Using Social Media to enhance and extend your communications potential is achievable for all types and sizes of business but first you need to know what platforms are available, which of these will work best for you, and how to make them an integrated part of your daily business. For this to happen there needs to be careful consideration and some effective planning.
Without planning there is the potential to waste a lot of time and become frustrated or worse create a negative image of your brand and your product through poor and inconsistent information management. As in any business planning process your strategy provides the big picture that shows why and how all the individual activities are coordinated to achieve a desired end result.
Given that the online communications landscape is still evolving and changing, albeit at a rapid pace, it is not necessary to develop and elaborate and detailed long term plan. Better to have something accessible, that can be reviewed regularly and modified to meet that demand and changes expected of this new era of online communications and social engagement.
It is important to be focused on what it is you need from this environment. It is an effective mechanism to find out what your customers and clients are thinking. With this information you can quickly modify your product and service to meet demand and keep your networks up to date and current with what you are doing and where you are heading. This works just as effectively with your staff, shareholders, investors, existing clients or potential clients.
Introducing the 8 P’s.
We have identified eight headings to assist you in formulating a structured plan. This step by step process helps you align emerging Social Media opportunities with your strategic intentions and the realities of your day to day business. These include:
- Planning (Who is responsible for what)
- Purpose (Be specific on what you are trying to achieve)
- Product (What products or services are you promoting)
- People (Who are you targeting)
- Profiles (Keep your branding and communications consistent)
- Platforms (What Social Media sites are you using)
- Promotions (What is going to get you noticed)
- Performance (Measure your effectiveness, ROI)