A blog is not a business plan

3 Oct

Bamboozled by social media opportunities? Apparently you are not alone. The results of Optus’s first Annual Business Social Media Index showed Small & Medium Business Players (SMPs) were tentative about entering social media with only 28% using any form of social media for enterprise purposes. In total 56% were not using it at all and had no future plans to start. 25% believed that there was no clear way to build a business case for investment in the area.

Interestingly many SMPs forget that social media is not a plan in itself and requires a Social Media Marketing Plan which is ideally integrated into the overall marketing strategy. Some very basic and fundamental questions need to be asked when we look at the framework for a Social Media Marketing Plan and the following section will briefly outline what they are and how to make your plan work.

Businesses and organisations often need to be reminded of what they are trying to achieve and why they are trying to do certain things. They often mismatch their target audience and attempt to reach them with the wrong channels so other the questions “Whom are your trying to reach?” and “Where can you most effectively reach them?” are valid indeed. Just using a social media channel like facebook or twitter will not automatically guarantee an audience so businesses also need to answer the questions how they are going to reach out to their target audience. And finally, what is it that you are trying to get them to do? Do you want them to be loyal to your brand, provide information about themselves to you or do you simply want their feedback.

Social media is not a direct sales tool but can be used to establish and build a brand customer loyalty and leverage word of mouth marketing as well as obtaining feedback from your customers in a very efficient and quick way.

Apart from setting a marketing objective that is measurable and achievable Social Media Marketing Plan should further include a detailed analysis of the businesses online assets and what can be leveraged to achieve full social media engagement. Assets may include images, stories, people, videos, location and words. It is important to also choose tactical elements which should be based on your objectives and target audience. Creativity is essential to attract the target audience, ideas need to be scalable and repeatable to be able to successfully implement them.

Finally it is vital to establish benchmarks for tracking and measuring results and reexamine the strategy to identify what works and what doesn’t. Potentially need elements may be added to capitalise on new technology and online tools over time. Businesses also need to be flexible and aware of the fact that they may be in a position where they are examining tools within a plan and when they are ready to implement them things have moved on to another level or new technology. In the social media environment things just move at a different pace and they can change daily.

Source: How to create a social media marketing plan

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3 Responses to “A blog is not a business plan”

  1. Ben Waugh October 3, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Hello. I was reading someone elses blog and saw you on their blogroll. Would you be interested in exchanging blog roll links? If so, feel free to email me.

    Thanks.

  2. J.Requena October 3, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Social Media is just a tool to enrich your online strategy. Many companies think that is not that important and even more they are afraid of start taking advantage of this new and great tool, specially those big conservative companies.

    On the other hand small businesses know how to get the best from it, promoting products on social networking sites, but Social Media is not just that is not just having a blog, or Facebook and saying what is going on in your company, is much more, is a conversation with your customers, is the best way to know in hours what is in your customers mind. To get into this step, companies need to start providing good content, provide not only information, but also solutions to their customers.

  3. micheleworld October 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    I really identify with the points raised here guys (They often mismatch their target audience and attempt to reach them with the wrong channels so other the questions “Whom are your trying to reach?” and “Where can you most effectively reach them?) as have this struggle with my company right now..we have 20,000 student and young doctor members (read Gen Y!) of a total market of around 67,000 (some 30%)…and yet our online presence is almost zero…our website is the only one amongst our competitors that does not directly appeal to students and every time I recommend having a facebook page for this demographic it is met with resistance that it would not be seen as ‘professional,’ rather than understanding that this is just one part of our integrated comms plans and social media an essential channel.

    Maybe if I hit them with a barrage of support post this course!

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