What do I mean by change to stay the same?
In the world of social media and creating content for your organization, there is a certain degree of flexibility and understanding that is required to maintain a consistent brand and online presense.
In our Chapter 6 expert session, Adelyn Biedenbach gives the basic overview of Social Media planning and how to create a content plan. She is the social media director for a professional hockey team. To create this plan, there are a lot of preliminary actions.
The first thing you should learn to love and hate is feeding the content beast.
We all know how often social media is running. In fact… we all know that it is never not running. This is called the 24/7 news cycle and because of it, your organization or company is expected to be present and active online year round. All day every day there are your customers or fans online perusing through mounds of content and you need to get yourself in that mix.
Before you can even start to plan a day by day schedule of what posts will go out when you need to be fully prepared.
“I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.”Kevin Thoman
You need to have:
- Understanding of your organization, industry, and trends
- A way to track your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- A network of contacts to back you up
- A toolbox of stars (recurring elements to continually use)
- A way to plan and a mindset to be flexible
First, your understanding. As the social person in your organization, you need to be thoroughly familiar with the industry you are in, the events going, new trends that pop up, and all of the extra-curriculars you’re involved in. It’s not something that you figure out once a year, but it is a weekly or daily learning process of what’s happening and how can I meet the goals of each department?
This will also help you answer any questions that a customer or consumer might have. You won’t be able to guide them in the right direction unless you have a good understanding of all facets of the company yourself. There may still be questions you can’t answer, but more on that later.
The next important thing to be aware of is your Key Performance Indicators. They are basically a way to measure yourself and what you’re accomplishing. This isn’t a cookie cutter approach to every single company or even to every single social media site, but a loose plan to measure the specifics of what goals you want to meet. You don’t want to measure the wrong thing and waste your time when your goals are completely opposite.
KPI’s cover all sorts of different aspects that you might want to look at like customer service, brand exposure, and direct sales. This all leads back to that flexible understanding of what you need for your specific organization.
Now let’s go back to that issue of getting a specific question that you just plainly don’t know the answer to. If you are previously involved in networking with your coworkers and meeting with them to discuss plans, then you will have contacts that you can call to assist you when the need arises. Sometimes knowing who can answer the question is just as affective as being able to answer it yourself.
Still looming over you is the content beast…
Continually you are expected to keep up with what’s hot or what’s current. Are you posting enough? Are your posts working? What can you keep doing over and over? And what do you need to add or change?
Adelyn then referred to what she call’s your stars. Your stars are your toolbox of recurring post types or elements that are reflective of your brand. One example she gave was if you know your company is rich in history, throwback posts may work well for you. She also gave an example in her specific field of sports that video posts on game days are a must and expected by the fans, which means they do well so they’ll continue to do them . Knowing what these stars are is important and knowing when to revert to them or when to change them is also crucial.
And finally of course is the actual planning. Flexibility is so important and knowing all of the background stuff will help you organize your calendar and planner. Whether its a written list or a digital tool, having a plan will make attacking your goals easy.
The general aim of Adelyns presentation was about being prepared. The 24/7 cycle will always be there and the content beast will still be roaring at you to post and remain relevant. It’s your job as a planner to know what your goals are, know what channels and ways you can communicate these goals, know what works to effectively reach them, and be willing to adapt to the changes and trends that are present in the online world.