Your PLAN must start with a VISION.

The Steppe Eagle

I stopped by my Realtor friend’s office yesterday and she shared with me how she felt overwhelmed with all the social media stuff. She said that she did not understand what the Acid Rain website was all about. I said, “You mean, Active Rain.” A social networking site for the real estate community. If I were a grain of sand for everytime someone has said that to me, I’d be a beach. There is so much confusion and curiosity about social media. It is a HUGE topic that makes people feel like it is one more thing — like a necessary evil that they have to learn. I feel their pain. That is why I am writing a series of blog posts specifically for the social media newbie.

Begin with the END in mind.

Let’s put things in perspective. As with all big undertakings in life, you need to have a PLAN. Why do you think the planning industry is so BIG; event planners, wedding planners, financial planners; retirement planners, meal planners, life coaches, fitness trainers…you get the picture. Having a social media plan for your small business, start-up, or your non-profit is no different. Your PLAN needs to start with a VISION: Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish with social media? Some people want to use it to grow their business. Some people want to just connect with friends. Non-profits may want to reach their donors with it. The point is that you need to start with the end in mind. What is your intention? It’s important to understand that social media is about networking, as in building relationships and making friends. After people like you and trust you, after they have become your friends, then it is much easier to ask them to buy from you or donate to your cause.

Are you social media conscious?

On my next blog post, I will write in more detail about creating a VISION for your social media plan. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with your target audience, your buyer persona, your ideal client profile.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your social media plan if you already have one. Even if you say, “I don’t have a plan, I just like observing and reading what people are saying on the different social networking sites.” That’s is okay too. The fact that you are conscious about what your intentions are with regards to social media is important to identify and understand. I realize this stuff sounds so obvious to those who are power users of social media, but I’m trying to help newcomers to social media connect the dots and make some sense of it. Please make comments on the blog post and let me know if you found this post to be useful.

Brenda Horton owns Hware, a software company that designs easy-to-use web-based, business planning tools for entrepreneurs.

She will be giving a webinar on social media for newbies next month. Be sure to sign up for her blog for notification of the upcoming webinar at

Join Hware’s FAN page at

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