Maintaining a consistent user experience and brand across multiple online touch points is a major undertaking for any business. Doing so within a complex organization, while accounting for outside regulations and balancing communications objectives becomes increasingly difficult, but essential to delivering a consistently excellent experience to all those who touch or see your Brand online.
I propose a set of questions to be asked prior to the development of additional digital media touch points, including but not limited to social media accounts and profiles, email providers, and micro sites. Within your current approval process these questions can be added to, or supplement, the social media account authorization form to determine if the request is best served through a dedicated social account, or can be more efficiently achieved through a digital media or social media campaign.
1. What is the desired outcome from the audience’s interaction with this touch point? How would you define success?
(What is this channel’s intended purpose? Sales, Education, User acquisition? Will it be achieved through social media; frequency and Brand education?)
2. What other digital or offline marketing tactics have been used to reach this objective?
3. How does the audience for this campaign different from those you are connecting with through existing digital communications touch points?
(Identify the overlap with existing targets, informs content and conversion decisions)
4. How is this group currently linked?
(Identify a shared interest, the basis for community necessary to social media)
5. Where has this audience demonstrated a need for further communication with your Brand?
(Demonstrate the gap in existing communications, response, or lack thereof. What warrants additional marketing effort and expense?)
6. What unique content does this group expect or need from your Brand?
(Estimates ongoing cost to maintain the channel. What are we going to say to this group, who will be responsible for developing this content, why does this warrant an additional channel?)
7. Who will be responsible for maintaining this channel?
By asking these questions, the interactive marketing team will be able to accurately identify the ongoing effort that will be required to maintain an additional digital touch point, and more importantly, evaluate the audiences’ appetite for an ongoing relationship with your Brand in a social arena. Be sure your social efforts are adding to your Brand’s value and not detracting from the other social avenues you have in place, like a Support Blog, or Media Campaign. You don’t want the social channel to become the “Support Help desk” area where grievances are aired, and keep in mind what exactly the point is of the social campaign and moderate it to keep it on target.