It’s easy to be lured into playing the numbers game in social media, or any kind of communications activity – basing your success on how many Facebook fans you have or how many people follow you on Twitter. These numbers tend to be arbitrary. Many times an organization will see a level of success with how they run their social media program and use those numbers to validate a need to not examine, tweak, or improve an organization’s program – often to their detriment.

This kind of strategy is a double-edged sword, because invariably other companies in your industry have larger follower numbers and those numbers can easily be used to detract from your accomplishments.

One of the best ways to avoid falling into this trap is to properly prepare your social media strategy, complete with an audit of your organization’s needs and how you are meeting those goals and objectives.

But you have to have a plan first. What do you want your social media campaign to accomplish? Very few organizations have the leisure to engage in social media without having a clear and measurable goal with a return on your investment in social media. It requires that your organization start off by asking some questions.

  • What do we want to accomplish with our campaign?
  • What are the messages we are trying to promote?
  • Who is our target audience?
  • What are the best ways to reach that audience? How does social media tie into this?
  • How does the social media campaign integrate into the organization’s larger communication and marketing campaigns?
  • What kind of gains, over time, is your campaign showing?

One of the most important questions to answer is: How is your social media strategy able to adapt to online changes? When your organization is under fire, how do you roll with the punches?

Starting this week we’ll look at how you address these questions, and begin to armor-plate your communication and social media plan from the slings and arrows of your competitors.

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