Does your 2009 Business Plan include a Social Media Strategy?

by Angie A. Swartz on January 1, 2009

Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy

Does your 2009 Business Plan include a Social Media Strategy?  If your answer is no, then I have to ask you if  you’ve really performed a comprehensive review of your marketing strategy.  Have you considered this question carefully and taken it seriously?

If you don’t know what social media is, then a little careful study is a must.  Promise me you’ll at least set aside some time to look into this oh-so-important area.  Some think that social media is a fad, that it’s for friends and family or that it’s just a game but social media is here to stay.  Research shows that every day, big companies are investing millions of dollars to play in the social media game.  Why wouldn’t you at least invest a few hours to understand what you might be missing out on?  Can you really afford not to understand this?

Given our current economic conditions, there is no better time to utilize viral marketing opportunities like social media which are free and at your fingertips to promote your business.

Social media has many definitions.  The following is my definition:

“Using the internet as a conversation tool to create meaningful, two-way connections and relationships with your friends and customers so that you can offer them what they want and need in the most effective, efficient and entertaining manner.”

So, given that definition, what can you do in 2009 to improve your business?  The following are three tools you should be using consistenly:

  1. Facebook:  Do you have a personal facebook account that reflects your current activities?
  2. Linked In:  Are you consistently connecting to other professionals with and are you maximizing all of its robust tools?
  3. Twitter:  Are you creating meaningful relationships within the twitter community?  Are you researching what big companies like Dell, Comcast and others are doing to make millions with Twitter?

So, we’ll be interested in hearing from you as you progress through 2009 using social media strategies to improve your business.  The purpose of this blog and Square Martini Media is to help companies use Social Media to its fullest potential.  We can’t wait to see it happen in full force because we know it’s coming.

And, just for the record, we at Square Martini Media don’t buy into all the negative media hype about the economy.  In fact, we think there’s no better time than right now to build your business and to take advantage of all the great opportunities that a slightly down economy presents to you.  We both speak about this topic and we get a little passionate when the topic comes up.  Just read Alan’s post about it tomorrow morning if you want to know how crazy we can get.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Nelson 01.02.09 at 2:01 pm

I agree with you that the business plan for 2009 has to include social networking. As a business coach I find myself tallking to more and more clients about social networking and encouraging them to step into it. It is the “in” thing and I would forcast going to be bigger and bigger. I totally agree with you that it opens many doors to opportunity and relationships. Yes, there is a learning curve, but I have had a ball with it. The brain needs the exercise of learning something new anyway. Plus, it is age defying, an added benefit.
I started with Face book the end of August and now have over 1200 global friends. Through it, I have added many new resources to my tool kit and new friends for joint ventures and future interviews.
Twitter is new for me and I am having the same experience of discovering many good business ideas, making new friends and finding a fun and friendly tribe. For those who like to learn and expand, these are perfect places to connect with people that are creative, generous with their information and encouraging as well.
Reading your blog here I realize I am under utilizing the LinkedIn.
I will have to see how to step-up to maximize that site. Thank you for the awareness on that.
And then, the next thing on my blue print will be to embrace blogging! One step at a time right?
Love your site and new logo too!
Kathy Nelson
The Success Coach for Happy Entreprenuers

Andrea Hill 01.03.09 at 9:49 pm

I find your three suggestions very interesting: I consider Facebook and LinkedIn sites that are primarily geared towards introducing individuals, rather than businesses, to social networking. Even Twitter is a better tool for enhancing an individual’s social media presence than that of a business.

While it’s necessary for individuals to understand these tools to be able to use them effectively for their business strategy, I’m not sure that you can assume that what individuals do on Facebook or LinkedIn for their own personal use is necessarily of benefit to their organization.

Andrea Hill’s last blog post..Develop an Effective Online Marketing Campaign by Asking ‘Why’ Not ‘What’

Angie A. Swartz 01.04.09 at 11:26 am

Hey Andrea, Thanks for reading and so much for your comment. You give us a great segway to write posts detailing how to use both LInked In and Facebook for business. Chip Lambert and Mari Smith, respectively, do a great job presenting how to use both of these tools for business. You might check out both of their materials and see what you think. Stay tuned here for a more in depth review of both. In the interim, let’s consider that we’re in the age of conversation marketing. Both Linked In and Facebook give us access to thousands of targeted business connections we wouldn’t otherwise have. Additionally, they both provide us with the opportunity to participate in discussion forums, to ask/answer questions and to post articles. Can you imagine the business power at your fingertips in those factors alone? We’ll also try to provide you with some business case success stories in the future. Deal? Thanks again for visiting and please keep asking questions! For Social Media to reach past it’s tipping point, we all have to keep poking holes in it =-) Happy Sunday!

Andrea Hill 01.04.09 at 11:38 am

Hi Angie, thanks for the response, and I’m glad it gave you the opportunity to mention some upcoming content.

I know that there are certainly ways to leverage these tools for business purposes, I’m just finding that sometimes folks focus more on the tool itself than its effective use.

I will certainly be back to read more: I’m actually going to be changing the focus of my blog to on some of the nuances of digital marketing and strategy, including how best to leverage social media.

Andrea Hill’s last blog post..The difference between social media and social networking

Rob 02.21.10 at 8:22 pm

Great post! I’m wondering if anyone has come across a template for a social media strategy section for a business plan? Looking to put one together and I hate to recreate the wheel when I know there must be some great ones out there!

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