How to Create Good Social Media Business Objectives

Business objectives are the most critical, yet most overlooked, part of a social media strategy.

Now that we’re past the point of early adoption, many brands are citing “Everyone else is doing it” as their business objective  Who is everyone?  Customers? Target Market? Competitors?  Employees? Suppliers?

A poor business objective causes many problems, the worst of which being a social media strategy execution that is vague and generic.
Photo by lowjumpingfrob
Take this example from Putnam Investments:  The Retirement Savings Challenge. The blog seems well intentioned, but what is this doing for Putnam?

The “About” section says, “At Putnam, we’re starting a conversation about America’s existing workplace savings plans, because we believe they can become a more reliable foundation for our nation’s retirement system.”

Awesome! The nation’s retirement system definitely needs some help, bravo to Putnam for trying to use business to help society.

But…how can you start a conversation about America’s retirement system without a comment field?  I would love to comment on this great post about retirement savings.

Possible Social Media Objectives:

3 Components of Good Social Media Business Objectives

A good business objective should have 3 components

Here’s an example I reverse-engineered from Time Magazine’s Twitter account:

Drive traffic to ad-supported website through timely, simple updates of new articles that are easy to understand, receive, and manage.

Notice, the word “Twitter” was intentionally left out of the business objective.  The tool doesn’t matter, what matters is that managers understand how they are going to do something for consumers that will give the business value.

Tips on Writing the Business Impact

Tips on Writing the How

Tips on Writing the Consumer Value

Posted on November 4, 2009 at 10:13 am by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy

8 Responses

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  1. Written by John Moore
    on November 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm
    Permalink

    Good post. My only point of disagreement is that everyone is not “doing it” but everyone needs to consider it. I take a slightly different approach in my recent article on defining your 2010 Social Media Plan:

    http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/your

    which is a starting point for getting businesses involved with social media (if not yet on board).

    I would love to, for balance, have people check out this post too so feel free (if interested, to leave a comment on my post pointing people back here, worth reviewing.

  2. Written by benphoster
    on November 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm
    Permalink

    @John – Good point….not everyone is doing it. I liked in your article (http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/your…) how you outlined specific tactics. I think that is the next logical step of a strategy. I was hoping for more high level thinking to get people grounded.

    Also, you had some great thoughts here about hiring a resource. I recommend that people read it! (http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/your…)

  3. Written by John Moore
    on November 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm
    Permalink

    Good post. My only point of disagreement is that everyone is not “doing it” but everyone needs to consider it. I take a slightly different approach in my recent article on defining your 2010 Social Media Plan:

    http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/your

    which is a starting point for getting businesses involved with social media (if not yet on board).

    I would love to, for balance, have people check out this post too so feel free (if interested, to leave a comment on my post pointing people back here, worth reviewing.

  4. Written by benphoster
    on November 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm
    Permalink

    @John – Good point….not everyone is doing it. I liked in your article (http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/your…) how you outlined specific tactics. I think that is the next logical step of a strategy. I was hoping for more high level thinking to get people grounded.

    Also, you had some great thoughts here about hiring a resource. I recommend that people read it! (http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/your…)

  5. Written by Social Media Strategy Matrix | Ben Foster | @benphoster
    on December 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm
    Permalink

    […] to make, use a 2×2 matrix.  They are great ways to organize thinking.  Good strategies have clear business objectives for Social Media and well defined user problem or […]

  6. Written by Social Media Strategy Class Reading List - by Ben Foster
    on September 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm
    Permalink

    […] How to Create Good Social Media Business Objectives – Ben Foster […]

  7. Written by Embrace Social Business Strategy | DEAF SOCIAL MEDIA
    on July 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm
    Permalink

    […] What are you trying to accomplish in social media? Does your strategies impact your business objectives directly and indirectly? This is a great source on how to create good social media business objectives along with tips. […]

  8. […] I love Facebook for keeping up with brands and companies I love.   At one point I recommended that brands should have a Facebook page only if they’re cool enough to be on a Tee-Shirt.  I no longer agree with everything I wrote there as long as you’re using Facebook to execute smart Social Media Business Objectives. […]

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