One of the  hardest lessons for many organizations considering or involved in social media, it seems, is understanding that the the secret to success is not chasing the latest technology or cool application, but articulating and executing a clear, cogent strategy. I’m constantly surprised by how many organizations over-simplify their foray into social media and lead with tactics and not objectives…sort of the digital tail wagging the dog,  if you will. Yes, the planning process should remain  streamlined and  nimble. And no, the answer is not endless navel-gazing or red-tape. But without careful planning a social media program is destined for failure.

Over the past few years I’ve used the attached “reality check list” for use with organizations contemplating social media, and it has served me well. Each issue requires analysis and consensus to ensure focus, efficiency, progress and impact.

  • Due diligence
  • Purpose (or objectives)
  • Strategy
  • Platforms
  • Resources
  • Team
  • Rules
  • Content
  • Process
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Metrics

Let me know what you think. Have I left anything out? Do you find this too basic or even overkill?