building an effective social media strategy {part 3}

building an effective social media strategy {part 3} -

Welcome to the third post in our Building an Effective Social Media Strategy series.  If you haven’t read the first two posts, I encourage you to do so, as they help lay a solid foundation for developing our plan.

Part 1: 3 biggest issues with social media {overwhelm, uncertainty, and usage}

Part 2: 3 keys to a strategy that works {schedule, specify, and specialize}

The first step to building your strategy is to identify the goals for your blog. Remember, social media is a tool for reaching your goals. Don’t let social media become the end — it is a means to the end! As we go through each step, carefully consider each question and be honest as you evaluate your answers.  Don’t overestimate your ability to multi-task. Remember, it is better to do fewer things well than to do many things with mediocrity.

What is the purpose of your blog?

Why do you blog? It is absolutely vital to know why you are blogging. You cannot build a social media strategy to reach your blogging goals if you don’t know why you blog in the first place. For example, if you are a women’s ministry speaker, the purpose of your blog is likely two-fold: to provide information about your speaking ministry and to engage with women who reflect the audiences to whom you typically speak.

Do you have concrete goals for your blog?

Identifying measurable goals will help you stay focused on what really matters with your blog {and social media}. A small business owner might want a blog to increase awareness about services provided by his company. The goal for his blog could be to see a specific increase in inquiries about the highlighted services over a one-month period.

How can social media help you reach your goals?

There are countless ways social media can help you spread your message and increase brand awareness. As you look at your goals, consider which social media platforms are the best fit for you.  For example, Erin uses Twitter to increase awareness about Design by Insight. DIY bloggers love the way images on Pinterest help spread the word about their projects. Many authors are finding Google+ to be a great avenue for engaging readers of their books. Be aware of what each platform can do and then utilize the ones that are best suited for your goals.

As I mentioned before, social media is a tool for reaching your goals. As with any tool it can be used to build or destroy. Using social media effectively will help you grow your blog but allowing social media to become a distraction can cause serious damage.  As you consider ways to use social media it is vital to keep the big picture in mind. Algorithms are constantly changing, particularly on Facebook, which is why we always encourage you to focus on your website {or blog} rather than on a specific social media platform.  Relying entirely on social media is a dangerous choice!

Based on these three questions, where should you focus your social media energies?