What strategic planning tools do YOU need?

Remote GoatThere is always a lot of speculation in any business. Many areas require a lot of time and effort in order to find your feet on a solid strategic plan and execute it effortlessly until there comes a point where it needs to organically move on. That’s a big part of our digital lives. Where businesses can do all they need to do and more either on the go, in an office, a coffee shop, or the zoo (if you’re that way inclined), a strategy for something as big as social can be difficult to maintain.

For the small business, you can’t have 3 sets of arms and be 5 places at once. Even though this is a task many try to undertake, it really won’t work. Trust us. The strategic tools and practices are there to lend you a helping hand in times when you really don’t have the time to be faffing around on Twitter. Most people do that for a job, it’s not faffing, it’s data crunching and analysing and is actually very time consuming. Hence why they provide the extra hands you might need to turn a complicated task on it’s head.

In the office we have an internal section dealing with the likes of social media and the strategic planning behind it, and it is difficult! While the likes of Twitter is evolving day by day, it’s hard to understand the stream of information constantly in front of you. Unless you spend 80% of your time staring at mindless information picking out the relevant content for you and your followers, it is tough to keep up. Even then you probably only want to retweet and tweet about 5 or 6 times a day. That’s just numero uno on the list of social media jobs. You also have to filter and fish for the important analytics. These will be in the region of engagement rates, click-throughs to your own content, mentions, follower rates, post schedules, tweet automator, account comparatives. I can go on. But I will not.

It’s an overwhelming, frustrating notion and is so easily dropped out of any business interest at any moment. All that effort and strategic planning you started to put in becomes redundant until you realise it was a mistake 2 weeks down the line and have to start over. Stick with it and seek the best possible strategy, is our sound advice.

Tools to use for free to give you that helping hand you so desperately seek.

1) Social Bro. Although the tools are restricted due to it being a free version of a larger platform, there are really valuable tools on it. We use the ‘Best time to tweet’ feature. It takes 100 of your top most interactive users and plots by day the time in which they will be on their feed. You may only target 40% of that audience but 40 people is better than well, anything less than 40. At the end of the day, that particular time may hold 60% of your total audience but because Social Bro requires your payment details, they only offer a lower percentage to the free user.

2) MailChimp. You’ve heard of this amazing email tool. You can use it to store all of your industry contacts in one place and form an email campaign among that list. You can then monitor your click through rates, open rates, unsub rates, all in one place. Take the Mail Chimp service further with the use of online subscription forms for your site and social medias. Get active in seeking the general public to entice them to your brand.

Using the above  strategy tools doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming for you. You can spend an hour or two setting them up each week and then let it do what it’s gotta do while you’re busy doing start-up stuff. Of course, if you have any queries, you know where we graze…

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