Now that social media has taken root in most organizations across many business and market sectors it is becoming increasingly more complex and for some, messy. When you troubleshoot your social media program’s defined progress and impact, be sure to examine your strategic methodology’s role in the process.

All too often, despite your critical contribution to your business, strategic planners and senior executives can get in their own way. Are you your own worst enemy when making strategic decisions for your company by not properly assessing your current circumstance or giving it time to take hold? These are the three most common mistakes we find as we assess organizations’ strategic planning and in particular, their communications plans.

If you think you may have fallen prey to one or all of these pitfalls, here are several things you can do to correct your decision-making:

  1. Start your strategic planning with up-to-date business intelligence. Know your customer’s needs better than they do! And know what your competition is or isn’t doing to meet their needs. Putting these two dots together will firm up your strategic platform faster than anything else you can do.
  2. Know your customer’s top challenges. Don’t assume you know what is bothering your customers or prospects just because you’ve been in their industry for years. Times change and so do the key influencers that impact their business. Knowing what their challenges are will provide you with the relevant data you need to determine what to communicate.
  3. Establish a budget you can fund throughout the year. Social media is a ‘turn on a dime’ type of media. But its budget shouldn’t be. Once you have prepared your plan stick to it and give it time to work. Jumping in and changing everything mid-stream is a poor management style and a terrible strategic media planning behavior.

Companies that establish a strategic runway for their social media plan – and follow it – are the companies that most often achieve the success all companies state in their primary objectives. The main point is to not abandon ship before it makes it into the dock!