This is a second post in a series outlining the different options available to companies who are looking to an agency to assist in their social media marketing activities.
Within SME’s there are often 3 prevailing situations with regard to social media:
- Social media is not a priority. It seems like a good idea but no one really has the time or inclination to do it.
- There is someone in house who has been designated to “do social media”. Often they have been allocated the task because they are young, and therefore “get” social media and / or they have active personal social media profiles themselves. They can frequently be set adrift with minimal support and guidance (and possibly interest) from the senior management team and probably as an ad on to an existing role.
- Or alternatively social media can be an additional task handed to a possibly overstretched marketing department who have been doing their best to fit social media in as and when they have time.
For any organisation that has a communications plan in place the next logical step is to undertake an audit. Even if your organisation has been doing very little on social media you may be surprised at what you find. Just because you are not on social media doesn’t mean others are not talking about you. Remember the audit is not just to establish what you are saying about you but what others are saying about you too.
For organisations who do have a presence on social media an audit allows you to assure yourself that your social media activities are in line with your communications plan and genera brand guidelines. Items that might be covered by the audit include:
- Clarity of objectives – have you been using social media to sell, gather feedback or for customer service? Is this what it was intended for? Has it evolved?
- Do you have clear branding – e.g. correctly sized logos?
- Is your messaging on point – relevant to the brand and the consumer? Have you ever visited a Facebook page that is not clearly branded and even when you have scrolled through the content you are still not sure what they are offering?
- Do you use high quality imagery? Is the imagery used consistent with your brand message?
- Do you run campaigns? Are they in line with campaigns run across the organisations other media?
- Is at least some of your content scheduled? Is it being published when your audience is available to view?
- Have you maximised your “free” reach on each platform?
- What mechanisms do you have in place to monitor online activities against your objectives?
Auditing your activity will reassure your organisation that you are on the right track or perhaps highlight areas for refinement and further development.
An audit will also help you to identify what your next steps might be. For example do you need training for your in house team to fill the gaps in their knowledge. Perhaps you need someone to quickly help you manage an immediate image / PR crisis. Or you may identify that you would prefer social media marketing to be managed by an external team for the short or long term.
Author: Sam Crosthwaite – Mboya