Before you turn to social media, ask yourself these questions.
1. What is the purpose of your organization, blog or product?
Know who you are and what you are going to be putting out there before you press forward with social media. Maybe you are investing too much in social media when you don’t even know your mission. Defining this is simply good business practice.
2. What will be the purpose of using social media?
Know why you are using each specific network. Otherwise you’ll lack direction. Know the end goal. If it’s to market, then define that. But realize that social media has the ability to do more than getting out the details of your church. You can create a brand, community and place to get opinions and other resources from your viewers.
3. Who is your audience?
If you are a church in a small town, Facebook may be the perfect place for you. If you are a large church in a big city, you may need to make sure you are present in several networks. Defining this allows you to not waste too much time in the wrong places. This may also take some researching on your part. Survey your current customers as well as new ones.
4. How many resources are you going to use?
Will you pay someone or do it yourself? How much time will you invest in a day, week or month? Will you advertise at church, in promotional flyers, on your website? Are you up for putting a little money down to promote?
5. How will you measure success?
You’ll miss the mark if you rely only on the number of fans or followers. Decide whether you’ll use a Web app like Klout or SproutSocial or the built-in analytic tools with Google or Facebook’s Insight.
6. How are others who have a similar mission doing social media?
You may be able to incorporate better strategies and find new seasonal objectives for your social media accounts by checking out how others do it.
7. How will you know you have succeeded or failed after a time?
Come up with at least five goals.
8. Are your goals specific and measurable?
Just saying that you want to get more viewers is not a good strategy. How many more? Wanting to be retweeted five times a week is OK, but being more specific by stating that you want to be retweeted five times a week by at least 1,000 new people is better.
9. Are your goals clear and realistic?
If you are new to social media, do not expect to see your website blow up. At the same time, saying that you want 50 new people to see your website does not define if you want them to see an aspect of the website, your blog or to interact with your featured “products.” Make sure your strategy is clear.
10. How will you adjust if you do not succeed with these goals?
Failure in the short term does not mean failure in the long term. In fact, that may be what you need to achieve success. But if you create a presence in the social media networks and then abandon them, you have done way more harm than good. You may need to consider lowering expectations or putting more resources toward your efforts.