Eight Components for Social Media Success: #3 Content Plan / Programming Schedule
This is the third in a series of posts discussing my Eight Components for Social Media Success. In the first we explored Strategy and Business Objectives, in the second Membership Identification and Acquisition. Today we’ll discuss the Content Plan / Programming Schedule component – the sourcing and use of content, whether traditional or new media, new or existing, internal or external, expert or user generated, static or event based.
People need a reason not only to initially come to your community, but also to stay and engage with other community members (and your company, if applicable). Having the right content, in context, will go a long way to giving members of your community reasons to stay and participate.
Depending on the scope and needs of community, content creation and a acquisition may be a primary focus of the community staff. In smaller communities, the community manager may be responsible for content creation and aggregation, but in very large communities or in enterprise-wide social media initiatives, content creation aggregation, management and scheduling may be performed by very distinct community staff roles. I will get into these roles in a subsequent post, but today let’s talk about some of the Content Plan / Programming Schedule component, which includes the following activities:
- Programming Schedule. The programming schedule provides a roadmap for the overall editorial focus, direction and timing of content for the site. The community programming schedule may include traditional as well as new media content. The programming schedule should map the content to the appropriate context, be reviewed regularly in regard to the activities (and needs) of the community, and modified accordingly.
- Content Acquisition/Development. The inventory of existing content, analysis of the content needs / wants of the community, identification of content gaps, and recommendation and plans for new content. May also include the management of internal and external authors, bloggers, services, and other content providers.
- Content Facilitation. Includes the editing of content and grafting and pruning topics within forums or discussions to maintain on-topic, productive conversations.
- What I call Cross-utilization. One of the best ways to leverage not only digital content, but also “traditional” content, within social media is cross-utilization. Although content reuse is nothing new, social media has provided a world of new places to utilize content. Because each type of content is different, and each may have to be “adopted” (see Content Chunking, below) for proper cross-utilization.
- Content Chunking. Quite often the best way to cross utilize content is by breaking content into smaller it usable bites or reformatting it for use in different social media functional areas (blogs, vBlogs, podcasts, webinars,…). This is especially true when cross-utilizing traditional content for social media purposes.
(Depending on the amount of content reuse via Cross-Utilization and Content Chunking, these activities may be one of the more time consuming responsibilities of the community manager.)
This post does not include a discussion of the various types of content, which I will examine a letter post. However, it should give you some idea of the activities associated with developing and defining the plans within the Content Plan / Programming Schedule component.
(Please keep in mind that these are the components for social media success, not the methodology or processes used to map out the strategy and plan. My methodology is a four step iterative step iterative process that will be presented in a future blog.)
As always, comments and sharing welcome!
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(For an overview of my eight components for social media success, please see Strategy and Planning for Online Community and The Missing 8th Component of the Seven Components of Successful Community).