The end of the year is a popular time for reflection, and often times we look big picture to see what the past year has carried with it, and where the future might lead.
While you’re looking at trends and the big stories, though, now is a great time to reflect on your own company and where it stands with immersion and integration of social media.
Looking back with an honest eye can help you get a handle on what worked, what didn’t, and how you’d like to sketch out next steps in 2011. Auditing should be as much a part of your business processes as planning.
So gather your team, grab some coffee and talk through some of these questions around listening, engaging, and measuring social media.
1) Are we satisfied with how our listening outposts are set up? Do we feel like we’re getting the data and information we need?
2) What have we heard overall so far? What are the key themes that run through our listening efforts? What are the positives about what we’re hearing, and what do we want to work on?
3) How have we disseminated our listening intelligence through the business? Where could we improve this in the coming year?
4) Where have we focused our listening efforts to date (marketing, branding, PR, customer service)? What other aspects of the business could benefit by more organized listening efforts, and how can we help them integrate it?
5) How can we expand our listening efforts beyond our brand? What about things like industry trends or competitive analysis and what advantages would those have for us?
1) How would we define our engagement and outreach strategy this year on social networks? Was it primarily reactive or proactive? Is that course working for us, and why or why not?
2) What were our goals for participating in social media conversations, and did they change through the year? How?
3) Did this year illustrate the need for social media engagement guidelines? Or if we already have them, how might we need to update them in the coming year?
4) What did we learn about our community and market’s expectations for things like response time, available information and answers, and what were the topics that came up most?
5) Where might we need to connect internal dots and processes to better flow the information and interactions that come from social media? Are there new/other departments and people we need to involve?
1) Are we currently measuring elements of our social media efforts? Which goals do they align with, and what are we tracking?
2) What are we not tracking right now that would help us better understand the impact of our social media programs? What metrics or measurements do we have the capacity to track, and which require new methods?
3) Based on what we’re tracking, what efforts are progressing positively, and how do we define that? Which ones aren’t working as well as we expected, and what will we adjust based on what we’ve measured?
4) How much time are we devoting to measurement proportionally? Does it feel like too much or too little? How can we adjust? Do we have the right tools in hand to do the analysis we need?
5) How are we communicating our learning’s from our tracking efforts, and to whom? Is that process working or how do we refine it?
So these are just a handful of ways to look back at 2011 and see where you’ve come, and help chart where you’re headed. You’ve got more, I’m sure, but perhaps these get you thinking.
Ask the hard questions. Ask some that you don’t have answers to, but make it a point to drive toward those answers in the coming year. Think about where you are on the right path for social media maturity and what the next logical steps are based on your available resources, goals, and other priorities.
What else are you looking at to see how your social media programs stacked up this year?