The Social River

Why you need a fast & efficient social media strategy.

When designing a social media strategy, two vital components that are often overlooked are:

speed efficiency

Social media should be thought of as a vast, powerful river. It’s fast-moving, has undercurrents you should be aware of and it’s almost impossible to go against the flow – you join the conversation at your own starting point and then go forward from there – there’s no going back.

Because of the continual flow of this river you can only hope to do well if you can move quickly – and possibly the best way to do this is to have efficient procedures in place.

A top airline got severely damaged by an online social media incident that happened outside of the normal working hours of their head office building – despite being a 24/7 operating company with offices all over the world in every time zone. By the time they got into work at 9am the next day – they had already lost any chance to influence the conversation.

A household brand name suffered a great loss of face online when they were too slow to respond to criticism on social media because their response had to be seen and approved by over 20 individual members of staff before it could be posted.

These are just two examples of why speed and efficiency need to be part of your social media strategy.

So how do you negotiate this mighty river and its potentially treacherous waters? Three things:

The right staff


The right staff will be pro-active, customer-focused and be happy to take ownership of problems.

The right training will keep them up-to-date and aware of how to handle your company reputation online within social media.

The right procedures will allow your staff to respond quickly and efficiently to positively resolve any issues that arise.

Planning Your Social Media Strategy

  • Designate social media staff. Ideally, you should have one person at a time monitoring and interacting through your social media channels. If you are active and engaging with many people across several platforms, you will need more than one person – but they should work as a team and all be aware of any problems that are currently being dealt with. Whoever is on point, they should have the power and the confidence to resolve minor issues without
  • Train your staff well and often. Don’t just give social media responsibility to the youngest person in the company – as I often hear happening. If they don’t have the training – get them some training. There are lots of social media companies in your area who will provide this as a service for you. It is also important to keep up to date on social media, so keep your eyes and ears open for new developments and any additional training needs that may occur as a result.
  • Plan procedures for each eventuality. If you would rather not give your social media staff legal training, for example, – you need to have a procedure in place for when legal threats arise. That way your social media staff can respond in the correct manner without causing any damage or vulnerability to your legal standpoint.

Social media is probably now the most important marketing tool companies have and it is important to get it right. Staff, training and implementing procedures are all going to require time and money investments but they are now, in my humble opinion, a necessity – so invest well.

Don’t try to scrimp and save when it comes to investment in social media – or worse still, just ignore it – because you will only get out of it what you put in – and it could save you one day from finding yourself up the creek without a paddle!

toby hewson

For further help with your social media strategy – please feel free to get in touch.




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