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Many businesses have invested in social media one way or another and some might wonder if the investment is worthwhile.

The following 6 guidelines can be used to evaluate your effort before further investment:

1. Review your Business Strategy

Social media strategy should be a part of the overall business strategy for any business. When a business is clear about its objectives and target market, it’s easier to determine how to deploy social media. In this case, social media becomes one of the outreach channels.

For example, my executive coaching business targets professionals who are either executives or business leaders. How can I be in contact with them in person or online? The question is answered in my business strategy.

2. Define you objectives of deploying social media

The objectives of using social media usually are the following: establishing brand awareness, initiating customer engagement, introducing new products or services and influencing the behavior of customers.

When these objectives can be met through your existing channels, you might wonder if you have to do social media. My take is that adding social media as one of the channels can help in achieving goals faster. People are online, all the time with their mobile phones, and many of them are into social media.

For my business, my main objective is to build brand recognition. I use social media to enhance my brand “Leaders empower leaders”.

3. Choose your social media platform(s)

When you are clear in your objectives for deploying social media, the next step is to choose a social media platform. There are many social media platforms and they all have pros and cons.

Some helpful resources are as follows:

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Platforms explains the Pros and Cons of major social media platforms.
What Social Media Platforms are Best for YOUR Business explains the usages of major platforms.
Global Social Media Research Summary 2016 shares social media stats.
Personally, I chose LinkedIn since I like the mechanisms it puts in place to help me connect to people and to track their status

4. Identify the activities

When an objective is clear and the platforms are chosen, it’s important to have consistent activities. You want to have the activities that leverage your strengths and passion. If they are seen as “extra work”, you will not be able to execute them consistently.

For example, I love to read and write; therefore, two of my main activities are publishing posts and sharing resources that can benefit my target market. When I post articles, I provide solid content based on my experience.

5. Identify the metrics that will measure the result of your activities

Without measurements, you really don’t know if your social media strategy is effective. My advice is to choose some simple ways to measure the results and enhance the metrics after seeing the effects.

For me, number of followers and viewers are used to measure my results in Linked posts and updates.

6. Just do it!

Now it’s execution time. Setting a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goal for execution will help the consistent practice.

For example, I am committed to do at least 2 updates per week and one post per month. They are indeed SMART goals since I use them as a guideline to stay engaged.

I invite you to set yourself on a path to success by having a SMART goal.

Hopefully this post helps you to evaluate your current social media investment. I simplified my own social media strategy to explain the guidelines so that they are more easy to understand. Feel free to reach out to me for any questions or make a comment to share your experience.

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