Applying Tools to Purpose

(July 2, 2009) A social media strategy has to be built on the foundation of applying tools to purpose.  There are numerous tools available on the web to reach existing customers and potential customers, but how do you select which tools to use? Start by identifying what the purpose of reaching out through that platform will be.

Comcast made a name for themselves by using Twitter for customer service.  Recently Dell announced they generated $2 million in revenue directly from Twitter.  Facebook announced they sold triple the number of ads this year as they did last year.  Linked-In was featured in the current issue of BusinessWeek as being a new and more effective way of recruiting that challenges the “big board” online job services.

At this stage, many businesses and business professionals have not invested a great deal of time in learning about the many social media tools or in using them to meet a specific goal.  Many platforms can compliment existing marketing efforts “offline” and a good marketing strategy will include ways in which all marketing tools are tied together to pull people toward the information you want them to see no matter which “doorway” they come through.

Before investing a great deal of time in setting up profiles that will rarely be used go through the following steps:

  • identify potential customers and existing customers – who are they?
  • of the major platforms, where are your target customers most likely to be?
  • decide what you want them to do on these various platforms (follow you, link through to a website, subscribe to a feed, sign up for a newsletter?)
  • set up monitoring to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening out there (Google alerts, TweetBeep, Linked-In groups)
  • use metrics and analytics to measure whether the results meet expectations (set up a Google Analytics account)

It will take time to see results and tweaking to discover what platforms return the greatest results.  Start with a strategy, and that is essentially applying tools to purpose.


  1. @settinggoals Yes, I will go back and connect my references to their originating articles. Stay tuned for that.

    @interiordesigners There is information all over the web related to social media for business development. You have to decide how much research you want to do on becoming a subject matter expert yourself, or if you would be better served to outsource the strategy and planning part of your social media strategy to someone already familiar with the tools and what they can do. Learning the tools is not hard, making them produce the results you want is the key.

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