Social Media – Show me Your Vision!

No, this is not a take on Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry McGuire, but it does resonate with the immortal line …..

I use the word Vision lightly but only because lawyers will be far more comfortable with language couched in these terms. Ok, I could have said strategy but that sounds too static and inflexible. Frankly, I don’t give a hoot what you call it as long as you pay attention to this crucial aspect of your engagement – what do you want to achieve and how will you get there?

In social media there are two things that are critical:

1. The Social Object; and

2. The Social Communication.

Some of you may be straining with the terminology but, when you start a conversation in any one of plethora of platforms or social (cohesive) landing platforms, there is something that you wish your followers to coalesce around. You are then looking for a high degree of syndication or dispersal – in colloquial terms for it to go “viral” – or why else would you have signed up.

You need though to think very carefully about what it is that you are trying to achieve.

Is it:

i. More leads?

ii. More sales?

iii. Event notification?

iv. Thought leadership?

v. Brand awareness?

vi. Connecting with prospective clients and referrers?

vii. Networking?

viii. Sharing ideas?

ix. Collaboration?

x. Innovation?

xi. Commentary on the latest legislative developments?

xii. Your CSR activity?

xiii. Your off line material having greater stickability and spread?

The point is you need to consider what added advantage you are going to achieve by using social media as opposed to more traditional routes. Of course making this decision may be nigh on impossible when you have no benchmarking data; and to that extent whatever you do will be a question of suck it and see. But don’t just climb aboard the social media juggernaut hoping the answer(s) will unfold before your eyes. You have to be prepared for some iteration around whichever platform you decide upon but at some stage you are going to have to look back and make a value judgment on whether the time investment has been worth it. If you don’t have a vision then this is going to be very difficult. My advice is to look at your most recent marketing plan and see what objectives could be moved over to a digital forum and give yourself a 12 week timeframe to judge, so far as you can, the effectiveness of what you have sought to replicate. But don’t give up at that stage just because you haven’t met your goals. Like all new technologies and methodologies they usually take a lot longer than you think to implement.

Questions

1. What social media platforms have you found most effective?

2. If you had one tip for someone just starting out and putting together a vision statement then what would it be?

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For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or call me on 075888 15384.

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