What’s Your Social Media Game in 2017?

It’s a new year. It’s time for a fresh set of goals. And it’s critical to think about them in novel and different ways.

In your professional life, how will you use social media to achieve your goals? How will you use social media to tell your story about your wins?

To start, think about how social media will change for professionals this year. Check out the post, along with Dorie ClarkAlexandra SamuelBryan Kramer and William Arruda for some fascinating ideas.

Then ask yourself these 4 questions to make your own social media game plan.

  • What are your company’s big goals? Is your CEO sharing the company strategy with employees this month or quarter? How about other C-suite leaders? Access any and all information, internal and external, about your company’s strategic plans for the year. Be clear on the top goals and the order of priority.
  • What are your team’s goals? How do the company goals translate into your department’s goals and ultimately your team’s goals? Where does your team help drive the strategy toward execution? What new and different approaches can you and your team try this year?
  • What are your professional goals? How do your team goals translate into your own professional goals? What do you need to accomplish this year? What stretch assignments do you want to tackle? On the development side, what do you want or need to learn? How will you accomplish that?
  • How will use use social media to achieve your goals and tell your story? Does social media play a role in achieving your goals? If it hasn’t before, could you incorporate it this year? When you achieve goals, how will you use social media to tell your story? What conferences are you attending? Where are you speaking? What are you blogging?

At this point, focus on “what” your goals will be. Don’t worry about the “how” at this point.

Why?

If you’re not sure about how to execute a goal, that can stand in the way of setting it in the first place. And just because you don’t exactly know how to do it, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

You’ve probably had many “first times” in your career. What did you do when your boss asked you to take on a new project, something you’d never done before? You can reflect on and use those experiences in the same way when you get to the “how” part of actually accomplishing your goals.

A former boss came to me some years ago and said the CEO wanted to do an employee engagement survey. My boss asked me to lead it.

That was beyond my role at the time as a corporate communications leader. There was a moment of terror, but after a few minutes it sounded like a fascinating project.

In thinking through the “how,” I realized I could build on the communications-related surveying I’d done, engage with experts and partners, create a team, map out a plan, execute it, learn and adjust as we went.

With so much information available online, you can research any topic and come up with ideas. Being able to figure it out is a skill that becomes more important every day.

I’m ever inspired by a talk that business leader Mark Cuban gave at my employer’s headquarters many years ago.

Most striking were his words about client meetings and commitments. A client would ask for something, and the group would agree it would be delivered the next day.

Later, Mark and his colleagues would look at each other and say they had no idea how to do what they’d just committed to. But they had all night to figure it out. And figure it out, they did. Time and time again.

If they could do it, so could I. And so can you.

For now, take some time to set your social media goals for the year.

Here are mine:

  • Amplify my employer’s social media strategy through its Social Circle, by sharing 3 posts each week.
  • Share appropriate highlights of my work in social media, by posting something at least 2 times a month.
  • Learn about how social media is changing and evolving, by listening to 5 podcasts each week during drive time.
  • Help others by sharing and commenting on their valuable content, at least 3 times a week.

Each goal is measurable, with a number attached to it. As the year goes on, I’ll assess if this is the right frequency or if tweaks need to be made.

None of my goals have anything to do with followers. In part that’s because I can’t completely control those numbers. Sure, the goals I’m pursuing are likely to attract followers. But I’m focused on actions I can 100% control on my own.

Here I’m influenced by Gary V‘s ideas on Building a Personal Brand, a Udemy course I finished today. One of the biggest takeaways? “Consistency almost trumps everything,” Gary says.

Another pearl from Gary? This one is for combating fear of failure: “Spend all your time in the in-between space, the time between starting and stopping.”

What’s your social media game plan for the year?

Don’t worry yet about the “how” of making it happen. “How” will be the subject of many future posts.

What’s Your Theme for 2016?

Design

Do you want to achieve more focus in the new year?

Then pick a theme for 2016 – one word that sums up your goals.

Five years ago I chose my first annual theme.

I’d just wrapped up an intense time at work, designing and delivering our company’s first leadership development program for our CEO and CHRO. This labor of love involving long hours was all made worthwhile on the final day as the 30 participants shared how the program changed their lives.

In the community I was involved with our local education foundation, leading a refresh of our strategic plan to raise money for local schools. There was also a grade-level job for my daughter’s cotillion. And co-leading my son’s Cub Scout den. Plus a bevy of youth basketball, baseball and soccer games.

Not to mention all the related parenting responsibilities for elementary- and middle-school-aged children. (And here I’m bucking a trend the Wall Street Journal reported on, about people hiding their children’s ages. Why be that coy when our own ages, addresses and more are just a few clicks away?)

Life was full. Life was good. And life was a bit too much. Too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. Not enough time to enjoy life as it happened.

That’s why my theme for 2011 became thinning.

First was thinning my calendar. The clock ran out on some of my community commitments. No new volunteer roles made it onto my calendar for a while.

Second was thinning my surroundings. Well before Marie Kondo‘s fabulous The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I pared down possessions. Gave away things that were no longer needed. Said farewell to items that were no longer valuable.

Third was thinning my body. I started eating healthier foods and exercising more. Several months later, I was 50 pounds lighter. That called for more thinning of my wardrobe.

And it also created space for the new in my life. New clothes. New experiences. New perspectives. All by focusing on thinning and having less in my life so I could truly enjoy what I had.

From Thinning, I moved on to Building. Shining. Reinventing. Transforming.

Yes, this year’s theme was transforming. Having led so many change projects in my career, I’m fascinated by reinvention, revitalization and renewal.

My company was being acquired in an exciting, transformative deal. So I looked forward to how that would transform my career. And it did, opening up new opportunities in marketing.

Our family had transformational moments with our youngest child starting high school and our oldest teen visiting colleges, taking standardized tests and applying to schools.

We finally transformed our mid-century (e.g., outdated 1950s) kitchen with new cabinets, counters, appliances and flooring. And we’re installing more water-conscious bathroom appliances, here in drought-resilient Southern California.

My exercise routine was transformed with forays into stand up paddle boarding, cardio barre and yoga. Now if I can combine paddle boarding with yoga in the new year, I’ll be all set.

My community involvement transformed with leading inspiration for my chapter of National Charity League and serving on a mayor-appointed committee in my city.

And I wanted to transform my writing and social media presence by launching this blog on New Year’s Day 2015.

Did I transform as much as I wanted? Of course not. There’s always more to be done. But as I reflect on the last year, I’m happy to see progress. And that is what life is all about.

The theme for 2016?

Leaping.

Leaping into what exactly?

For starters, leaping into a new and exciting role at work. It melds skills I honed in corporate communications with newer skills in the areas of measuring brand health, advertising effectiveness and customer experience.

Next is helping my daughter prepare to go to college in the fall. To become more independent and make her own decision. To figure out how to create a good life.

And then there’s this blog. It’s still a work in progress. My focus is changing and evolving, along with my professional and personal life.

Writing this blog grounds me and gives me tremendous joy. It brings more flow into my life, where I lose myself in the ever-engaging process of thinking and writing.

My leaping theme is inspired by Tara Sophia Mohr and her book Playing Big.

Mohr writes, “A leap has you playing bigger right now, is simple, and can be completed in one to two weeks, gets your adrenaline flowing, and puts you in contact with the people/audience/customers/stakeholders you want to reach through your playing bigger.”

My first leap is posting to this blog twice a week, sharing it on social media and getting feedback. My other leaps? Those will be the subjects of future posts.

What’s your theme for 2016?