How can social media help me with my business planning?

I’ve been wrestling financials for the past couple of weeks for the new business and it really does make you think when you have to forecast what you are going to be delivering not just annually but each month for the next 3 years. This is with the double jeopardy of a general election with a possible hung parliament, a wobbly euro and rumours of a double dip recession.

My next challenge is to deliver a plan which is both engaging and has a solid rationale with “proofs” to motivate your fellow colleagues and team. As we have not yet done the client research – questionnaires in progress, then we have to look carefully about what we know about our target clients and how our proposition is going to help them shape up their business for the challenges ahead and most importantly why they would buy from us versus another company.

I’ve put all the relevant sections together and what I need now is proof to demonstrate to those involved in the new venture that we have a solid plan.

I think the best way I’m going to get this information is to actually have conversations with our target market and this is really what social media is all about so I’m thinking how as an entrepreneur I can use it to best effect. I received a blog from Freshnetworks today which explained how a mentoring programme had been set up between a young social media manager and an experienced business woman as a mutually beneficial way to learn from each other. I shall be meeting Freshnetworks this week and will be keen to learn more about this programme.

I just saved this blog and realised that it will be almost a year since my first blog and one year on I thought it worth reflecting on the learnings of blogging as follows:

  1. Never assume the person reading your blog is in the same country – we have found we have readers from all over
  2. Putting a link to your blog in all your other social media networks and emails builds traffic
  3. Tweeting your blog can help build traffic but you need a catchy title or question
  4. Twitter postings can get retweeted quickly as I discovered with a travel blog that got retweeted by Lonely Planet and ended up in the inbox of a client before I was able to send them a link myself.
  5. The majority of people that read your postings are unlikely to comment or contribute – these people may however refer the posting to others and still play an active and valuable role.
  6. I agree with the advice of Freshnetworks that “little and often” is better than infrequent blogging and once a week is probably the minimum frequency but it all depends on the context and the blog has to be relevant to your audience information needs.

Please click here or the link at the top of this page for an outline business plan.

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