Real-time social media marketing can be incredibly powerful as it adds elements of context and relevance to your social media content and audience interactions.
The challenge for many organizations is that existing processes can stand in the way of engaging and interacting with audiences in a timely manner. Process by its nature takes time, and virtually strips organizations of being able to act in real-time.
Opportunity identification, legal reviews, running approvals up the ladder, creative ideation, risk assessment, production, organizing and rallying a team to create content are a few of the factors that can grind execution of the best intentions to a halt.
All of these components are important, but to capitalize on real-time opportunities on social media, certain planning and preparation will need to be in place. Also, in some cases, concessions or modifications might need to be made to your organization’s regular processes.
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Following are a few suggestions and ideas for how you can prepare your organization to be equipped engage in real-time on social media:
Pre-establish roles and responsibilities
Pre-establishing roles and responsibilities will keep your team organized, focused, and ready to act. When an opportunity is identified you’ll be happy to have your team chosen and roles established so you can get straight to producing something amazing instead of figuring out who’s going to be doing what.
Set guardrails as a team
Consider working with all reviewers and decision makers on a set of guidelines to abide by for any real-time social media marketing efforts. Chances are that there is a fairly well defined set of dos and don’ts that can be applied across the board, regardless of context. If these are set from the get-go, you might be able to reduce, or even eliminate, review timelines down the road.
Organize an expedited process where possible
Getting all decision makers, reviewers, and legal advisers on board with expediting their respective processes to pass a piece of content is of utmost importance. If there are parts of your existing process that just can’t be changed, ensure that everyone involved understands just how critical timing is for real-time marketing to be effective, and perhaps they’ll be able to help with determining how to expedite their contribution to the process.
Create and publish now, apologize later
The fastest way to work through process is simply to eliminate it. Depending on your organization’s tolerance for risk, you may find that the best approach to real-time social media marketing process is to virtually ignore the bottlenecks, publish your content without all previously necessary reviews and approvals, and should anything go awry, work to solve that problem later. Hopefully if you have done due diligence to establish guardrails, you can avoid any issues.
Open your lines of communication
One of the main points of real-time social media marketing is to open the lines of communication between your business and your consumers to carry on a dialogue or conversation in near real-time. To facilitate this, your internal lines of communication will also need to be opened and streamlined. Save yourself precious time by finding opportunities to cut through hierarchy, politics, and any other circumstances that tend to slow or cloud internal communications.
Gain the support of senior leadership
Having someone in a senior leadership position as a strong supporter of your team and efforts will greatly ease your ability to act swiftly and minimize roadblocks. If you are not in a senior leadership position yourself, and need to gain the support of someone who is, try to recruit him or her by demonstrating the value of real-time marketing, and by showing them how it can be executed without spiraling out of control.
In order for real-time social media marketing to be practiced effectively, processes need to be adjusted, and in some cases, recreated. Every business will have unique needs for process, so you’ll need to determine what works best for your organization and adjust accordingly.
What processes does your organization have in place to facilitate real-time social media marketing?
How do you work through process in a timely fashion to allow for real-time social media marketing efforts?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial