Put down those shiny toys and get back to business people

[tweetmeme]I’m noticing more businesses getting onboard the social media train of late, which makes me happy. However, I’ve also seen a worrying trend of people ‘playing’ with these new shiny toys with no clear strategy.

Now, I know how exciting it can be to churn out blog posts in a bid to get more subscribers and hits. Hell you might even get lots of comments and retweets. That feels great doesn’t it? Similarly you could be spending all day chatting to people on Twitter, making connections, engaging, watching that follower count slowly rise as more and more people respond to your tweets. But think about what this time is costing you in monetary terms? And in return, what are you gaining from this huge time investment? Do you know? Do you even know why you’re doing it?

Building your profile on social media platforms and establishing a blog is great, but if your activities aren’t linked to a wider strategy then that time (and what that equals in cold hard cash) could be wasted. As with all business activities, you need a strategy that links into your overall business plan.

Applying the usual goals-objectives-strategies-tactics model to your social media plan will work well, but ahead of that make sure you fully understand your business plan and the top level goals that need to be achieved as these will drive your social media plan. If you don’t have an adequate business plan in place, Joanne Jacobs has written a useful post on what this should include here.

Alongside goals-objectives-strategies-tactics model you should also add in measurement metrics that allow you to regularly check  if your objectives are being reached (and this of course needs to include ROI … the money bit). As a framework, it should look something like this (there are a couple of pages, you might want to view in ‘full’):

[slideshare id=2836413&doc=socialmediawebinar-nov09-100105164603-phpapp01]

Ahead of any activity you should also measure the status quo so that you have a baseline to work from. You then need to measure regularly (monthly at least) to ensure you’re fully aware of how things are progressing.

If your current social media activities (tactics) don’t fit with your plan or help you to achieve your objectives, stop doing them. If your metrics show in time that you’re not achieving your objectives, and overall goals, work out what tactics aren’t working, stop doing them and trying something else.

I can’t stress enough how important this is. It’s a bit like shooting arrows into thin air. You may be great at shooting those arrows, but if they don’t hit the target, there’s little point.


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  1. Nikki Groom says:

    A nice reminder – thanks!

  2. Gemma Went says:

    Glad you think so Nikki. I often have to remind myself too 🙂

  3. One I’d missed from earlier this month – your top 10 works!!
    This is very useful for a fairly new social media immerser like myself – great logic.

  4. Gemma Went says:

    Great, glad it’s useful

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