Day 1: Get Clear on Your Goals


Today's SYS Challenge: set social goals #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: set social goals #socialtranslator

I’ve never spent masses of time on social media. When my income is based on my output, as it is for many translators, I need to be certain that time spent on anything other than wordsmithing is going to be worth it.

The best way to do that is to be clear on my goals before I ever fire up Facebook.

When you’re clear on what you want to achieve from social from a business standpoint, your online activities can be more focussed.

It seems a lot of us go about our social strategy backwards: we pick technologies or platforms first, before getting clear on what we really want to accomplish.

It’s a lot easier to decide where to invest your energies when you view everything through the lens of “Is this going to get me closer to or further away from my stated goal?”.  When the answer is yes, you do it. When it’s no, you don’t. When you have a choice of activities to select from, you pick the one that is most likely to move you furthest in the right direction.

It really can be as simple and as complicated as that.

Having clear goals for social has also helped me resist the urge to tinker, fiddle around “just because”, and ascribe meaning to what I’ve done after the fact. For example, “I can clock that last hour up to professional development because I learned how NOT to go about designing a Twitter background!”.

I love learning for learning’s sake just as much as the next person, but let’s be honest: that’s a hobby, not a business activity. (And making time for hobbies is a whole ‘nother issue!)

Examples of goals

From my reading on this topic (see further reading, below), it seems goals relating to online marketing tend to fall into one of three categories:

  1. Building your brand
  2. Driving conversions
  3. Increasing your presence

For the best results, sources agree you need to formulate your goal so it’s super specific. If your goal fits in all three of the above categories, for example, then it’s probably too broad.

My goal for social is to get in the routine of publishing content again. That’s it. This challenge is a way for me to do that.

Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in the reasons why you can’t reach your online goals. Especially as a translator, when you may be considering international audiences, business-to-business markets, or other such variables. But you still need to start somewhere, and that’s where simple and focussed comes in. For me, it’s as much about building momentum as it is about achieving the goals I set myself.

Shooting an arrow at a target is no guarantee you’ll hit the bulleye. But without a target, the only guarantee is that you’ll never hit it at all.

I know which odds I’d rather be playing.

[tweetable hashtags=”#socialtranslator”]We can all find 15 mins a day for online marketing. This is how you ensure those 15 mins make a difference.[/tweetable] (click to tweet).

So, go set yourself some goals for social!

Further reading

  • Kevin Lee at Buffer has an excellent post on goal setting as it relates to social media, inlcuding several different ways of formulating goals for business purposes. If you read only one article on this topic, make it this one.
  • Marketo has some great examples of social media goals (pdf) broken down by platform in their free social media action plan.
  • Charles Ngo has an interesting article on goal setting in general if you’d like more info on the benefits associated with that.


A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in OctoberI’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.