Bridge Your Business Objectives And Social Media

You have understood what is Social Media. You know a lot now. You know the reasons why you should consider Social Media. You still have questions.  Where and how do you start and go about using all that information for your business?
Let me share a framework I use with my clients.
Start with an objective. Examples of objectives are Increasing Sales, Customer Support, HR, Market Intelligence, PR etc. Pick your business objectives. Pick that priority business objective(s) for which you would like to test the social tools and would like to build a strategy. 
If you have an on-going business, the business objectives are already there for your business. You are not going to set a separate business objective for-social-media-sake. If you are looking at 100 new customers for your business, dont say you want to “reach” 1000 people or want to have “a lot of followers” when you think Social Media. So start with the business objective and go forward to link every activity of yours to it as you will do in traditional methods. 
Once you have the business objective/goal in front of you, set the targets. For example, if your business objective is “increasing sales” then your target could be a specific number within a timeline. If your objective/goal is “customer support”, your target could be “reducing costs by %” or “better serviced customer ratios”, with a time frame.
You now have objectives and targets. 
Now comes the Social Media part into discussion. Now think of strategies. If your goal is sales, then your strategy could be “x number of new customers”, “developing existing customers”, “more transactions per customer” or “more value per transaction” etc. Evaluate which tools are right for the chosen strategy. What are the methods that can be used with these tools(example online discussions, forums etc…) towards that objective. What are the metrics applicable to the tools that can be measured and reviewed to achieve the objectives. Learn what are the best practices to be followed. Implement. 
Identify people who can implement. My advise is to use qualified people within your organisation. For example if you are implementing social media strategy for customer support, then use a person who is qualified to do customer support and train them on social media tools. Avoid hiring social media experts and training them in customer support or with your domain knowledge. 
What do you think? What is your framework?  Feel free to comment. I will be happy to have a customized talk with you for your business. Call me anytime. 
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