If I woke up one morning thinking “I want to open a restaurant” and immediately got onto the phone and ordered 50 free range chickens for delivery that day, I would not blame you for thinking I was a little soft in the head.

Starting a restaurant takes planning. Building a business plan, putting structures in place, research, choosing locations, understanding your audiences needs, tastes. Never mind things like branding, resources and a knowledge base. A chef. Yes a chef. Good idea. Hmm, I think I will get someone who can cook a little bit. I know a guy who once cooked a pasta for his girlfriend, and they are still together.

Why are people tempted to treat social media strategy differently? The starting place for a social media strategy is not social networks. Plan, understand, prepare, learn, create structures, hire the right people and look to your audience.

There is no shame in new media practitioners applying old fashioned business and marketing sense. Just as there is no reason why traditionally minded people should not incorporate new media thinking and practices into their integrated marketing plans.

Photo by Mark Lorch