Good Communication Takes Planning - Social Media Explorer
Good Communication Takes Planning
Good Communication Takes Planning

“We wanna blog!” was the cattle cry from brands and businesses in 2007. Then it was a Facebook page. Now it’s Twitter. If that was you and your social media advisor’s reaction was to go launch your blog/Facebook/Twitter, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t gotten anywhere with it yet.

Part of a social media consultant’s job is to listen to the brand or company’s desires and ask, “Why?” You don’t just blog. You don’t just start Facebook-ing or Twittering. If you do, you won’t get anywhere with them. Why? Because you don’t know where you’re going.

What will you use Twitter for? What part of your audience is on Twitter? What would they expect out of you on Twitter they couldn’t get elsewhere? What does success in using Twitter look like?

Good communication takes planning.

It’s not enough to just participate. Especially if you want to measure and justify the time and resources you’ve spent doing so. You must establish goals and objectives, strategies, tactics and tasks. You must plan.

Watch this video from Diageo and BBH which communicates the story of Johnnie Walker Scotch and you’ll see what it means to plan effective communication. If you’re like me, you’ll start to watch the video less for the story and more to see the plan come together.

Hat tip to Doug at The Pegu Blog for the find.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at
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  • This is a great post i have ever seen. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  • This is a great post no matter what type of online presence you are looking for. Having goals and objectives is very necessary to quantify your results and see if your blogging and twittering is paying off. Cool video too, the story was pretty interesting.

  • Hi! This one is very nice and informative blog which inform the blog,and this is fine one,I have never seen this ever,keep up blogging cont…….Thanks a lot.

  • Hi! That's right good communication takes planning,not only for business but for all work which you just starts you need a good comm. and this thing makes you a big personality which is really written also in holy books also.Not for social media but for all,This story makes the marketer to sell the goods and one of the well informative post which nicely presented and written well also.Thanks for the innovative one.Keep blogging. :)

  • mallemon

    I think with any new media, you can lead the way and adjust as you learn. However, you do need a plan. It doesn't take long to realize Social Media is about being relevant to your customers. So, you provide relevant information.

    If your results are poor, you adjust based on feedback and research. But determining measurable results should be part of your plan.

    With Social Media now, there are so many best practices available you have no excuse. Yet I still see companies start sending out “specials” via Twitter and posting uninteresting :30 TV spots on YouTube.

    In this industry, the time for the learning curve is over.

  • I took something else away from this post. Less about social media and more, once again, about the power of story. Our job as marketers is to create stories that resonate and can be retold. That's what just happened here. Now, we know the Johnnie Walker story, can re-tell it, and (I bet), it's the kind of thing that makes us feel connected to the brand…which leads to sales.

    Notice how they didn't say “buy our stuff.” They just told their story and let it stand on its own.

  • Better to get started and adjust along the way. Sure, you can spin your wheels and waste some time, but it's better than sitting on the sidelines.

    • Not sure I would 100% agree or disagree, Wes. There's certainly merit
      to not letting the conversation go on without you but the point of the
      post was around effective communications. The more prepared you are,
      the more well planned it is, the more effective.

      Thanks for the perspective.

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  • lizgiel

    Just to play devil's advocate here (sorry), quite a few companies on the web (Southwest Air, for one) really did just “dive in” to social media and have been very successful.

    I don't disagree at all, however. I think any good communications initiative (especially a unique one) requires a lot of careful planning. I would never advise anyone to just dive in and learn as they go. This is bad practice for any business idea. Just think it's worth noting, though, that some companies who have “paved the way” admitted to doing exactly this and have done quite well.

    • No need to apologize, Liz. When you have a new medium and there are no parameters to base a plan upon, you have to have innovators and risk takers willing to blaze a trail and prove what works. That's why Southwest Air, Dell and the like get mad props all over the place. It's not that they did it perfectly, but that they did it at all. They proved the case to the rest of us.

      But now that best practices are emerging and smart thinkers in the space of social media are out there, there's no reason to just dive in anymore. It's not always going to lead to negative or massive mistakes, etc., but it's less risky to have a plan in place.

      Great point and thanks for making it.

    • I agree, planning is crucial to any business

  • Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this bit of common sense. If one more person tells us to just “dive in and learn as you go” I'm going to LOSE IT. Plan first. Then execute. Bless you, my child.

    • Why, thank you, Kristina. Besides my priest, you're the first person who's ever said that to me that it didn't creep me out. Heh.

  • Social Media Requires Planning

    Or, as a Commando might say:

    Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    This is a great post Jason. I speak with many wild-eyed business owners who desperately want to participate in Social Media without a thought or care about their ultimate goal.

    Fortunately some planning and thoughtful reflection often cure this ailment quickly!

    • Thanks Joe. Great add to the discussion. Love the Six P's of not screwing it up. Heh.

  • Everyone loves jumping on the bandwagon. I think brands and businesses are just confused about how to approach these social media sites because they aren't sure of the outcomes. While there has been good press about social media marketing, how is it actually effective? So, as a result everyone's jumping on to these websites without a strategy implemented. But a business is a business, and businesses should know strategies help make a program effective.

  • Love that video. Still in amazement that they did that in a single shot. (Pun intended.)

    • Heh. Yes, but any good whiskey drinker knows you just don't do shots. Good whiskey is sipped and savored. (I'm not a Johnnie Walker fan … prefer single malts and don't like blends … but it's certainly good enough to sip.)

  • Agree, adding those social media elements could be nice outposts for a company to engage with their community and others in the industry, but it may not even be necessary. Don't start a blog if you won't commit to it, same with the others. Before anything in life you need to plan and figure out what the need and strategy is before pushing forward.

  • Cool video! You're right, it aptly illustrates the importance of planning in your communications. We believe that planning is crucial, but action is always more important than strategy. We focus on clear, simple, actionable planning for social media communications – what do you think?

    • Anything done clear, simple and actionable is better than not, for certain. Thanks Carl.


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