Developing a Digital Strategy 003 – Challenges
Companies wanting to develop an online presence and form a Social Media policy face significant challenges. Some of the most immediate challenges include
- who will implement the strategy
- how much control should they have
- how does it integrate in our existing marketing strategy
- how much time will this take. do we need extra staff
- do we need an additional system to deliver content online
- what return are we going to get for our investment
- how do we measure that return
- what happens if we don’t implement a digital strategy
Individual Employee use of Social media on behalf of the company
This is a big issue for many organisations. Participation in social media is social and often done by individuals on behalf of the company who may well also have their own personal online presence. This is a difficult as the face of an individual may come to represent the company who may then leave or whose personal life is then viewed as representing the company.
Development of a Social Media policy will be influenced by the type of investment your company wants to make — additional time, staff, looking at developing new systems to incorporate new strategies, all need careful thought and there are some key questions that can be asked to help guide these decisions (these will be covered in ‘Developing a Digital Strategy 006 – Practicalities, Questions to ask)
What return on our investment in social media can we expect?
Social Media, if used strategically, can bring many different returns on your investment depending on company aims, which can range from increased traffic, link revenue, exposure, sales, influence, unique page views. Whatever your company has decided upon, each use of social media can be viewed as an additional touch point to the company and potentially new opportunities.
Measure outcomes can include
- Direct sales and leads as a result of engagement
- Increased engagement (content viewed, commented on, retweets, followers, listings)
- Quality versus quantity
- Old measures vs. new measures (eg sales vs building a community)
Touch points and revenue streams
Your company website and online presence may be a standalone product which may or may not be found due to low search engine ranking, or it can be an intersection with different touch points into ‘Web 2.0’ and therefore many different opportunities once you have found where your audience is.
Organisations often make the mistake of believing increased revenue will be made by persuading people to want something they don’t yet have, rather than finding their audience’s as yet unmet need. These can often only be found by engaging with networks and hearing first hand what it is that people are looking for.
Touch points = increased opportunities to be found online (SEO) = increased potential business opportunities
The next few articles will look at these issues and how some companies have addressed them