~ Policy, Purpose, People, and Plan ~
If you have taken the time to develop your internal and external policy, outlined your purpose for using these tools and identified/educated your content creators, it is now time to put all that together in creating your Plan.
There are three steps, as I see it, to a social media plan…
…Listen, Engage, Measure…
Before you start inserting yourself into the world of tweets, status updates, and comments listen to what is going on. See who is talking about your brand and it’s leaders. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Google Alerts – Probably the best free way to monitor keyword mentions about your hospital and it’s leaders
- Radian6 – A paid solution that is very, very robust. If you go this route I recommend you dedicate someone as a listening expert. This tool is very complex and to gain the benefit it produces someone needs to become and expert with it uses.
- Update Listings – Visit sites like Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local, etc… See what listings/comments are out there for your brand and make sure they are correct. I have seen many hospital listings that have the women’s services number as the main number and then negative comments about the number being wrong. Dive in and learn how to correct and “own” the listings on these platforms (More on this will come in a future blog post).
Now that you have an idea of what is being said about your brand feel free to start contributing. Figure our who the influencers are in your space and connect with them, read their blogs, and comment. This will help build your credibility around a topic. Once you have gained some equity then you can start to introduce your two cents.
Do some research on the topic you want to connect on. If you have a well know heart program and want to talk about Atrial Fibrillation do some searches and see what is being talked about. In one quick search on A-Fib I found that the Twitter hashtag #afib is an active community.
In the end you may not need to create a community but simply leverage the communities that have been built. Look for these based on topic and geography.
After listening and engaging be sure to take the time to measure you successes. Over time you will learn what goals to set but in the beginning identify some key metrics to watch so you will know what engagement strategies worked and which ones did not.
It is fair it want to track total numbers of fans, followers, etc… But I lean more to tracking interactions. How many comments, likes, re-tweets, and direct messages did you receive over a defined period? It is easy to grow the total number but the key is growing the total number with people who are in your target market not residents of Bulgaria.
Most platforms have some analytics built so start there and as your program grows then you can justify the cost of a platform like Radian6 and start identifying key influencers and sentiment of mentions.
I hope this series has been useful. I have enjoyed thinking though each of these steps and it has allowed me to identify some areas to touch on in upcoming post. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Social Marketing Mix – the Four P”s of Social Media by Reed Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.