running before you can walk

Running the wrong way

You don’t have to look too far to find half-a-dozen tips on how to make this or that social network sing for you. A series of tips to increase engagement, or to having a more disciplined content creation schedule.

Engagement is a good thing – having someone keen to read what you have to say is great. But this can be a case of losing sight of the forest when concentrating on the trees.

There is a time for refining the exact words of your social media post, for understanding the current trend with regard to images or videos, knowing the emerging trends: virtual reality, the Internet of Things, even working out what kind of metadata you can gather from your visitors’ interactions so you can be informed as you make changes over time.

But all of this is too specific and hands-on: it’s running before you have learned to walk.

Instead, ask yourself some more fundamental questions.

What change do you want to see: in yourself, from creating all this content? Do you want to meet new influencers who can help you understand your craft better? To improve your reputation as an expert? To have a structure for the reading you’re already doing?

What change do you want to see in the people who see your content? Are you seeking to create a community where nothing existed before? Do you want to augment an existing community (offline or online) with new conversations, content and opportunities? How will you manage the risks involved in making these changes – to help people change is generally more challenging than we think at first.

Before you try to decide on metrics, networks, and even platforms, you need a criteria for success in your endeavour. Before you improve your skills and understanding of tactics, you need to make sure your vision and strategy is well-aligned to what change you want to see in the world.

Photo Credit: Marcelo Nava via Compfight cc

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