In our previous post, Technical Support for Social Media Engagement, we took a look at how you can support your engagement efforts from a technical standpoint. In this post, we take a look at how to tell if you’re ready to engage.
Determine Engagement Readiness
OK. You think you’re covered all the above bases, but are you ready to create your engagement plan? What else do you need to think about before you know you’re ready to execute? Consider the following areas.
- Budget for engagement — Experts say you should expect to spend at least as much on your first two years of running a social media effort as you did on building it. Ensure that every stakeholder understands that the enterprise needs to be in it for the long haul, and that you’re unlikely to be an overnight success. You’ll need to plan to continue investing at a significant level for some period of time, and you should budget for this support.
- Assess your resources — Realistically assess your available resources. Determine the size of the team you’re going to need to make your social efforts a success. Try to avoid minimizing the work that is required to be successful.
- Plan your capacity — Make sure you can accomplish the task of launching a successful social computing effort with paid staff and existing, proven evangelists. Don’t count on new community members to do any essential tasks.
- Encourage comment on your plan — Put your draft plan on a private wiki and ask for comments from your staff, managers, and board
- Create some buzz — See if you can include something that will make people say, “Wow!” to begin to create buzz. Promote this to engage visitors, bloggers, media, and potential contributors.
- Have some fun — If your social media effort is dull drudgery you’ll have fewer followers. Emphasize the fun of spreading the word about your business via social computing.
Determine Social Media Engagement Readiness is the 26th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV
See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1