Welcome to a new year and a new decade! Do you have any idea what lies ahead for your business this year? If you’re shaking your head, wondering what will fall in your lap, you’re already doing a disservice to yourself and everyone on your team. Setting goals is essential to success.
Success is not about luck. It’s about knowing what you intend to do, setting goals, charting a course, and navigating with knowledge and insight.
It’s about letting things unfold as they will, but mindfully and purposefully laying the groundwork so that you go somewhere you need and want to go.
To do this, you must know the mission behind your daily work. What’s your why? Why do what you do? Why show up every day? What change do you want to levy on the world?
For instance, let’s say you run a community college. You create a course catalog, invite students to enroll, hire instructors to teach courses. You outfit your buildings with ample accoutrements to accommodate full classes. You pay to keep the lights and heat running.
That’s all very nice – but WHY are you in business? Do you have a sweet spot of subject matter – say, the accounting profession? Or do you just offer the general laundry list of classes that all community colleges offer, leaving you without a north star of why you exist and what you offer that is different than any other community college?
Too many organizations operate like the latter, while the ideal is to operate as the former. Know what makes you special, what you can offer that no one else can, and then set about making it happen and letting people know about it.
I find this particular lack of clarity occurs when it comes to organizations and companies using social media. They know they need to be on it, so they throw up an impulsive page on Facebook or create an Instagram account, and then, when inspiration strikes, they post a photo. Wishing everyone a happy July 4th! What’s your Monday like? Welcome to our new employee, Susie!
There is no reason behind the social media activity – just a general feeling of insecurity – everyone else is on social media for their business, so I must be too. Ack!!!
Imagine what might happen, however, if you carefully evaluated every social media platform, understood its audience and uses, and then made the right choice to begin with one platform that perfectly suits your business and marketing goals.
You define how you want to interact with your ideal customer audience on the platform, knowing (from market surveys, customer interviews, and other research) what they seek when they come to you, and create the page with a commitment to post three times per week.
Mondays you devote to posting about customer experience, and someone on your staff starts to collect a document of testimonials and stories from customers. Wednesdays you appoint as the day for sharing images, videos, and cute stories from the trenches – what your team does on a regular basis, new products, testing phases for services, etc.
On Fridays, you determine you’ll post about something going on in the world and how your company engages with this important and timely event or holiday.
It’s clean. It’s clear. It’s planned.
Editorial content is easy to generate and makes sense for your brand. You have a social media manager who creates content and builds engagement with people who visit your page.
What’s more, the themes you chose for social media match themes for your website blog, your email newsletter, your in-store promotions, your media pitching. It all connects. One, fluid brand with a clear mission that everyone on the team, and among your customer base, can get on board with.
Seamless. Interesting. Engaging.
This is what planning ahead looks like. You know why you’re doing something, you all say the same story, and everyone is united by purpose.
It’s likely that with a social media approach like this, you’ll find a spike in inquiries, new customer traffic, and sales. That’s what happens when you do business deliberately, thoughtfully, with meaning.
So this year, how are you going to lay down some goals that are achievable, measurable, specific, and time-bound? How are you going to move the company forward, increase the reach of your organization?
When you know yourself and your purpose, it’s an easy thing to do.