Let’s Break Down the SWOT Analysis
The past few months, I have worked as a communications intern at my church in the Bryan/College Station area. One of the planning tools that we use frequently is the SWOT analysis. I am mainly in charge of social media planning, so this form of analysis is perfect for the needs of my position. Mindtools.com says during a SWOT analysis, it is important to ask yourself where you are going, how you may get there, and what could get in the way. In this blog, I will explain this analytic tool and relate it to my job as a social media manager for a local church.
What is a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used by organizations to plan in their current environments. It takes a look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I find this works best when I brainstorm with multiple people on my team, to get a more diverse analysis of our social media.
Strengths are the aspects of an organization where they excel and are set apart from others in their industry. Questions I ask myself when thinking of strengths include, “What am I good at?” “What internal advantages do I have?” What do others complement me on?” This quadrant of the SWOT analysis can be split into subsections including:
- Positive company culture
- Consistent branding
- Social media analytics
Weaknesses are things that thwart or impose upon the organization from within. Common questions I ask myself in my position as communications intern are “How can I be better?” “What does my competition beat me at?” “What resources am I lacking?” This section of the SWOT analysis can be divided into a few categories including:
- Lack of education
- Negative company culture
- Disrespect for leadership
- Lack of planning
Our text describes opportunities as “a set of ideas or circumstances external to the client that can lead to new approaches and behaviors.” Questions I ask myself when brainstorming opportunities are “What possibilities are there in the market?” “How can I leverage my strengths in my environment?” “What trends could I benefit from?” This quadrant of the SWOT analysis can be split up into the following sections:
- New platforms
- Audience engagement
Threats are external factors that could potentially harm an organization. When thinking of threats for my church, I ask myself “What are my competitors doing?” “Could my weaknesses be used against me?” “What environmental elements are currently threatening my organization?” This last quadrant of the SWOT analysis can be split into these sections:
- Hazards in the community
Put it all together
Together these elements create a SWOT analysis. My favorite thing about this method is its versatility. No matter if you are launching a new product line, planning a new social media campaign, or starting a new platform from scratch, you can use the SWOT analysis to plan for a number of circumstances.