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With the increasing importance of social media, will VCs begin to ask their clients to include a social media marketing plan along with the business plan during the review process?

Answers

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

We've been asked that recently; it *should* be part of your go to market plan *if* it is appropriate to your business. In B-B, I've not seen a strong focus at all; it hasn't come up in any of the pitch meetings. In B-C, there seems to be an expectation that you have a plan and that you have some in-house expertise (or source thereof) in executing that plan; it has come up in all of the pitch meetings, once we get to the go-to-market discussion.

In parallel, companies like BrightEdge are providing tools to manage the ROI of the different media platforms, and seo/social marketing consultants I've worked with have been pretty aggressive in helping put together marketing plans.

Topic Expert
Ken Kaufman
Title: CFO
Company: Community Dental Partners
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Community Dental Partners) |

Short answer, yes!

Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

I hope not!

Topic Expert
John Kogan
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: Proformative, Inc.
(CEO/CFO, Proformative, Inc.) |

I think it is unavoidable with VC's who have social on the brain. And you don't know who that will be until you are in the meeting with them. Clearly there are businesses that have a great play with social. Equally clear is that others do not. You will need to know your space and whether it makes sense to use social channels. Like many things VC, you just have to have a good story ready if asked. And if the firm has a lot of social platforms under management, chances are higher that you will be hit with that question.

Derek Quackenbush
Title: CFO
Company: Rising Data Solutions
(CFO, Rising Data Solutions) |

I would agree with John--when dealing with VCs (or other potential investors) you should be prepared to answer questions that might come up. If you feel you need a social media plan for your business then you should create one, regardless of whether you're asking for money. And if you don't need one, then be prepared to defend that decision when asked. It's a tricky path to begin creating things just because people may want to see them. Rather, and stating the obvious, focus on your business strategy and these other things should just fall into place.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

If integrated well with overall business plan, it can be cost effective and impactful. For B2C the social component is pervasive as mentioned. For B2Bs they should include some component leveraging Linkedin Twitter, blogging in professional association communities etc.

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