Social Networking With a Goal

Thursday, September 29, 2011
I am currently teaching WOW!'s Social Networking online workshop, and it's made me think more and more about how important it is to have goals for your social networking sites. I know what you're thinking: I already have goals for my personal life. I have goals for my novel and some for my daily writing tasks. I don't need another set of goals--especially for Facebook and Twitter. But I believe this is a mistake many of us make. This is why sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook become overwhelming and a time-suck. So, what kind of goals should you make and how do you use them to help you with your social networking skills?

Ask yourself this MAIN question: Why am I signing up for Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/GoodReads/Google Plus and creating a profile?

Your answer may be something like some of my students:

  • I want to promote my book.
  • I want to find clients for my life coach business.
  • I am trying to build a network of writers because I plan to host an online writing conference.
  • I am new to the writing world and am going to be trying to find an agent for a YA book. I need to make contacts and educate myself.
  • I am trying to drive more and more readers to my blog, which is the platform for my self-published e-book.
You get the picture. These are specific reasons why these writers have signed up to use social networking. I'm not saying that they aren't also going to connect with high school friends or follow Ellen on Twitter, but this is the main reason why they are on the sites. 

Once you know WHY you are on, now you can set some goals for the use. If you are on Facebook to promote a book, then contact everyone you've ever known that could be a potential reader and re-connect with them. Create a Facebook business page for your book. Join a Facebook fan page that has members who will want to read your book. Create events that surround your book--either in person or online--and promote them on Facebook. With the goal of promotion in mind when you log on, you will use your time more wisely.

One final note, you should never ONLY promote yourself on any site--even LinkedIn. The best way to connect with others and get them to buy your book/hire you/read your blog is to take a personal interest in others. Spend five minutes one day responding to your friends' Facebook status messages. Spend five minutes another day reading tweets and re-tweeting or replying. This is what causes people to notice you and want to help you with your goals.

To sign up for Margo's next social networking class starting November 16, view the syllabus in the WOW! classroom. It's $100 for four weeks and covers all the major sites.


Angela Mackintosh said...

This is a really helpful post, Margo! As one of your current students, I'm struggling with this issue right now. You've given me food for thought. :)

Margo Dill said...

Thanks, Ang, I was thinking when I teach the course in November, that I am going to try to make people (HA!) come up with goals before we even get started on Facebook. I might incorporate it with the survey.

Jill said...

Ironically, Margo, I picked this up on FB or Twitter though I'm taking the blogging class and saw your note to read the post after going to it on my own. That shows you something about the power of social media.

Social media has done a lot for my writing and getting new audiences and clients!

Also, I've taken your advice and am leaving my website and blog on posts, now.

Jill (website & blog)

J.C. Nierad said...

I like the idea of setting 5 minute goals for each day and trying to avoid the black hole of Facebook. This post is a helpful reminder to evaluate why you are on a networking site. Thanks! J.C.

Abby Plambeck said...

This is also a good reminder to always keep a professional persona in our posts!

Margo Dill said...

Thanks to all my students for checking out this post and commenting. I appreciate the support and I hope that this helps you a little with your busy lives. :)

Evocolize said...

-Thanks for sharing this points, I would like to add my own opinion
Taking advantage of online resources to improve my productivity.
-Collaborate to build.
-Online Presence and brand personality.

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