image flickr @jerrybowleyBusinesses of all sizes often rush to start initiatives without a plan. A newly approved direction or idea prompts a domino chain reaction and suddenly staffers are blindly implementing new processes without knowing why.

For example, a company buys a new CRM solution but doesn’t ask its departments involved what features they will need for sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, IT, etc. The system gets installed and then the company doesn’t offer training. Suddenly, a major investment has been made and there are no tangible benefits or returns because the right questions weren’t asked ahead of time and the staff does not use the new system.

With social media, as well as all marketing and business initiatives, you need to start with a plan. Only then can you set measurable goals, have everyone on the same page and move forward.

Marketing Tech Blog asked “What Factors Make for a Successful Social Media Strategy?” The article examines Brian Solis and Charlene Yi’s recently published infographic “The Seven Success Factors of a Social Business Strategy.”

The factors include:

  • Define the overall business goals.
  • Establish the long-term vision.
  • Ensure executive support.
  • Define the strategy roadmap.
  • Establish governance and guidelines.
  • Secure staff, resources and funding.
  • Invest in technology platforms that evolve.

“These factors are not only crucial for a successful social business strategy, but also for any large project or initiative for any business,” says Valorie Luther, Executive Director of Creative Concepts. “One more item I would add is to review all factors on the list, often.  As early as two to three months into the new project, ask if the goals still work, is the vision still in place, is the roadmap working, are the guidelines being followed, are there too little or too many staffers, did you pick the right platforms and keep asking these questions to make sure you are always on task. Without all these components of the strategy included and assessed something will be lost whether it’s time, money or customers.”

Image from Flickr via @jamesbowley