Its Grand National time again this weekend, its one of the biggest horse racing events of the year and an accolade that many owners and jockeys would love to have under their belt. But just like everything in life, there is a lot of preparation involved, and sometimes some external factors can influence your chances. Its just like your social media efforts you need to put in a lot of preparation and have the winning posts in sight.

In most organisations I see the company have been caught up in the speed of Social Media, I hear ‘we have to be on twitter’ we need to get a Facebook profile and we need to get engaged quickly. Quite often this is the wrong process and the odds are it will end in failure at the first fence.

So before just ‘jumping in’ give it some thought just as an owner would with a Grand National Winner. here are some ‘winning tips’

Lay the correct foundations to stand a chance of winning the Grand National the horse has to have a certain physical structure. You need to do the same put together your physical structure that fits your business plan (if you’re a B2B business does Facebook really suit you??) work out what platforms suit you and the content you will be able to create. Some platforms will not be the right fit for your business so leave them well alone, you need to pick your winners….you’d never see a Shetland Pony on the Grand National course after all!

Put in your preparation: to stand a chance of winning the Grand National the horse has to have a good jumping form which demands a high level of preparation and training. You need to do the same. Prepare for your campaigns with a solid strategy that outlines your long term goals and how you will achieve them. Then get some training on how to use the best social media tools so that you can take advantage of all the great stuff that is available to you.

Set your goal: A good social media strategy sets out long-term goals before kicking off the campaign, there might be a few milestones along the way that lets you know you’re on track. But understand what the ‘finish line’ looks like for you.

Align to your overall goal: Its so easy to get distracted when you’re on a long journey, so make sure that everything that you do feeds into your overall goal. If it doesn’t then do question why you are spending valuable time completing it.

Now you might be wondering what on Earth has Forrest Gump got to do with all of this, well a Grand National Runner has the winning posts in sight and all activity and preparation is aligned to the goal, but when asked why Forrest Gump ran across America he replied ” That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. ”

So I wouldn’t put money on a Forrest Gump winning this weekend but I do fancy the chances of the horse called ‘Long Run’…now where do I place my bet?