A Facebook page or a Twitter account is NOT your business plan. It’s not even your marketing plan. In fact, just having those social media accounts is not even your social media plan. (Tweet that!)
It’s impossible to develop and enact a great social media strategy without putting some thought into your general marketing and communications plan, and it’s definitely impossible without a basic business foundation.
So if you are feeling like you have absolutely no idea where to start or what to post on your social media channels, or you find yourself wondering why you are even there, chances are you need to do a little work on your foundation.
What you need to know before you create any social media profiles
I get a lot of questions on how to set up your Facebook page or get more followers on Twitter (and I love helping you figure this out when you are ready!) but it’s impossible to help you do this well without having a clear picture of why you are there in the first place.
Whether you call this work creating your “Ideal Customer Avatar” (as Marie Foleo does in her amazing BSchool program), making your “Flag” (as Chris Brogan did so brilliantly in one of his Sunday newsletters recently) or something else, it’s indispensable work for every business owner.
The 5 questions you must be able to answer:
- What do you do?
- Who do you serve?
- What is the problem you solve?
- What is the benefit people get from you?
- Why do you do it?
These questions may seem simple on the surface but sit down and actually write out the answers. Don’t just gloss over it. (Yes, I know it’s hard. And it takes time. The ideal customer avatar exercise in BSchool took me days. But it was also one of the single most important things I've done in so far in building my business.)
[Tip: If you need some help hammering out answers to these fundamental questions, I highly recommend you check out Chris Brogan’s blog post “What’s on Your Flag?” I mentioned above. It helped me create my flag which I’m “waving” (metaphorically) in the welcome video on my home page.]
How that foundation will help you craft a rock-solid social media strategy
Once you have the answers to these questions, taking the next steps to create a marketing and communications plan is doable: Where is your ideal customer and how will you reach them? How will you provide value to them? You can only answer these types of next-level questions once you are clear on your foundation.
And you’ll have TONS of great information to help you decide how social media fits into that marketing & communications plan: Where are your ideal customers on social media? How do they want to connect with you? What goals do you have for your social media efforts? How will you track your progress (what metrics are important)? Answering these questions will put you well on your way to developing a rock-solid social media strategy but if you try to answer them without a clear idea of your business foundation, it'll feel like you are just taking shots in the dark.
And you are. You are literally building without a blueprint, hoping Facebook or Twitter or [insert latest social media tool here] will solve all your business problems. And trust me, they won’t.
Take action now
- Answer those 5 all-important questions, in writing! (Or at least schedule some time in your calendar to do so in the next week.)
I’d love to hear from you
Do you feel clear & confident about your business foundation? What tools or resources have helped you define that foundation?
Please share any books, blog posts or other resources that helped you so we can all check them out! And if you found this post helpful, I'd love for you to share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ using the buttons right below.