Social media is like a river: there’s a strong current, and when you jump in you’ll immediately feel its pull. The river’s flow can be demanding and powerful, sometimes even intimidating. Yet, if you accept that it is a power you cannot control, you may also find it exciting, exhilarating – and valuable.
Most of us have felt the pull of the social media current already, but we have not fully understood yet how this force could be best put into use. How to minimize the stress and maximize the benefits? This question becomes especially critical in environments where social media is utilized to promote business goals. Taking concrete steps and building a holistic social media presence is no simple task under the pressure of the social media current. However, with the support of a functional Social Media Framework, this task becomes much easier.
Eight social media key success factors to flag your way
While developing our own social media presence and working together with our clients, we at M-Brain have identified eight success factors that are key in building a solid social media program. These key success factors are:
1 Setting objectives
2 Determining target groups & channels
3 Defining activities
4 Assigning ownership
7 Measuring & evaluating
8 Learning & building a culture
Together they create the working flow of social media, which we have visualized in the following stream-like double cycle:
Finding a balance in your social media work
All of the identified key success factors are extremely important for a balanced and well-functioning social media practice. What we have found is that there are four main reasons why a company’s social media efforts may not be fully successful:
- Not all of the eight key success factors have been covered. Social media work cannot be fully functional if even one of the key success factors has been ignored.
- One or more of the key success factors is being overemphasized or neglected. In addition to making sure that all key success factors are taken into account, it is essential that there is a balance between them as they are all equally important and must be developed side by side.
- Social media work revolves only, or too strongly, in one of the two cycles – internal or external. While there needs to be a balance between the eight key success factors, also balance between the internal and external cycles is key in developing a holistic social media presence. Internal strategy should support external implementation and vice versa.
- The flow between the internal and external cycles is partially or totally blocked. Although it is not right to say that one of the key success factors is more important than the others, it is good to note that if social media culture and learning processes are not well attended to, balance between the different key success factors and the internal and external cycles will never be achieved.
So, how is the strong push and pull of the social media current working for you? Are you already taking full advantage of its force, or are you still trying to find your balance? If you’re interested in assessing which areas need improvement, we would love to help you out.