Ever wonder what you need to build your successful social business? Look no further. In this article you’ll discover 7 key elements to craft your strategic plan that will boost your business on the social web.
#1 Objectives: set clear goals
- send more traffic to your website to improve your visibility (Google Juice),
- generate high quality leads by engaging with the right audience,
- broaden your reach and generate media attention,
- become the authority in your niche,
- improve your customer service,
- get instant access to Joint Venture partners,
- increase your brand awareness
#2 Mission: define your primary motivator
What’s your mission? Your mission states why your company exists! It’s the driving force of your company. It’s what makes you or your employees jump out of bed because there’s a higher purpose – besides making money. Here are 2 great examples for your inspiration:
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had a clear mission when they started Apple: “to challenge the Status Quo”. They were motivated by their inner voice telling them “you can build something better that will support people with their creativity”. We all know how this ended!
Jim McCann founded a retail florist shop in 1976. It became well-known as 1-800-Flowers.com. Jim has built a successful flower business guided by his mission: “to help you express yourself with the important people in your life”.
#3 Story: create great stories that generate emotion
Facebook Timeline pages have revitalized awareness that we as business owners all have a story to tell. Share your story. Not only what got your company started, but also what happens in day-to-day interaction with your customers. There are a lot of different ways to tell your story. Use photos, videos, audio, tweets, status updates, pin boards or blog posts to share these stories on the social web. Think about using a storyboard to visualize your own stories. Most important – keep it simple.
#4 Voice: make clear how your brand should sound like
The people who engage with your customers or prospects represent your voice. Look for admins who want to work for empathy. Support their day-to-day engagement with clear guidelines. Stephanie Schwab – a social media trainer who writes for socialmediaexplorer.com has defined 4 clear concepts to find your own Voice:
- Character/persona (Casual, Playful, Inspiring)
- Tone (Personal, Honest, Humble)
- Language (Simple, Fun, Savvy)
- Purpose (Engage, Delight, Entertain)
Read Finding Your Brand Voice to learn more.
The Email Service Provider MailChimp.com is a good example of a company that has found it’s own Voice. The following quote by Ben Chestnut -MailChimp’s founder and CEO- says it all:
”Forget the competition, and just go be awesome in your own way (even if it’s weird)”.
#5 Resources: start with the end in mind
To define the resources you need, simply start with the end in mind. What are you trying to achieve? Visualize the end result. To give you an example. Suppose you want to build a blog site with 5,000 visitors each day. Start thinking about all the building blocks to create this end result. Break it down into little pieces, like: weekly content (videos, articles, links), (guest) writers, blog software (WordPress), images (istockphoto.com), design, editorial guidelines, editorial calendar, chief-editor, social share buttons (Plugins like Digg Digg or Sexybookmarks), etc…
#6 Audience: know who you are talking to
Who are you trying to reach? Make sure you define your niche market well: Your market is a community of people who share a common interest, needs, values, media, behavior, etc… Your niche market is a subset of this specific market. To find your audience on the web, you need to know what words they use to engage with others, to search for the fulfillment of their needs. Keyword tools are really helpful to discover your audience’s vocabulary.
If you know who to reach, make sure you now where to engage with them on the web. Use Multiple Social Media Channels to Engage with your Audience. Discover / analyze their social behavior on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or Google+.
#7 Monitor: review your actions and learn what works
Follow these simple steps: 1. plan, 2. do, 3. review. Create a promotional or editorial calendar – plan ahead – implement it and monitor the results. There are tons of social monitoring tools available – each with their own pros or cons. Here’s a selection of tools, you definitely should check out: Crowdbooster, Pagelever, Radian6, Social Mention, Socialbakers, Alexa Ranking and Twitter Counter.
Also make sure you know how to generate useful insights with analytical tools like Facebook Insights, Google Insights, Google alerts, Google analytics, Google Keyword tool, and YouTube Insights.
Take Away: Although the social web thrives on social behavior, you need to have a clear strategy to build your successful business. Use these 7 key elements to create your strategic plan as a clear guideline that works!
I love to hear your reaction or question on strategic planning for the social web. Please use the comment box below. Thanks!