Save time: 5-point social media strategy

social media strategy, social networking strategy, Twitter, Christians online, Faith“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” ~ Proverbs 16:3

by Toni Birdsong
It’s a common question: How do I avoid getting “sucked” into the time vortex of social networking? It’s a valid question and a very real fear. And here’s the answer: you get a plan.

Here’s a quick, easy launch plan to get you rolling.

1. Determine why you are online. Make sure you answer this question before you start posting, tweeting, or blogging. Never invest your time in something simply because others are doing it. When you know why you are doing something, you are less likely to waste precious time. Are you online for personal or professional reasons? To learn or to teach? Social or spiritual? A mix of both?

2. Determine your message. Focus is key to saving time and seeing any kind of success online. Establish your focus and three areas that you want to communicate around that. For example, our blog is about: Online Outreach. Our focus is: Faith, Culture and Social Media. Anything outside of these three areas doesn’t make the cut or take our time.

3. Determine your target audience. Who is your client, your customer, or your desired social connection? Once you have this answer, begin a focused “follow” “friend” or “contact” search for that demographic. This will ensure you build a community of people who will align with, or respond to, your message. In your community building be sure to align with mentors and others from whom you can learn.

4. Determine your goals. What’s the desired outcome of your time online? Do you want more clients or a certain age or niche? Do you want to build brand awareness? Do you want to raise awareness of a cause? Share your faith? Do you want to grow your circle of friends? When you set goals, the chances of your time vaporizing drops dramatically.

5. Determine your tools. Once you know your objectives, you can identify your tools. Does your target market gravitate to Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? Linkedin? Social Bookmarks? Blogs? How do they prefer to consume their information? There are thousands of tools and social connection points online; dipping into all of them simply to get your geek on isn’t the goal (although it can be extremely fun). Remember: the goal is to manage time and achieve your desired outcomes. Becoming a pro at the online channels (or channels) of your target audience is the best use of your time.

Do you have a personal strategy for the time you spend online?

Post/Tweet this today:
You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.
~ Thoreau #LiveSticky

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  • http://www.deepintolove.com/ Craig S.

    Useful. It made me think – made me answer the questions. Thank you. God Bless.

  • http://twitter.com/MegMeeker Meg Meeker

    Great Strategy! Now to follow it!!

  • Anonymous

    You too, Greg — glad you are thinking about these things. It’s a daily “pressing in” for me to stay focused amid such distraction online. Bless you.

  • Anonymous

    Well there you go Meg — THE question I’m gonna ask Jesus: “Why couldn’t I ever get my ‘intentions’ to line up with my ‘actions?'” He’ll help us, I’m sure! :)

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    I refuse to answer on the grounds that . . .

    Wait, I’ve got a facebook message.

  • Anonymous

    That’s me today, Sandy. Seriously distracted …. oh, look a sparklie thing just went by…gotta go!

  • http://blog.ourchurch.com @PaulSteinbrueck

    Great suggestions! A couple others I would add…

    1) Schedule your social media time. By blocking out time in your schedule it’ll keep you from spending countless hours doing social media, and on the other side of the spectrum it’ll prevent you from forgetting to engage for days.

    2) Stop doing what’s not working. I keep adding more people to follow, more blogs to read, more networks to participate in. It’s good to keep trying new things, but to prevent things from getting out of control, I’ve got to stop following, reading, participating where it’s producing the least results.

    That’s my $0.02

  • Tami Heim

    Paul – that was more like a nugget of GOLD than just $0.02. Love the stop doing what’s not working. Best to focus where there’s momentum and go full out in that space. Thanks again – we appreciate you joining the conversation!

  • Tami Heim

    You two are messes – my favorite kind. Squirrel……