Plan before launching social media

Marketing strategy
Lately I’ve received calls and emails from existing clients and new prospects seeking ways to use social media tools. They want to find out how to set up a Twitter account, exploit the ins and outs of LinkedIn, record a podcast, create a Facebook business page, and maybe even learn about GooglePlus so they’re ready when Google admits brands to its new platform.

Some of these people are pretty smart about their requirements. In many cases, however, I discover that two things are missing:

  • A commitment to developing an overall marketing or communications strategy first, before diving into social media. If you don’t know what your goals are, or who your target market is, how can you even dream of reaching them? And how would you measure success?
  • The allocation of resources for content development, curation and publishing. Think about this: After you’ve set up your cool-looking Facebook page, put a snazzy avatar on Twitter, and added fancy plug-ins to your WordPress blog, what are you going to say? Do you have a plan for curating, creating and publishing content?

Spending a few days hashing out your communications strategy and then planning your content flow will make the whole process of “using” social media a lot more effective.

I’m assuming here, perhaps too optimistically, that the organization in question is already monitoring mentions of their brands and their key people on the Web.

Do you agree? Easier said than done? Do people argue with you when you say “There’s no such thing as a Twitter strategy”?

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