Channel V Media has produced a snappy little e-book for companies mapping a social media plan. It's more than just hierarchy and bureaucracy that are making it difficult for marketers to roll out social media programs, Channel V says: "It's that they have to reorganize and learn new skills in order to offer something they've never offered before."

This book helps. In particular, it lists 12 things that merit consideration when you're developing a social program for business:

  1. Audience identification. If you have ID'd your audience, you're off to a good start. Next step? Learning how they interact online.
  2. Platform development and design. Figure out how to interact with users by building on their habits.
  3. Brand campaign integration. Social media programs can piggyback good brand campaigns, but the result has to be "transformed," not just "derived-from."
  4. Content creation/coordination. Keep your messaging timely and consistent, but true to the medium.
  5. Goal mapping. How will you measure progress?
  6. Brand identity. Ensure your goals and messaging are clearly defined throughout your enterprise. You can't always know at which touchpoint your user will enter.
  7. Audience attraction. How will you spread the word?
  8. Social media listening. Without a finger on the pulse of current conversation, you can't plan or evolve your strategy.
  9. Community and social responsibility. The latter is increasingly expected of companies; your community is watching for it.
  10. Internal/external community engagement and response. Be ever-present, so people know where to find you when they need your help.
  11. Brand advocacy. Your whole team must be on board with your message; otherwise, you can't be authentic and can't convert new advocates.
  12. Customer service. Listen and respond appropriately, whatever the medium.

The Po!nt: Don't start drawing up the blueprints without knowing what you're building. And never forget: It isn't enough to be a social media "presence"; it's equally important to be socially responsible. Plug that consideration in early, because people will call you on it.

Looking for great social media marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Social Media Marketing Factbook (May 2010). With 140 pages and 102 charts, it is full of relevant social media marketing stats and trends. The Social Media Marketing Factbook is Part 5 of the complete Digital Marketing Factbook (our 296-page full report).

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