What are you trying to achieve by using social media?

I've been conducting a lot of one on one sessions lately and before we can come up with a strategy for any specific social media efforts it's really important to be clear on three things:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Who are you talking to?
  • What do you want them to know?

Over the next little while I'm going to write a post for each of those questions to hep you figure out how to answer them. Once you have those three things clear it will be a lot easier for you to figure out what you should be saying online.

What are your goals?

Spend some time thinking about your business goals in general but more specifically about what you're hoping to achieve by being online. It's probably (though not necessarily) a given that one of your goals is to make more money. But your goals may also include things like:

  • Being known as an expert at something
  • Being seen as a resource on a certain topic
  • Expanding your audience geographically or demographically
  • Getting more engagement online and building community
  • Increasing sales in a certain part of your business
  • Getting other people to talk about you to their communities

Because it always helps to see specific examples I'll share some of mine and create some fictional examples:

  • Be seen as an expert in explaining social media for small business
  • Be seen as an expert in nutrition and wellness
  • Expand audience beyond the Ottawa-area
  • Expand audience to new moms 
  • Increase sales in one-on-one coaching and speaking
  • Create content that is linked to by other bloggers and media outlets
  • Be more findable in search

You can be even more precise and create goals that are channel-specific:

  • Increase Facebook likes by 300 people
  • Establish a presence on YouTube and get 1000 video views
  • Get retweeted and tagged by industry experts on Twitter

Really understand what you're trying to achieve

The more you work to figure out these goals and why you're setting them, the more likely you are to be able to work them into your plan efficiently. Take a few minutes and write down an explanation of what you mean by each one and why they're important to you.

For example:

I really enjoy helping small business owners figure out how to use social media for their business. I get charged and excited when having one-on-one coaching calls with business owners and hearing them figure out what they could be doing. Their lightbulb moments make my day. I want to do more of that so I need to make it clear that this is something that I do, like to do and am good at.

You may feel that it's time to expand beyond your local market. You like to spend time in Toronto and Boston and want to start by growing your audience in those specific cities next. To do that, you need to start to grow an audience in those cities so there is already a start of a customer base in those cities when you arrive to hold an event or launch a product.

Time to do the work

I challenge you to spend 10 minutes right now coming up with 3 or 4 goals for your use of social media over the next 6 months. Really think about what you like to do, what you want to be doing and why you want to be doing it. Then leave a comment and share some with us here!