Business planning and social media marketing, with intent, go hand in hand.

The other night I was chasing a fly around the house randomly swatting and flapping as it buzzed around my head. The fly won the game, disappearing to some dark corner of the house. The next morning, the same fly was sitting on the kitchen counter laughing at me.

It was time to exercise a little strategy, a little intent, and stop randomly swatting. In no time, I had the right tool, aka a flyswatter, and disposed of the fly quickly.

Now imagine your business in motion, randomly swatting at fast-moving targets (new leads, customers). What are the odds for success?

Absent business planning, a strategy, and the right tools, a vast amount of energy will be expended chasing leads without measurable results.

Start Planning With Intent.

Results in social media are directly tied to understanding the business vision. Before jumping into social media and randomly swatting at “flies,” ask yourself these questions:

Do you have a clear understanding of your business vision? Social media’s role in a business is to support the vision of the business through marketing strategies.

Do you have a clear understanding of where the business is going, and how it will get there? Where will you be in a year, in 5 years? How will you get there? A social media strategy will align with the businesses short and long term strategy.

Do you have a clear understanding of the role social media will play? Social Media is a STEP in the overall plan to success; it is not a plan.

Do you have a clear understanding of how your business will measure outcomes of success? How will you know if you are successful? Social media results are measurable and can help you assess whether you have met your business planning goals, successfully.

Over the course of two years, I have attended business workshops and conferences where the topic of social media is on the agenda. I’ve seen the excitement from business owners with the opportunities that can result from social media. And, the topic IS exciting.

Once the workshop is over, the afterglow has subsided, the excitement has abated, implementation is forgotten.

In order to stop swatting at flies and understand where your business is today, tomorrow and next year, you must know the answers to these questions and IMPLEMENT the answers.

Do you have a business planning site you love? Let us know your favorite resources for business planning!

Business Planning Resources:

Small Business Administration – SBA
Service Corps of Retired Executives – SCORE

Business Planning Templates: