First Things First

As social media races into the mainstream, it is all too easy for a business to want to leap into Twitter or Facebook based on a friend’s recommendation, or because they saw it on the news, or even just because they can.
Certainly the technological aspect of making such a move is simple
these days; a few clicks and you quite literally are there.  However,
the web is littered with abandoned sites. Was it the technology that
created the graveyard?

No. It was probably the lack of strategy. Which resulted in sporadic
effort. Which resulted in little or no results. Which resulted in

When a small business owner looks at most of their
business, they look at risk vs. reward, return on investment, and
return on time. They look at a plan. Looking at social media is no

The most successful efforts are created out of strategic, well
thought-out plans. Do you have a business plan? Do you have a marketing
plan? If not, then you need to start there. If you do have these, then
you probably have a good sense of who your customers are, and what they
value about you. This is an excellent place to start when thinking
about social media, because thinking strategically about your customers
IS why we’re in this game in the first place.

Social media provides a
powerful set of tools, as well as new ways of thinking about customer
engagement. If you don’t have a plan for how you want to move forward,
you make life much more difficult for yourself.

Of course, plans are simply ways to achieve goals. So first things
first–what are your goals as a business? What are your goals for