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Lost Without Strategy: Creating a SMS

Business Planning
Your Business Plan is by no means static. It serves as the underlying basis for your business operations; setting the ground rules, so that management does not stray too far from the objectives and acceptable methodologies in reaching desired goals. It is a breathing document, referred to often during the calendar year, and re-visited annually for relevance. As such, this is one document that neither start-ups nor well-established organizations should take for granted. 

The Marketing Strategy
A key component of the business plan is to complete critical analyses so that accurate assessments can be drawn upon to devise, communicate, and execute targetable strategies. Your marketing strategy is key to developing real objectives concerning your organization’s market position. What are your internal capabilities and how do they align with the external environment? Decipher your SWOT and finally you have sufficient information to establish your goals and objectives. 

This is of course an abbreviated “version.” I don’t mean to make light of the process. It must be thoughtful with relevant and thought provoking questions asked along the way. However, the process is also not more complex than the industry and markets in which the organization is engaged and the interactions of these factors with the organization’s product, service, and strategy.

Opportunity: Social Media Strategy(SMS)
Zoomerang found that 60% of small businesses spend less than $100 on social media and 75% of small businesses do not employ anyone to manage their social media campaigns. The study does not address the actual ROI for the efforts; therefore, the cost for implementing an effective SMS may or may not cost more; however, it is an O/Opportunity with low barriers and a plethora of benefits that should be explored, at minimum.

No matter the industry, geographic location, or target market, your audience can be reached via social media; therefore, it’s beneficial for companies large and small to engage in marketing opportunities via social media: 80% of Americans use social networks, 50%+ facebook and twitter users are more likely to buy the brands they follow and 80% of consumers trust peer recommendations. As Socialnomic’s Erik Qualman stated, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how we do it.”

There must be a methodology and an objective for engaging - you are lost without strategy:

Choose your purpose for engagement (increase visibility, increase customer accessibility, increase sales, etc.), choose your social media mix (social network(s), advertisement(s), email campaign(s), etc.), and establish your metrics – every good manager requires measurement.

Then implement and monitor your SMS as part of your strategic planning process. Your competition is there and so is your audience.

Info:
26-SM Stats for Small Businesses
Social Media Stats 2012
Marketing in a Digital World