Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Having a Clear Objective When You're Using Social Media

I've been telling people last week was like "finals week" for me. I've had two main objectives for using social media since I got laid off two months ago: 1) Find a Job and 2) Prepare for this Denver Chamber of Commerce Speaking Engagement. Last week I had final rounds of interviews with two companies both of which I'm very interested in as well as the Chamber of Commerce event. It was a busy week!

The outcomes? Well, I think they all went well. Until all is a done deal, I'm holding off on the celebrations or announcements, but I'm hoping my days of being unemployed are coming to an end soon. If all else fails, I can take my Social Media 101 presentation on the road (or out into cyberspace) for fame and fortune.

I'm convinced that if you have a clear objective and a strategy you will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to. If you don't have an objective, you can get lost and overwhelmed by all the choices of tools, blogs, articles, and networks of people! Here are some examples of why people use social media:
  • Fun!
  • Job Search
  • Gain Expertise
  • Establish Online Presence and Credibility
  • Identify Trends
  • Get Support
  • Build Relationships
  • Get References
  • Spread the Word About Something Good
  • Customer Service
  • Network with Experts
  • Influence Others
  • Inbound Marketing

I could go on and on. With any of these, you can get more specific -- and the more specific the better. For example, rather than "looking for a job" my objective was to "look for an IT Management job close to where I live in Superior, Colorado." By narrowing down your objective, you're better able to build your strategy focusing on what you should be reading, who you should be networking with, and how you can best use the tools and technologies that are at your disposal.

One thing that is NOT on this list (maybe the only thing that I recommend against using social media for) is to sell. Now, one could argue that the reason for marketing and relationship building is ultimately to make a sale. I don't think people should make a secret of their products, services, or businesses. But don't make that your sole purpose of using the tools. If you do, you will be outcast as an annoying "douche-bag" and most people will avoid you. You don't want that to be your online reputation! Seek to help others as much if not more than you expect to receive help. (That must be some kind of golden rule or hymn or something. It sounds very pious, but it's really true.)

I used to wonder how on earth businesses effectively use social media to market if they couldn't sell their stuff. I want to be genuine, so you definitely don't want to pretend like you're someone's friend, and then turn around and ask them if they want to buy your latest weight-loss product (which seems to be a common product amongst spammers.) Well, the folks at have this great series of free teleseminars through their Inbound Marketing University program that give some very helpful advice and information about how to be effective at inbound marketing. I highly recommend these courses! In fact, I am a proud graduate of the program, having recently passed the certification exam! Yay!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Yvette! Congrats on your IMU certification. :)


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