Goals For A Social Media Strategy

Two posts ago I asked the question Do You Have A Social Media Strategy? I acknowledged that I didn’t have one, and a few steps I was going to take towards having one. I wanted to talk this time about goals, because without goals, a strategy is just a hope. I also wanted to clarify that these goals have nothing to do with this blog, but my traditional businesses.

So, what would my goals be? How would I define these goals? And what about Naomi (that’s for the Electric Company fans in the crowd)? And finally, what are the ramifications of those goals versus my wish to do some other things just because I want to do them? For instance, if I set a business goal, will things such as this blog or some of my political and racial positions impede any benefit a social media marketing strategy might entail?

That last one is the most important one, believe it or not, at least as it pertains to Twitter. I have a definitive political position. I also obviously call out racism wherever I see it. Politics is dangerous because you never know who you might irritate on the other side; you also never know who might irritate you. During the 2008 election, I eliminated a lot of people from my Twitter stream because of some of the outright nasty stuff, including lies, that were being said about people I was supporting. I didn’t mind anyone taking a contrary view; we don’t all agree on everything after all. I wasn’t putting up with certain types of decorum, however. Because I don’t put up with certain decorum as it pertains to people I support, I also won’t act that way against anyone else; well, most of the time anyway. And that becomes a major issue; will my political beliefs, and my penchant for calling someone out on a racial issue, hurt my social media marketing? And if so, how much do I care?

Question answered; I don’t really care. I go out of my way almost always to be as kind as I can. However, there is idiocy in the world, and every once in awhile we have to call it out. The people who usually follow me believe as I do, and those that don’t usually don’t stick around. So, as far as Twitter is concerned, I’m okay with it all. Luckily, I don’t get into politics on either LinkedIn or Facebook, so it’s all good.

The next step is in defining my goals; what do I want to get out of whatever I do. That makes a lot of sense, because how can I set my goals if I don’t know what I hope to achieve. Me being me, I have a lot of things I want to achieve, and each of the three ways I hope to achieve it offers something different. But the overall defined goals are:

          * More brand awareness of my businesses

          * More brand awareness of who I am

          * More consistency in clients and income

On the surface that might not look like a lot, but it is. I have two businesses, but I have many different services I can provide through those two businesses. One is set up for more success, the other isn’t. I also want to market myself, as I keep pushing on my goal of being a professional speaker and presenter, and I speak on a multitude of topics as well.

Social Madness

The last part is every consultant’s dream, that being to make at least a consistent amount of cash, more money than we made working our regular jobs before we became consultants, so we can spend more time becoming more proficient as what it is we hope to do. The way I make my money is in short spurts; I make a lot of money very quickly, then I make a little bit of money for awhile until I get another opportunity to make a lot of money again. Sometimes those gaps between large money go much longer than is comfortable, so I need to shore that part up, and if I shore it up enough I won’t have to worry about the large gaps anymore.

This means that, at this juncture, the final piece is planning my goals, or steps, to achieve what I want to get to. I’m not putting that part down just yet. To me, this is the longest part, the part that needs more thought so that I’m not haphazardly throwing things out without the full plan. I also figure this is enough for anyone else who’s been thinking about setting up a strategy, who might be reading this and thinking that you want to try it along with me, to now sit down and plan your strategy as well. If you do decide to try something, I hope you share either here or on your own blog; I’d love to see where you’re taking it.

By the way, there’s a great possibility that I might be presenting a live seminar in July and August on this topic, which is why I’m now thinking about this entire thing. After all, it makes you much more convincing if you’re actually gone through the entire process as well. Right?

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Jeanni, R.I.P.

When I met the woman on the right, I also met the woman on the left. Only the woman on the left was 12 years old, and now… well, I speculate she’s got to be close to 40, if not so. That’s how long I’ve known Jeanni and Amy. For years, you didn’t see one without seeing the other. Then Jeanni married, had other kids, and Amy grew up and moved on with her own life.

This is my brief story about Jeanni. She wasn’t like almost anyone else I knew. She was loud, boisterous, and very ballsy. She was a bowler, and a very good one as well. She came across sometimes as direct and in your face, but it was a mask for the good person she really was. I could tell that in her daughter, who was the most adult kid I’ve ever met, and whom I finally got to tell that to about two weeks ago.

Jeanni, as it turns out, was very well known around town. A few years ago, she developed diabetes. In the past year, we all learned she had cancer. On Sunday, there was a fundraiser for her and her family to try to help with both bills and possible further cancer treatments. Yes, she smoked for most of her life, but she did quit about 6 or 7 years ago; sometimes, it’s just too late at a certain point. She ended up getting cervical cancer.

However, at this fundraiser, which was held at a local bowling alley, I don’t believe I’m exaggerating if I said that almost 400 people, if not more, came out. We all paid $20 to come in and enjoy the festivities, and then there were many other things we could do in contributing more money to the cause. They had raffles for gifts that were donated from a variety of sources, including a 32″ flat screen HD television; I mean, how many people are liked enough to have someone donate a gift like that? For that matter, how many of us believe nearly 400 or 500 people would come out for us if something like this were held for us?

I was amazed, not necessarily at the number of people but at some of the people who showed up. Turns out she knew a lot more people that I knew, and none of us knew that we all knew her. Turns out she bowled with a lot of both men and women all over the city, helped run adult and children’s league, and bowled in many tournaments. Turns out she volunteered a lot of her time to others; who knew? And on Sunday, all those people came together, along with 3 bands, lots of food, free drinks of sorts (no free diet soda, which is what I drink; what’s up with that?), and lots of bowling and laughter.

Her kids were there; she wasn’t. She had taken a turn for the worse. On Monday, she lost her battle. I thought about it because I believed if she had been well enough to attend that she would have been emotionally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love to her and her legacy. I think most of us would be astonished to have that kind of showing for anything we did.

So, once again, I have to hope that another friend rest in peace. Man, I hate getting older.

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Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?

I was reading an article by my friend Josh Shear titled Why Social Media Isn’t Working For Your Business and it made me start to think a bit more about social media and how it is or isn’t working for my business. I mean, I’ve written about using social media for promotion after all.

I have to say that it’s worked great for my social life, which is why it came about to begin with. Because of Twitter, I’ve met some people at local tweetups that I’d have never met on my own, and there’s a lot of both nice and smart people around here that I’m happy to have gotten to know. Through LinkedIn, I’ve met one or two people over the years in person, but I can’t say it’s done a lot for me socially. The same goes for Facebook as far as meeting people locally, but I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to people around the world that I’d have never met any other way. Same goes for Ryze, though I’ve actually met some of those folks in person, and talked on the phone with some as well.

But what about business? I have to admit that I haven’t had a consistent social media marketing strategy, although I’ve had fits and starts. I did create my LinkedIn page a very long time ago, and I wasn’t all that far behind the Twitter revolution. I even now have that Facebook marketing page for my businesses, which I was just able to double in “likes”, which they now use instead of “fans”.

So, the question is how would one go about creating a social media marketing strategy. I have an idea of how I’m going to create mine, or at least enhance mine. If you think this is something you’d like to think about as well, look at my points here; I always work well with outlines. This outline is going to mention the top three specific social media options I presently use.

1. On LinkedIn, I need to take more advantage of the area that allows you to let people know what I’m up to on a real time basis. The reason that’s a big deal is because LinkedIn sends an email once a week to everyone telling them what’s going on with the people they’re connected to. It always highlights the newest stuff first, then goes backwards, and once it reaches so many highlights it gives a link to go online to see more if you wish. However, I’m betting most people don’t wish, so making sure I take advantage of staying current will help to make sure my name shows up in this email on a more regular basis.

2. On Twitter, I already have my current blog posts show up. However, I have lots of old posts on topics that are still relevant, and I have articles in many places as well. If I want to increase my brand and show those following me on Twitter what I’m all about, I need to make sure that I’m posting at least one extraneous link either every day or every couple of days to stuff I’ve done in the past.

3. On Facebook, I did something a few days ago that I’d said I wasn’t going to do, or didn’t want to do. I decided to specifically invite some people, and I did, going through the people I’m connected to and inviting some very specific people. These were friends who I believed would get a kick out of seeing what I’m doing these days. Lo and behold, my subscriber base doubled. This proves that sometimes in marketing all you have to do is ask. I might eventually invite other people who I’m connected with there; we’ll see. Oh yeah, if you’d like to check it out, click on that little box there to the right.

I think this is a pretty good start. But what is it I’m trying to do? That’s the next post.

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Sunday Question – How Do You Feel About All This Profanity?

I have never cursed. I have never said a bad word in my life. I’ve never even come close to saying a bad word because I got mad at anything. When I was younger, I know I had trouble saying the word “Schlitz”, which was one of the beer brands my dad used to drink, so it’s possible I said something at that time. Other than that potential however, I have never said anything that anyone could ever consider as profane.

I mention this because last weekend, from what I understand, the MTV Awards were pretty much nothing but profanity. It supposedly got so bad that the sensors couldn’t keep up with all of it during the live feed, and so much bad language got through that the company ended up apologizing the next day. You can bet that there will be an FCC fine coming down the line. After all, if they find the CBS $500,000 when Justin Timberlake inadvertently pulled down Janet Jackson’s top, fill definitely fine MTV and hefty sum because they know that nobody even tried to talk to any of these so-called celebrities about the possibility of tempering their language.

I don’t know if anyone can really explain to me what what all of this is about these days. Sure, back when I was a kid there was some language that was thrown around. After all, I’m a military kid who lived on a military base, and military professionals are not necessarily known for their discretion when it comes to their language. However, most of the time if they were children around at least a married ones would try to watch their language as much as possible when they’re out in public. And something almost nobody ever did was use bad language in front of their parents or someone else’s parents.

These days nobody cares whether it’s an adult or child, they pretty much believe they have the right to say whatever they want to say where ever they want to say it and as loud as they want to say it. And they all believe that they should be able to express themselves this way without worrying that someone is going to take offense and probably punch them in the face. I tend to be one of those people who believes that if you decide to engage in behavior that outside of the norm that you expose yourself to whatever reaction comes and you probably deserved it. If you’re acting in noble fashion you wouldn’t say things like this, even though your actions might be extraordinary, and in that case I might say that the reaction you get might be a bit extreme. After all, nothing is ever cut and dry.

Now obviously I’m not a prude. I watch movies where there’s profanity, and of course I watch a lot of sports for every once in a while you will hear a player or coach other something that you probably wish they wouldn’t other because you know kids are watching, but if you’ve ever played sports you know that people get caught up in the emotions and sometimes stuff just comes out. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, even in movies because it’s fiction. We all have the rights of choice in determining whether were going to participate in things such as movies and the like. Heck, a very small portion of my mind wants to say that what happened at the MTV Awards was fine also. The difference in the second is enabled alive presentation, everybody who was on the show knew it was live, and at a certain point based on what I’ve read some of the people who got up on stage decided to have fun with it and see if they could top what someone else instead by using even more bad language than was necessary.

Personally, I think a lot of this behavior is definitely unnecessary. I have a couple of friends who use profanity all the time,and you can bet that I call them on it. It doesn’t seem to make them change, and that’s sort of too bad because it makes me think that they really could care less about my feelings and have almost no respect for me. I know that’s not how they feel, as they told me that, in their reasoning is always that they try but just can’t seem to control it all the time. My response back is that they don’t talk that way at work to the people they work for, and at least in one case would never speak that way to his own mother, which means that they can’t control themselves, they just choose not to.

So, back to the original question, which are thought about profanity? Do you really believe it’s so harmless that anybody can say anything they want to? Or do you believe that it’s just another stage in the world’s “development” that were all going to have to get used to? At least I can say this: there will be no bad language on this blog, and I’m not putting up with it in any comments. I figure since I pay for it, it’s my prerogative. Your turn; what are your thoughts?
 

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Customize Your Google Page; There’s A Caveat Though…

Last week I heard the news that Google was going to allow people the opportunity to customize their main page. What they were going to do was to have certain images already set, but if you wanted to you could use your own image for the page.

I have to admit that I was excited. Though I have my Google page already altered thusly, there to the left (right click to see it bigger), via Stylish and Firefox, and I have that stupid sidebar shut down through a script on Greasemonkey, the idea of adding my own image was kind of appealing. And all we had to do was wait until, one day, the link to the bottom left of the Google screen popped up.

Mine popped up Sunday evening, and I thought that was pretty cool. I went to look to see what I had to do, and saw some choices already there. I saw that you also had to log in to your Google account, and for the first time I was sort of hesitant, and I wasn’t sure why. Then I realized why. The thing is if you want to use your own image, you must set up a Picasa account, which is their photo sharing site. Then you can upload your image and attach it to your page, and go on with your business. If you didn’t want to do that, you could upload one of their pictures, but you still have to have a Google account to use it, so that when you sign in it knows it’s you. Otherwise, you can stick with your white background, or do something like what I’ve done.

Here’s the thing about a Picasa account. If you have one, it pretty much means other people can go through your images. That’s what the user agreement says. I don’t have an account, so if there’s a way to make it private I don’t know about it. Still, the idea of someone being able to go through my personal pictures and use them for whatever reason they wish to bothers me somewhat. Yeah, I have some pictures on Facebook, but I knew that I’d be sharing those pictures with people I allow into my Facebook life, since that’s the kind of privacy I put on my account there. Anything beyond that, I’m not sure I want to deal with.

For me, I can do without it. Truthfully, if I wanted to tinker with it, I think, because I use Firefox, I could figure out a way to alter one of the scripts to use my own picture if I wanted to badly enough. However, overall, unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s not a great thing to go messing around with these scripts. That’s why my background is black instead of my favorite color, which is red.

Anyway, if you’re not quite as skittish as I am about sharing some of your images with the world, and you want to customize your Google page, go for it. It’s not a bad deal overall, and gets rid of the boring white. Lucky for me, I’ve already taken care of that on my favorite browser.

Sounds True, Inc.

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