What are your goals for using Social Media in Your Business?

What are your social media goals? When I speak to or interview people about why they use certain Social Media tools or what’s in their Social Media plan I sometimes get the feeling they haven’t thought about it too much. It’s as if they use it, for example Twitter , because they’ve been told it great (which it is!) but stopped asking themselves why they need to use it and how it can help their business, blog, event and so on. These particular people tend to have very detailed, sophisticated and strong communication plans, USPs and specific target audiences but for some reason forget to apply their experience of project management in their Social Media strategy and campaign. If you belong to this category and haven’t decided what your Social Media goals are and what particular tools to use, then spend a couple of minutes right now to start the thinking process.

The Social Media Goal Checklist

1. Appeal v Actual Value

Gaining mass following on for example Twitter  does not necessarily equate to gaining mass appeal. I worked on a popular online outsourcing site for awhile to gain experience as a Social Media consultant and many requests involved ‘Looking to Increase Facebook Page to 1 million’ or (my absolute favorite) ‘Give me 100 000 dedicated readers to my blog who will buy our products’. What these individuals forgot to consider was that genuine following or readers only really happen when people want to and as with everything quality is better than mass following. Do you really want 10, 000 spambots/pornbots following you on Twitter? Social Media is all about engagement and you won’t get that from 1 million people who couldn’t care less about your brand. If you provide them with quality content and start having sincere conversations on Twitter then you will increase participation and engagement. Think about what your social media goals should be.

2. Increase Brand or Profit

This links directly with number 1. Appeal v Actual Value where the latter is your goal. Decide which Social Media platform you would like to focus on first as choosing several at once will get heavy-going on your time management. For example, say you want to increase your brand using Twitter then here are a few examples:

  • Start Tweeting interesting content: engage rather than push.
  • Find your target audience on site like Tweepz, WeFollow and Twellow. Also add your own details so some of these sites. If your target audience is local businesses then using the Twitter search is also great.
  • Once you begin to gain a following start connecting and start conversations about your key topics. Offer advice where possible or ask them questions. Do not sell. If you have shared ideas and also added your business website or blog in your profile then they will come to you. Eventually.
  • These are just a few ideas about what Twitter can do for your business.

3. Listening

Perhaps you wish to use Social Media to find out what people want or to gain knowledge from experts out there? There are many useful tools for listening to help your business out there and the impact this information can have is tremendous. What would you like to find out about? Write it down.

4. Find Superconnectors

Another goal might be for you to connect with people that are either experts in their field but may be what Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood calls a ‘Superconnector’ in their fascinating book Superconnect. LinkedIn (and Twitter) is superb for getting in touch with these networked individuals. Have you identified a key person you would like to speak to about a project, or like me someone you really wanted to interview?

You will think of lots of other Social Media goals so these will only get you thinking about what your business needs. Best of luck!