One of my mentors used to say to me “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  He was talking about the importance of having a goal, before you start doing things. 

Everything you do should be taking you a step towards your goals.  Every phone call, every email, every 15 minutes of quiet thinking.  They should all have purpose.  If they don’t help you to achieve your goals why are you doing them?

So – I’m going to assume that, as a sensible business person, you have business goals.  But you can’t DO a goal.  You have to have activities or actions to complete that to move you along the path until the goal is realised.  And that’s where things sometimes come unglued.  Businesses often have an end goal – but don’t always have the strategy and tactics to support it. 

When I’m talking to my business connections and clients I often get people saying ‘I need help with social media’ or ‘I need to be more consistent with social media’.  The problem is that if I ask why they are doing or intending to do with social media, they don’t really know.  The concept is that every business needs to be on social to stay competitive, but often there’s no actual strategy behind it.

Social media is not a marketing strategy

Social media is a tool – and it’s important that it’s only one of the tools that you use to market your business offerings.  So mindlessly posting on a Facebook page isn’t necessarily the right strategy for you – you may be better on Instagram or on LinkedIn or using Twitter to connect with influential media people.

All social platforms are not equal,

A strategy starts with focus

Regardless of your end goal, you won’t get there without customers so the first step is to identify exactly what kind of customer you want. 

Step two is to understand what they need and what you can do to help them – what will the end results do for them?

Now you know who you’re trying to reach, you can start looking at where they hang out, what they read, who they follow.  That’s step three.

Step four is a proper tools review – what are all the various means of influencing these perfect clients?  Social media may be one, but what about articles in magazines, videos, podcasts, email, newsletters – and that’s just scratching the surface.

I call step five ‘Means, manpower and measurement’ – and this is where the strategy become tactics.  Who does what and how do you measure whether it’s working or not?

This creates your plan and ensures that activities are focused, consistent and scheduled.  Little steps take you a long way and if you keep take small steps in the right direction you will achieve your goal!