Practical Steps to Getting Started in Social Media – Step 5: Set Goals

Goal SettingIf you’ve been following this series, by now you should understand the social media platform you’re getting into from reading about it, listening to others, and mingling. You should also be developing your voice and getting into a rhythm when you read and post to the social media platform.

Keep in mind that we’re still talking about getting started on a social media platform as an individual. It’s important to become proficient as an individual before using it on behalf of your organization.

Since we’re still talking about your personal use of social media, you may be thinking “Goals? I don’t need no stinking goals!”

My philosophy is anything worth doing is worth settings goals for.

1) Use Goals

Even if all you want to accomplish with your personal use of a social networking platform is become proficient with it or make some personal connections or get interesting content from others, you still need at least one goal:

  • Frequency: How often & when are you going to read/post? This is key to avoiding two big pitfalls: underuse (inconsistency) and overuse (spending too much time on social media)  You won’t be successful unless you post consistently and respond to other people consistently.  On the other hand, social media can be a huge time suck.  If you don’t limit your time, you could easily spend hours doing social media that you should be doing other things.

2) Engagement Goals

If you build a solid personal social media presence, you can leverage that to grow your organization’s social media presence much more quickly.  So, as long as you’re learning how to use a platform, you might as well do it well, build an influential presence, and set goals accordingly.

  • Popularity: How many friends/followers do you want to have by when?
  • Engagement: How many comments, replies, retweets etc do you want to have?

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan setting popularity or engagement goals, because it’s really easy to get caught up in them and start doing gimmicky things just increase those numbers.  But I do think they’re worth monitoring.

3) Mission Goals

Ultimately, being consistent, popular, or engaging in social media is really meaningless unless you actually accomplish something with it.

If you are building your personal social media presence solely to grow your organization’s social media presence, that’s fine, but you may also want to accomplish things personally beyond that.

  • Mission: What are you trying to accomplish as an individual? Set goals accordingly.  Maybe one of your goals is to build relationships with people in your industry or cause.  Maybe one of your goals is to increase visitors to your blog.

One final point… Goals that are not measurable are worthless.  For example, if you say, “My goal is to grow my influence in my field” or “My goal is to be an advocate for xyz cause I’m passionate able” how will you know if/when you’ve accomplished that?

What goals have you set for your personal social media usage?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

4 Responses to “Practical Steps to Getting Started in Social Media – Step 5: Set Goals”

  1. If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to yor goals) is available too.
    Works also on mobile, and syncs with Evernote.

  2. You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It's clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

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  1. Tweets that mention Practical Steps to Getting Started in Social Media – Step 5: Set Goals | Christian Web Trends Blog -- Topsy.com - Sep 24, 2010

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  2. New Series: Practical Steps to Getting Started in Social Media | Christian Web Trends Blog - Oct 14, 2010

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