I’ve recently stepped back to do a double take on Social – asking myself whether I am (personally and for my business) using it correctly – an exercise I recommend everyone do at some point yearly (or more). The things I am finding out by just asking the questions “Am I being successful and spending my time right?”, “Can I be better?”, or even “Am I still aiming at the right target?” are eye opening. It’s a process I am still in the middle of.
Here are the 3 questions I asked to get me started. I’d be curious what else others are asking.
- Quantitatively: Are my analytics getting better?
Remember the old phrase – “That which gets measured gets done”? Well this is a great place to start and end, and restart again. I looked at basic things – such as ‘How Many Friends do I have” or “Do people follow me on Twitter?”. Then I move on to some richer tools – Klout.com has definitely opened my eyes as well as PostRank.com. These are tools that can give you some eye opening numbers. Plug yourself in – but don’t get depressed (or too excited) by what comes out.
- Qualitatively: Are my interactions rich and meaningful?
Here I took a look at the people I follow – or who follow me. Are they people I respect? Am I engaging in meaningful discussion that is not about just adding digits to an already overcrowded world of content or looking for notoriety? I have concluded that I would rather have meaningful conversations with 20 followers rather than share information that is not meaningful with 20,000 followers. Not that one is better than the other (the latter works well for Ashton Kutcher) – it’s just not to me meaningful.
- Is what I deem “Meaningful” still, well, “Meaningful”?
I have two life/business goals in mind: The first is that I’d like to learn – I want to challenge and be challenged. If I’m not learning everyday – I am in the wrong business. Repetition is not meaningful to me. Being uncomfortable and learning is. The only way I learn is through others – and that is why social is so important to me. I’m not going to learn from Ashton.
The second is to expand my circles and grow our business – not necessarily in size and revenue (a hopeful bi-product for sure), but in quality. I’d much rather leave this world with our business being compared to the IDEO’s of the world rather than the Walmarts. IDEO grew it’s reputation by challenging the status quo and engaging in conversation internally – then applying it to the real world. We have the opportunity to accomplish the same in our industry by both leveraging internal discussions at Archer – and by engaging with the outside world. So – is our business becoming smarter through my efforts?
This is not a daylong effort – but one I suggest every individual and organization go through. Start out by looking at the analytics (it’s the easiest thing to do) – but don’t let the analytics define your measure of success – they all make some wild assumptions. More posts to come as I start wrap up this exercise.