Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 | 5 min read
The need for strong social media management technology is clear, but many companies – especially larger ones – struggle for too long with poorly scaled social solutions. They might have started out with a point solution, and when it came time for a new capability, they might have gotten another, and another.
Eventually, these companies found themselves facing an inconvenient truth: their technology wasn’t meeting their needs, and it couldn’t possibly stretch to grow with them any longer.
Getting a tool that can grow with your team and your needs is the first step. The second is considering scalability in the early phases to accommodate for the inevitable growth of your business and eventually, the evolution of your social strategy.
Here are a few tips to ensure a scalable social deployment strategy:
Plan Ahead Before You Need to Grow
Getting your team ramped up onto a new social tool isn’t enough on its own. For a social deployment to be successful, it needs to account for what a team currently needs, and be able to support the success of that team for years to come.
With that in mind, think before you act. Consider a plan for scaling within your organization over time. Having a clear sense of your team’s needs will allow you to prescribe the right technology solution, but failing to map a path to success (and how your definition of success may change through the years) can render even the most effective tool useless.
If your initial goals are to shorten your time to resolution by 20%, or increasing your weekly publishing cadence by 15%, imagine what your goals might be in two years. Understanding that your goals may be even more ambitious in the future is important – building in the potential to add seats to teams that you think might grow, etc. – and will help ensure graceful scaling.
Create Progress Checkpoints
Any project, large or small, is at risk without the proper tracking of success or failure. Deploying a social tool is no exception.
Building a sophisticated dashboard with intricate functionality is enticing, and is something that you’ll likely want to scale into. First, though, you want to be sure that you can consistently run campaigns, and strategically manage your social presence to hit basic KPIs.
Brands must know that their social tool is benefitting the business as planned and serving as a worthwhile investment. We recommend building in checkpoints along way with a monthly cadence.
Establishing a steady line of checkpoints will help you stay on target throughout the journey of deployment and validate that the changes you’ve made, and the work you’ve done is working. If you’re on track, amazing. Stay the course. If you don’t hit a checkpoint because of unforeseen challenges, identify what went wrong, and readjust for the future.
Always Keep Improving
Even the most careful social tech set-ups might need to be change. Processes that may have worked at first might need to be adjusted over time. Your team will inevitably graduate from the basic first steps to a more sophisticated use case for the software, and you’ll need to be primed to adjust whenever necessary to continue using the tool to its fullest potential.
From the start, build a mechanism into your process which serves as a feedback loop. Make sure that even the most junior members of your team feel like they can be heard, and can contribute to design improvements and more. The better you can improve the experience for the day-to-day users of the tool, the more the tool can do for your business (and your customers) in turn.
Social deployment is just one step toward a larger, organization-wide goal of digital transformation. Using social media management technology to get there is a challenging, but ultimately worthwhile endeavor.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to take the steps necessary to guarantee that your social technology is benefitting your business as much as possible.
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