Igniting Your Social Media Presence: Keeping the Flame Alive

Organizational success with social media requires an interesting blend of immediate actions and long-term management. Organizations need to ignite engagement through quick responses, while also having long-term governance strategies to manage that engagement over time. In this post, we introduce the elements of social media governance most needed for success.

Governance includes all the policies, processes, roles and responsibilities associated with launching and maintaining a social media presence over time. Here are some key elements of governance to consider:

  • Performance Measures: What are the outcomes that tell you whether you have been successful on social media or not? How will your success be measured? You could judge your success based upon the number of followers, the number of visits to your site or the amount of engagement in the form of likes or comments. You could also measure your success based on the number of people who click through to make purchases or sign up for a service. Knowing what you are trying to achieve and why it is important is a vital part of strategic governance.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: For each of your social media sites, who is allowed to have account access? Who is empowered to post, tweet or comment? Who is responsible for developing the overarching themes that provides a common thread on your social media sites? Who is in charge of what tasks? How are real-time responses handled if someone writes something mean on your social media page? Even if you have had social media for years, it is worth rechecking see who is doing what to see if the appropriate processes and guardrails are in place.
  • Business Processes and Workflow: Social media use involves content development, which needs to have some type of review process. The content is then usually scheduled for posting. Many posts are preplanned, but unfortunately, in an emergency (like a national disaster), those careful plans may not work. Have business processes both for planned posts and real-time responses.
  • Audience Engagement: How does your organization engage with audiences on social media? Do you have rules about following or reposting other organizations’ posts? What about responding, and even removing, abusive or negative comments? Some organizations post guidelines stating that it will remove comments that are offensive or contain profanity. Offensiveness, however, can end up being a gray area, and some organizations have found themselves on the defensive for having deleted comments they did not like.

Effective social media governance enables strategic storytelling, and demonstrates a close link between social media postings and your organization’s mission and goals. Taking a pause to reevaluate roles, processes, success factors, and risk management can both revitalize and reignite your social media presence.