Social media… what is it really about? Is social media about tools, communications, relationships, brand awareness, authenticity, customer service or business? And what is the priority for learning tools? Is it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut, Buzz, HootSuite, Seesmic, or one of the million other tools that exist?
Question: How do you keep your head, twitter bird and bottom line above water?
Answer: STOP the RANDOMNESS!
Random Act of Marketing: An attempt to grow market share, increase brand awareness, drive revenue or other business benefit that is NOT integrated, can not easily be measured or justified and does not integrate with other marketing and business tactics!
Random Act of Social Media: Similar to a Random Act of Marketing but involves social media.
RAMMIES = Multiple RANDOM ACTS of MARKETING and/or RANDOM ACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Responsible parties of RAMMIES are often seen late nights at Starbucks on Tweeting tools, experience stress related sleepless nights, mass consumption of chocolate or high fat foods and as a result may have missing teeth, strung out hair and sometimes even a bit stinky. Their life is a bit unorganized yet they are always busy. They often feel a sense of no control. They tend to grasp on to TweetDeck, HootSuite, Facebook as a means for control and ability to connect with others who are experiencing the same symptoms.
We have all done them, seen them fail and regretted them…. the RAM and RASM. It may start out as a simple Facebook campaign, ad, an email blast, a Twitter Tweet, event flyer, website without proper research or development. Before you know it, the RAM and RASMs take on a life of their own! Watch out!
If a social media consultant or agency does not first ask you for a copy of your business goals, objectives, as well as a copy of your marketing and business plan… RUN as fast as you can. No sense in staying as you will not pass GO and you will not be winning even $200 on your Return on Investment in social media!
Instead, before you pay anyone to do anything for you in social media get your business plan organized, goals and objectives defined and prioritized.
The majority of people who I talk to that state they have received no ROI from social media usually have a super bad case of RAMMIES! Also, the majority lack any form of a plan, goals or objectives. Metrics to measure success, are unfortunately not likely for many.
A positive Return on Investment is not going to be achieved by bolting on social media to a business without structure. In reality social media will highlight your business issues and gaps, including your lack of a strategic marketing and business plan.
If you lack a plan, goals and objectives you’ll have a hard time determining priorities and organizing for social media. If you lack a market segmentation and go to market plan you’ll experience difficulty engaging in social media. If you lack brand, identity and content, you’ll likely have few Twitter followers, Facebook Fans and engagement overall.
So what do you do you ask? Get yourself organized. Stop the RANDOMNESS!
Top 4 Tips to Identify if You Have RAMMIES Living In Your Business!
For each item ask yourself the following:
1. Is it in the PLAN?
This one is pretty easy. Either it is in the PLAN or it isn’t! If it’s a bolt-on addendum that has been edited 52 times it is not considered in the plan. Be honest with yourself.
2. Is it FUNDED?
Is it in your budget? Or did you rob Peter to pay Paul? If you had to beg, borrow and steal to get the activity or deliverable funded then chances are it is a RAMMIE!
3. Is it MEASURABLE and have you defined METRICS and measures for SUCCESS?
How are you measuring success? What metrics have been defined for measurement? Have you set goals? What is the anticipated ROI? To be exempt from our RAMMIE bucket none of these can be answered as TRUE!
4. Is it INTEGRATED?
How is it integrated into the rest of your business? If it isn’t part of the PLAN as identified in #1 chances are it’s not INTEGRATED which also means it’s probably a RAMMIE! Stating you have an add-on email that is going to your already hammered list of names announcing this new RAMMIE does not make it exempt from such status. Sorry.
Integrated means it is an INTEGRATED component to other marketing, social media and business activities. It is integrated into the DNA of what you do, how you do it. Not a sidebar sales tactic, marketing plan and/or Facebook campaign.
Integration is key to success and most importantly the magic RAMMIE killer that will bring you real ROI. Why you ask? Because when you execute social media as part of a bigger, more comprehensive initiative and plan that is measurable then your return on investment across marketing mediums can be exponential! This is because all marketing programs and activities will benefit from the activity if executed efficiently.
Why should you avoid RAMMIES? Because they will EAT your business alive! They will eat your ROI, brand equity and market share. RAMMIES are not good for business.
What happens with most RAMMIES is they get out of control. One RAMMIE soon organically grows another and another. In medium to large businesses often times middle and senior management love RAMMIES! Why? Because they don’t have to fund them, support them or integrate them. Bottom line they don’t have to commit to them. Yet, usually they are provided to the RAMMIE project manager victim as “the best project of the year”.
Yes, sometimes if you are lucky and know how to manage RAMMIES, you can manage them to your benefit. You can get a lot of “buzz” for yourself, your company and your project. If that’s what you want then go for it. For me, I’d rather have a project and a businss that is planned, focused, measurable, funded and integrated!
What happens when your RAMMIE goes bad and gets naughty!? Chances are the management layer who cheered you on to take the project will be running and hiding! They will want nothing to do with it! Why? Because it isn’t funded, doesn’t bring positive ROI, was never resourced, and has no goals or objectives! OUCH! So the same reason they gave you the project ends up being the reason they are running!
On the flip side, let’s say your RAMMIE project is a success. Fast forward to your quarter review with Executive management. Unfortunately since your project has no plan, financial plan, metrics it is difficult to brag about all the wonderful things you did. Plus, since you robbed Peter and Paul you did it for nothing! Guess what!? Management is going to ask you to repeat the same thing next quarter. Chances of you getting proper funding, allocated team resource to get your life back are far from none. Good luck on that one!
So what do you if you have a RAMMIE?
1. As quickly as you can get the RAMMIE planned, funded, measured and integrated! It is your only hope! If this isn’t possible, then KILL IT!
2. If you are a small business owner you have more control than some may at a larger company with more management layers. If you need to stop an activity, stop it! Don’t be afraid to hit pause on one thing to be successful with another!
3. If you work in a larger company then you need to deal with your management. Document to the best of your ability the plan, resources required for proper budgeting, metrics to define success or failure and recommendations for how it will be integrated. Take this to your management and express your concern.
This is the first of several posts I will be doing over the next month to help people deal with the RANDOMNESS that is consuming their time, business and life!
Get integrated, get focused and dare to make the hard decisions needed to drive your business toward success!
You can also check out a video I did a few weeks ago discussing this topic in more detail!