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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's Your Social Media Goal?

What's on the iPod: Portland by Middle Brother

writing, freelance, client
Note: Sorry about the word verification glitch. I hate having that thing anyway, so I've removed it for the time being. If the spam returns, I'll have to put it back up, but for now, let's hope for the best.

It was nice to have a day yesterday where nothing was pressing. I was able to kick back a little and get some personal projects front-and-center. I have some poetry that's been burning to get out, and I devoted a few hours to that.

In working out a social media strategy, I was tasked with defining the goal of the strategy. Do you consider that when you log on to Twitter or head over to Facebook? Probably not. In fact, most of us don't. We're there to communicate and have fun, or market and bother the hell out of people with a proliferation of links. Hopefully you fit into the former group and not the latter.

"Big Data and Survey Data Revolutionizing Business Decision Making" (link removed)

You've probably seen tweets just like this one, which was repeated ad nauseam in the person's Twitter history. In fact, when I follow someone, I first check out their post history. If I see repetition (blatant), I delete their request. So if you're using the same type of tweeting process, how exactly are you appealing to the masses?

Oh wait. You're not.

An easy mistake. We think "networking" and confuse it with "marketing" and we further confuse "marketing" with "bugging the sh*t out of people."

So how can you send out better tweets and stop bugging people?

With goals, of course.

What are some good goals to have?

Quality volume. Sure, you want people to follow you and on Twitter you can get 1,000 followers just by showing up. But what you want is to be followed by people who are in a position to need your services. So as much as you love being followed by sex therapists and dog trainers, unless they're your main client, you'll be, er, barking up the wrong tree.

Engagement goals. It's not enough to say you want people to interact. You have to know to what end you'd like that to happen. For example, Company A might want people to follow their Twitter profile and tweets because they want customers to try out and buy their online banking software. In order to build a good strategy, they have to know that specific goal so that the tweets can have that message in them on occasion.

Brand recognition. There are a handful of great people on Twitter with whom you'd love to be acquainted. I remember asking someone why I suddenly had so many great people wanting to follow me. He said "Because you were liked (and mentioned) by the highly popular [name omitted]." I didn't realize I was talking to a guru. I was just having a nice conversation with someone who engaged me. She did it right -- she reached out and built a bridge without any thought to how I might serve her purpose someday. That strengthened her brand. Hell, it created her brand. I hadn't heard of her until Twitter, and because she was an early, smart adopter, she became quite popular. Use her example. Be known for being in the conversation.

Image. Sure, you can be like @PauloCoehlo who puts lovely philosophical quotes out there (in both English and Portuguese) and who puts out quotes like this: "Sometimes I adore Sao Paulo so much I want to make love to the paving stones...." However, unless you're an international best-selling author too, you might have to put a little more work into your image. A good goal should include the image you want to portray and how you'd like to achieve that goal.

What is your intent when you tweet or use other forms of social media?

What goals can you set for yourself right now?
How can those goals improve your marketing?


Cathy Miller said...

I admit I have not used Twitter as well as I could. I guess when it comes to Twitter, I primarily use it for interacting as opposed to any real marketing strategy. I always say I am going to get more strategic, but I just haven't. My best strategy has been on LinkedIn where I work on brand, sharing, and interaction.

I do want to be more strategic about my social media in attracting the kind of leads I get through LinkedIn.

Lori said...

Cathy, I think that's cool, too. You have your goal in mind. And you of all people know how to engage people and interact. So what can you add to really ramp up your results?

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

I'd be the first to admit that I never had a strategy for my own brand though I always made sure my clients had one. I'm being more strategic this year by focusing more on LinkedIn and by linking to my professional site instead of my writing blog when I guest post.

Lori said...

Isn't it funny how we go to pains to make sure the clients are sorted, but we wing it ourselves, Sharon? Guilty myself of it.

Somewhere last month I did start putting out specific posts and paying more attention to what types of interactions I was engaging in. The goal is to get in front of more clients and befriend them as I've done with a few already.

anne wayman said...

oh dear... I only want friends and fortunes

Lori said...

Good goals Anne.

AnnaLisa said...

I dabbled in Twitter just long enough to know I don't have the energy for it. I tried Facebook several times and found it exhausting and demanding, too.

They are useful, no doubt. I know people who have turned their businesses around by using FB and Twitter wisely. It's just--they aren't for me.

Linked In, though, has always felt like a good fit, and when I've made a point of using it, I've gained legitimate information and, yes, leads.

Less is more. There are a lot of social media options out there. Perhaps sometimes the goal is to be maximize your mileage per gallon rather trying to cover as much ground as possible. :)

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