I just read Beth Harte’s post Consider a Plan for social media ROI on Marketing Profs Daily Fix. She’s focusing on business specifics of a social media strategy, but she also has a good general reminder of how plans work in real business situations.
A plan can be simple and practical. Sometimes it’s as simple as an objective and steps to achieve it. Beth’s post offers a good example using social media. It includes goal, objectives, tactics, and measurement. Here’s her example:
Goal: To generate conversation around Product X.
Objective 1: To increase number of comments about Product X on Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr by a combined 50% in the next 3 months.
Objective 2: To get 5 bloggers to mention Product X in the next 6 months.
(Remember, your objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound.)
Tactics for Objective 1:
Utilize Twitter to develop a network that allows Company Z to participate in a two-way dialogue. Post videos of Product X in action on YouTube. Post pictures of customers using Product X on Flickr.
Tactics for Objective 2: Pitch 25 bloggers on demonstration of Product X.
Measurement of Objective 1: Twitter was utilized for conversation, YouTube and Flickr to share videos and photos, by doing so, the number of comments and conversations about Product X increased from 10 to 15 achieving the objective.
Measurement of Objective 2: 25 bloggers were pitched over a 6 month time period, which resulted in 4 mentions of Product X missing the objective by 1 mention.
True — and she recognizes this — that’s not going to be true return on investment as measured by sales less costs and expenses, compared to initial investment. But it does add accountability into the mix, and gives you steps you can track later. And that’s really good.