Resolution #3 – I will do more with social media or, I will try to learn about this social media thing.

Week 3 of resolutions!  We are committed to our resolutions (goals) this year, and we are happy to have you with us.  While our competitors and your competitors forget about their resolutions, we have plans to achieve ours and positively impact our businesses.  If you missed the first 2 resolutions about email and using technology more productively, make sure you go back and check those out to keep up.  This week, we are taking on a topic that seems overwhelming to many people – social media.

Plan to Achieve your Resolution (Goal)

Let’s substitute a word– fill in ‘marketing’ for ‘social media’ and then read the title of this blog post again.  Right, it’s way too big and way too general.  Chances are that you wouldn’t set a goal like “I will do more with marketing” so don’t do that with social media either (and remember, social media is just another marketing tactic, just like advertising, PR, or print media).  Instead, define your social  media goal more clearly:

  • I want to use Facebook more for my business, or
  • I want to learn how to use Twitter, or
  • I want to get more active in LinkedIn groups, or
  • I want my Facebook page to be more interactive, or
  • I want to use YouTube for business this year.

Whether your resolution (goal) is one of these 5 or something else, think about (1) why are you doing it (what result do you want) and (2) how are you going to achieve it (your plan).  Your answer to why you are doing it should help you begin to formulate your plan.  If you are doing it simply because you want to learn more about it, then your plan should be relatively simple and have you doing small things each week that don’t take up a lot of time but will keep you on track throughout the year.  If you are doing it to achieve a business result, you will likely need to put time into developing a more comprehensive plan.

Sample Plan: Learn How to Use Twitter

Let’s start with an easy one.  If your resolution is to learn how to use Twitter because it seems interesting and you want to learn more about it, then weekly actions on your 2011 plan may include:

  1. Learn How to Use Twitter (OpenSpark Sample Plan)Create a Twitter account.
  2. Download Twitter app for your smartphone.
  3. Read 2 articles about Twitter.
  4. Talk to 2 people you know who use Twitter about how they use it.
  5. Follow 5 people you find interesting.
  6. Find 3 things you want to re-tweet (RT).
  7. Respond back to an interesting tweet with your thoughts (@ tweet).
  8. Watch 2 videos about Twitter.
  9. Post 3 tweets.
  10. Post a relevant tweet about a trending topic.

All of these actions should take you less than 15-20 minutes per week, and, you can recycle steps #3-10 for the rest of the year to keep you on track.  And, you don’t have to do all of these every week – just pick one per week to keep it simple.  If you performed steps #3 through #10 six times each during the year, you will have achieved at least the following by the end of 2011:

  • Spent approximately 15 hours learning about Twitter.
  • Done something Twitter-related 50 out of the 52 weeks in 2011.
  • Read 12 articles about Twitter
  • Talked to 12 people about Twitter.
  • Followed 30 people.
  • Re-tweeted 18 things.
  • Responded to 6 tweets.
  • Watched 12 videos about Twitter.
  • Posted 18 tweets.
  • Posted 6 tweets on trending topics.

With that list of accomplishments, you can certainly ring in 2012 knowing that you achieved your goal of learning how to use Twitter!

Planning for Business Results

If your resolution is to do more with social media or try to learn more about social media because you want to achieve a business result, it’s essential that you develop a plan, work it into your daily business routine, and regularly review your progress.  You can take the same approach as the Twitter example above and list out actions that you can take that are scalable and repeatable, but you also need to add some business metrics and measurements. 

As an example, if your goal is to make your Facebook page more interactive:

  1. Write down the answers to why you want to do that and what business result(s) will be impacted if your efforts are successful. 
  2. Brainstorm a list of actions you can take to make the page more interactive.
  3. Schedule the actions into your calendar.  The frequency of your actions will depend on the goal and result you want.
  4. Schedule time to measure progress and results.
  5. Refine your plan and actions as needed throughout the year.

With a plan to guide your efforts in 2011, the actions to help you achieve your resolution will become part of your daily activity and keep you on track throughout the year to give you a foundation to build on and expand in your 2012 resolutions.

If you need some help with your 2011 social media planning to achieve your resolutions or just have a few questions to get your plan off the ground, let us know