Social media in business- is it fun or is it business?

Should you be using social media for business?

If you’re wondering, then it’s time to revisit the basics and ask yourself some questions.

  • How does social media marketing fit into your business goals?
  • Is it a part of the business plan or is it a strategy?
  • Can you or should you use social media branding?
  • How much time and money are involved?

You can apply four basic principles of business planning to a social media marketing plan. Start with an outline, then a plan, followed by a periodic plan review, necessary corrections and finally, management of the plan. The use of social media for small business will vary depending on the type of business and the intent it is being used for. Below are four important areas to consider in social media marketing.

Establish a schedule

Every business plan starts with a start date but you will also need a review schedule. Pick a day near the end of the month, not a date but a day. The critical focus is on what progress has been made toward the goals and what steps need to continue and or be modified. Approach the review with a lessons learned concept and brainstorm for new ideas. Use reminders, ticklers and if more than just you are involved, get a solid commitment from the other people for your social media management process smm panel

The Plan

Ask yourself what social media success will look like for your business. Are you looking for more friends? What about increased web traffic? Do you want to create a buzz about a new trend? Are you looking for customer feedback? Determine if you want to take advantage of social media advertising.

The activity is a business activity with a business purpose. So define the objectives and do not worry about being formal. Bullet points are usually the most effective and during reviews comments can be made under each bullet as to the success or necessary changes needed. The important point is to write it down so you can review it later.

Establish Specific Steps

You will want to track progress so each process needs to be broken down into the smallest steps possible. For example a Facebook page has many setup parts and your input to that page will have several parts as well. Each needs to be planned with tracking in mind. The benefit of planning is being able to think through the sequence, and coordinate related tasks. Having each in order doesn’t mean the execution is in the same order. The social media world is rapidly changing, the written plan enables you to mark how things change and to track success or failure. A good social media marketing plan also creates a practical reality without vague “good ideas” but no real way to track success or failure.

Establish Ownership

Look at what has to be done in each step. Can you see the face of the person responsible? Is there a group or a single person responsible? Ownership is a clear assignment of specific responsibilities. Lack of ownership represents a reduction in implementation. Groups and committee processes are not as likely to be successful. In this case you may want to investigate a social media marketing consultant.

Who would be responsible for updating LinkedIn, or the Facebook page? Who will post the tweets in Twitter and what is the schedule? How about the Blog and other media resources? You may need to rotate people or realign them based on various skill sets.

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