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Social Media Readiness: starts with a SWOT analysis

Hi all. Long time no see… :)

I’ve been very busy lately working closely developing with our clients different social media strategy aspects. One area (at least here in Europe) of a usual concern is the company’s social media readiness!

Social Media Ready stamp

There are plenty of factors to consider regarding the hows, dos, don’ts and understanding the possibilities and challenging implications around social media. But how do you determine your company’s Social Media readiness? Start with a SWOT analysis.

We all know the SWOT analysis used extensively in business to obtain an overview of the critical businesses issues. It is simply a series of questions asked about your business to assist in determining the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The goal here is to audit your current organization in the context of SWOT. Identifying key internal and external issues allows you to more carefully consider and then incorporate them into strategic objectives. The list of questions below is by no means all the questions which need to be answered to complete a full analysis of your business’s Social Media readiness. It is just an indication of the types of questions you should be considering about your business’s capability to thrive in a Social Media environment. Without a SWOT analysis it will be impossible to develop an effective Social Media strategic plan, develop company guidelines and effectively engage your company on the social web.

SWOT Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are internal conditions, factors or attributes. For example, your recognized expertise in your market space would be a definite strength. Not having a method for employees to collaborate would be a weakness.

  • What does your company do well and does not do well?
  • Are there people at your company who already use social media in their personal lives
  • Are people at your company using social media tools and applications to do their jobs? If so, did management introduce these tools or was their adoption and use more casual and organic?
  • In what ways do you currently communicate with your employees?
  • Does your company encourage and facilitate collaboration among employees? If so, how?
  • Does the company feel comfortable with empowering company employees to interact with customers using Social Media?
  • Do you have a happy satisfied work force that your company feels comfortable allowing employee interaction using Social Media tools?
  • What role does continuing education and training play inside your company? What methods do you use for training?
  • Would you characterize your company as a fun place to work?
  • Would you characterize your company as a creative company?
  • Do you believe that expertise is understood and recognized within your company?

SWOT Opportunities & ThreatsOpportunities and threats are external conditions, factors, or attributes.

  • What do your customers value most about your company? How do you know this? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • What do your customers value the least about your company? How do you know this? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • Do you have customers who already use social media applications in their personal lives?
  • Do you have customers who use social media tools and applications to do their jobs?
  • In what ways do you currently communicate with your customers? How effective is this communication? Do you have a way of measuring it?
  • What lifestyle trends or factors are affecting your customers?
  • Do you seek feedback from your customers? If so, how?
  • Do you collaborate with your customers? If so, how?
  • What factors influence your customers’ decisions to do business with you?
  • Do your customers rely on your company to educate them about things? What kind of things? How are you currently doing this?
  • How important do you believe it is to educate your customers?
  • Do you have a happy satisfied work force that your company feels comfortable allowing customer interaction using Social Media tools?
  • What do your competitors do better than you do?
  • Have you identified and evaluated the efforts if any of your competitor’s Social Media presence?
  • Do your customers rely upon your expertise as part of their business relationship with you?
  • Does any part of your business relationship with your customer depend upon your ability to help them have a good time or enjoy their experience with your product or service?

This SWOT analysis is quick way to assess your company’s social media readiness, but is often not sufficient. If you want to take your analysis to another level, I recommend you to perform a ’social media audit’ within a given period (ofthen 30 days) where we assess the volume, frequency and tone of conversations throughout the social web. We can then establish a benchmark assessing the state of your brand, products, communities and competitors. This will as well serve as a metric by which to compare your future activity on the social web.

An example of such a benchmark report is the Fasion UK Social Media Landscape Audit done by 90:10 Group, which an extract has been published on slideshare. Enjoy the reading.

The ability to develop and manage the will to change how a business does business will be a contributing factor the the overall effectiveness of any Social Media initiative.

HERE BE DISQUS