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The normal order of business is to ensure that every department has a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) however, with the addition of Social Media in recent years; some companies may find it hard to create or unify their team members in keeping it not only followed but updated.
This has become a struggle with many companies that have added Social Media to the mix and since it too needs some order, the question often asked is “Does Social Media need an SOP?”
Merging a newer form of media as a part of your Internet Marketing plan is clearly important to remain relevant within your industry and as Social Media has not only gained trust and power, its influence for your brand can be significant, and in fact for some companies it has now become the majority of their marketing efforts. With that said Social Media changes fast and drastically unlike anything else that happens within a business so applying the same methods as you are used to when running your business may become a tad bit frustrating.
Social Media is a real-time Industry and changes sometimes overnight. Not only does it change with new social networks and social booking marking sites, but existing social sites often add new features regularly that if your business wants to remain in charge of their online presence need to test and try to see if the latest features are applicable to your brand.
This can often cause conflict to an existing SOP, or means that you need to constantly keep your SOP updated, which many businesses fail to do. Of course you need order, some sort of system to know where you begin and end your day and promotional needs. However, this does not mean that you should have an SOP that applies to more stable aspects of your business nor does it mean you need to spend time panicking that your team members understand what is expected of them.
What you need is to create a solid foundation that is strategized based on its core being flexible. A system that shares where to start and end when referring to social sites and blogs is a great way to start and adding what to do on those sites is a great way to remain organized, but you cannot make it solid, you need to leave room for change and to stay on top of what the changes are that occur within Social Media and it needs to become a part of your job (or for your vendor).
When a new feature is added, assign some team members to collectively try it and present their results to you with they’re pros and cons of how and why it would be of any benefit to your brand and if it targets any of your local area. Once a decision has been made then you need to figure where within the SOP it would fit best or make the most sense as you certainly want to ensure there is a path that keeps moving smoothly.
Yes, Social Media needs an SOP for your business, but remember that it needs to be flexible, you need to try features before adding them and you need to remain informed as well has informing your team of any and all changes. An SOP is important, but it is not going to be the one you are used to and be prepared for it to change in an instant.
[SOP image via redhillconsultinggroup]