluate the campaign effectively — do “likes”, “+1s” and “retweets” matter, how do you measure social engagement and what does it all mean?
By the end of this course, you should be confident that you can effectively brief a supplier on social media and ensure that the results you are achieving don’t just seem good — they meet a concrete set of objectives that is consistent with your overall organisational goals.
The “How to Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief” programme has been developed by Michael Carney
The Summer School edition of this course begins on Monday January 5 2015.
This four-part eCourse is available for $397 +GST. However we offer a very special $150 Summer School Discount for bookings received by midnight on Sunday January 4. Pay only $247 +GST for this course!
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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
1. Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. On the first day of the course you will be supplied by email with the first part of your How to Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief programme.
3. Follow-up lessons will be sent out over subsequent weeks (but please note that you take the course at your own pace).