You Should Know the “Why” Before the “How” If You’re Going to Jump Into Social Media

whyandhowI recently put on a Webinar on how social media could be used by B-to-B, and one of the most common questions is what tools should I use? Should I concentrate on Facebook, LinkedIn or is Twitter the best for me? When I ask them why are they doing social media, I get a silent pause. One of the first things we talk about is the “Why” you want to participate in the social media scene. If you can’t answer the Why, then the How doesn’t matter. Don’t get into social because you think it’s cool or that this will be the “silver bullet” that will save your business. You need to treat social like any other marketing program. Define expectations and outcomes. Adopt a phased approach to meet these business objectives. Here are some questions to answer to better understand your goals:

  • Why are  you participating?
  • How can social media improve your customer relations?
  • Can social media help you build/reinforce your brand?
  • Do your current customers use social and which sites do they frequent?
  • How do you define success?
  • What kind of metrics are you going to set in place to monitor your success?
  • How can social media help you gain more knowledge?
  • What kind of social media policy do you have in place?

Like any other program, success is based on developing a plan and then implementing it. If you want to be cool and hip, do your homework and you’ll find out that people respond when you have a plan.

What are your thoughts?


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  1. speakingofprecision

    First things first! Defining outcomes and expectations is really key. And from the look of some blogs and facebook pages we’ve seen, sadly overlooked. We don’t get in our cars unless we have someplace we want to go… do we?

  2. Anna Slyter

    Great points John! Many companies are jumping into social media without a plan, then throwing in the towel because it “doesn’t work.”

    Even worse, some put up a Facebook page and then don’t monitor or respond to customers and potential customers when they try to communicate through that tool. Not only a missed opportunity, but also a bad brand experience.

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