Jeremiah Owyang (if you’re not following him, stop what you’re doing and FOLLOW THIS MAN) is probably more hooked into what’s happening in the digital space than just about anyone.  The guy must never sleep.

Recently he threw up a post on his blog entitled, “The Five Questions Companies Ask About Social Media“.  The questions, according to Jeremiah, are:

  1. What is Social Media?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. What does it mean to my business?
  4. How do I do it right?
  5. How do I integrate across the Enterprise?

All great questions, for sure, but I think there are a few equally as important questions missing from this list.

First of all, when I speak to marketers about social marketing (I so prefer the term social marketing to social media by the way), the first question I ask them is, “Why are you considering social marketing?“.  This is a very important, and often overlooked, question for marketers to ask themselves.  Is it to keep up with the competition?  Is it because your CMO saw that Oprah was on Twitter and now wants to make sure your brand is there?  Or is it because you know that your customers are using social means to talk about your business and you want to be a part of that conversation?

If they pass that test, the second question they should be asked is, “Is your house in order?“.  Before you start looking at buying that sweet beach house in Destin, is the home you live in falling apart around you?  So many marketers are using the basics of digital marketing ineffectively that to start messing with social marketing should be far down the list of priorities.  Is the website you want to drive people to optimized to convert them?  How is your email marketing program performing?  Remember the old phrase, “a bird in the hand…”.  You’ve already got people coming to your website and signed up for your email campaigns, better make sure you’re taking advantage of that before you start something new.

The last question I’d add to Jeremiah’s list is, “Are you ready for this?“.  You can’t really dabble in social marketing, at least not if you want to be successful at it.  Let’s say you stroll into a party and walk up to a group of 5 people that are talking about, well, you.  Imagine how that conversation would go if you decided to only talk to the lady immediately on your left and the guy directly across from you, and ignore the other 3 people.  And then for those two people you ARE talking to, you answer only every 3rd question.  You probably wouldn’t be invited to many more parties after that.

What other questions are we missing?