Businesses are finally learning to fully appreciate – and tap into – the power of social.
This year, social media software is among the top 5 technology priorities for half of businesses worldwide. Still, many social deployments (launches and implementations of social media management technologies) are poised to fail. Why is that?
Deployment may fall flat due to weak execution from the beginning, a lack of long-term strategic thinking, or a failure to constantly track progress (or the lack thereof).
According to Gartner, in order for social deployment to succeed, “Leaders need to develop a social business strategy that makes sense for the organization and tackle the tough organizational change work early on.” Once they’ve done so, however, companies must work hard to maintain progress.
Here’s how you can deploy your social media management technology in a way that ensures long-term success:
1. Phase, Prioritize, and Continually Improve
The initial phases of social deployment are based around central functionalities. Once you’ve passed this stage, you can adapt and evolve your strategy by incorporating (or expanding on) additional aspects of your management tool, and getting rid of solutions that you’ve outgrown.
Strategize around the phases of your strategy that you want to achieve. Start with the basics and work your way up, making sure to prioritize the improvements you want to make. The more you improve your strategy over time, the more sophisticated (and beneficial) your use of the tool will become.
2. Never Stop Learning and Tweaking
Social technologies have improved over time, and so should a company’s ability to use them. At any given point, there is likely more you can do with the available features and functionalities. Ensure that you are always creating a stronger and more robust social strategy with the tools at hand, and be on the lookout for updates and new features you can leverage.
Improving as much as you can also requires learning as much as you can. Attend training sessions and watch tutorials when possible, and read up on the tools at your disposal. This will not only help you harness your social technology more effectively, it will also help you recognize when it’s time to scrap processes that aren’t working.
3. Ensure Your Team is Using the Tool to its Fullest Potential
A team that is well trained and prepared to leverage social software forms the basis of long-term social deployment success. From the start, make sure that a team manager sets preliminary goals and monitors success of user adoption. Then, let your team explore and learn.
Make sure your team feels comfortable diving in and asking questions (and that they know where to get their questions answered, whether it is a knowledge portal or a system administrator). Also, consider investing in managing and maintaining the tool so that you have the right people, tools, and processes in place to continually improve your system.
Throughout this process, you should track how your metrics are changing: what is working well, what isn’t working, and what areas aren’t changing as expected. Tweak as needed to set your team, your software and your business up for long-lasting success.
Keep the Big Picture Top-of Mind
Social deployment is a large and multifaceted undertaking. It’s about the right people, the right software, the right processes and the right choice for your business: all working together to allow social to impact your bottom line.
Implement the right technologies, but also keep in mind that your team will need to grow and improve alongside it. Put processes in place to ensure short and long-term success, but along the way, never stop learning and improving. Continually test, gather data, and improve the use of your technology, and you stand to reap the greatest benefits for your business.
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