3 Questions To Ask Before You Build Your Social Media Plan

09/30/2011

Questions Ask two people if you should include social media as a part of your business communication strategy and you'll get at least three different answers.

MSN Business On Main offers an interesting post written by Polly Schneider Traylor Are You Wasting Your Time On Facebook and Twitter? Polly's post includes insights from a range of people working in B2B and B2C. She reminds us that for social media to be effective it circle backs to building a strategy that takes into account not only business goals (that can be measured) but understand where your customers are, as I like to say, hangin' out on the social web

Part of my due diligence in helping people create social media plans includes talking .. lots of talking. Well .. perhaps not so much talking on my side more so listening. 

I listen to the people within the organization. I listen to their customers/clients. I listen to what is happening in the "industry village" of their social web. This occurs before a decision is made on where to go or even if go. 

Everyone who has ever created a stratgic plan understands this first step is nothing new but it is a critical piece of the foundation. Not only is it important to understand the views and expectations from both employees and the people they service e.g., customers but it's often the first step in building cross department buy-in. Keep in mind social media is more than a new tool; for many it is a change in how they approach business .. internally and externally.

To help you structure the due diligence part of your planning here are a 3 Questions To Ask to get you started on the road to building a successful social media stategy. Of course you will include more in your guide that reflects your objectives, customer needs and industry. 

3 Questions To Ask Before You Build Your Social Media Plan

1. What does social media mean to you? The answers may surprise you. You'll find some people will define social media by the tools e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. while others by the outcomes such as sharing information online. The insights from this one question are extremely valuable to help you understand the different orientations.

2. Who do you think is doing social media right and why? This question has a couple of benefits. First, it provides tangible insights into what the person thinks is of value. Second, if nothing comes to mind it is a red flag the person might not be as active in the social web as he indicated. Or it could be an indication that there is a gap in the industry when it comes to providing social media innovation.

3. What type of content would add value to you building your business? This seems like a no brainer but lots of surprises surface when you include the words add value to you. You're taking this into what I call the realm of selfless content that may not directly include information about the your brand or products or services. The result is a stronger parternship relationship. 

 Bonus Tip! If you feel that you have to jump in and justify or respond to the answers then you are not the right person to conduct this type of interview. The more you (or someone else) is able to stay objective .. to listen .. the more you'll learn. And the result is? Right! A Successful Social Media Plan.

I'd love to hear and to share with our communty other questions that people ask as part of their pre planning due dilegence. Drop a comment. Thanks!

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MSN Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Comments

Most of the small companies are still blissfully ignorant of social media influence on customer choice of products/services. This should help them know that you can no longer ignore FB, Twitter or Youtube while planing their marketing strategy.

Posted by: eBay Virtual Assistant on Oct 3, 2011 4:03:55 AM

Toby
This is really a great post and valuable. I like the three questions and think they are right on target!

Nettie

Posted by: Nettie Hartsock on Oct 3, 2011 11:08:02 AM

I think it is a best practice to observe the way several other competitors or other identity's on the web are taking advantage of social media. You can then complete a S.W.O.T analysis to see where you stand.

Posted by: Krista on Oct 14, 2011 12:07:16 PM

I think observing how established companies use social media is great, but how do you build a social media strategy for an industry which historically isn't web savvy?

Posted by: Chris on Oct 26, 2011 5:29:36 PM

Successful companies are using social media to their advantage. One way to generate positive results through it is by publishing top-quality contents.

Posted by: How to Blog on Oct 28, 2011 12:31:43 PM

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