One of the challenges in social media is accountability, specifically keeping businesses accountable to actually investing time and effort into social media. Social media metrics which measures the efforts and shows what’s being clicked and commented on can show results for activities, but can’t provide accountability when it comes to actually getting people to put time into social media. So what will hold a business owner or employee accountable to actually spending time on social media and doing something productive with it?
First you need to develop specific activities that people will do consistently when they get on social media sites. If you just tell someone to go on a social media site, but don’t provide any insights on what is considered productive activity, then what will happen is people will get on there and not really do anything. For each site that a person needs to get on there should be specific activities the person needs to do. For example, with Linkedin one specific activity would be to comment on three status updates in your network. Another activity would be to write one recommendation in a week for someone you’ve done business with. Once specific activities are provided a person’s time is focused and s/he has some accountability provided, because s/he has a “quota” that needs to be fulfilled.
Time is another accountable measure that can be used. If a person knows that s/he needs to spend a specific amount of time each day on social media, and not one second more or less than that time, the person will be focused on using that time as optimally as possible. It’s more important to schedule a consistent amount of time to be on social media than to be checking social media sites throughout the day. If people see that you are consistent in responding and on posting then they will know you are on there. Although social media is admittedly a real time conversation, if people are interested in what you want to share, they will find your information and follow your accounts.
Finally, another way to keep yourself accountable with social media is to simply make it a point to actually view it as a business activity. If your attitude is that social media is a waste of time then it will be a waste of time for you, but if you start viewing it as a business activity, you’ll get focused on doing activities that justify that belief and the result will be that you’ll start to see some real benefits from doing social media. What you think and believe about something powerfully shapes your perception of the value of that thing or activity and this is true not just of social media but other activities in general.
I was recently interviewed by Diane Plesset at Today’s Home Radio about social media. It was a fun show and she asked some great questions. Click on the link to listen to the show.