Insights 12 – what needs to be on your digital agenda in 2012? Five of 10 – Platform Management

The management of an ever growing number of social media channels has been a challenge for social media practitioners for years. As more and more clients come on board, each with their own time allocation, the number of channels increases as does the number of people required to manage them – but as we all know “technology scales, people don’t”.

In 2012, this will become much less of a cliche and more of a reality as brands see more and more interactions in social channel requiring more and more content to be published. Done properly, more and more engagement is generated, requiring more time for interactions. As a result, more fresh content is needed to be curated, located, edited, approved and published again. All of this can quickly slow even a two-person community management team right down and affect engagement levels.

Adding more people to the team doesn’t necessarily solve the problem either. There will be different writing capabilities, understanding of the content plan and team availability – all restricting the free flow of content, sometimes even its quality. We’ve all read about the case of the brand who has given the role of channel management to the junior in the office with most time on their hands…Habitat anyone?

To coin a new phrase “people are people, skills vary.”

Platform management dominates service provision in 2012

If 2010/11 was the year that social media monitoring became a staple part of your communications strategy, 2012 will be the year that belongs to social media management platforms even though systems of one form or another have been around for years.

The ability to a) manage many more, remote individuals (all of whom may have valuable contributions to make to your social media management channels), b) specify different publishing and moderation rights and c) schedule content, make the content creation and posting effort a much more effective, team effort – without losing ANY of the top-line control that the true social media specialist requires in order to manage multiple channels.

Likewise, email-driven workflows ensure that interactions of the slightest nature which require moderation or attention can be directed to the right individual – backed-up by smart pre and post-moderation. Add in reasonably sophisticated analytics and you have take a huge step to solving the scaling and skilling problem so often associated with social media channel management.

Platforms = Control = Accountability = Assurance

Nervous or inexperienced brands need assurance to see that if you are being their brand guardian that the proper systems are in place to manage their reputation – if you are going to be serious about social in 2012, a management platform is a MUST.

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