Social Media and Content Creation: Set Goals

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Everything you put online is content. Everything helps. But you need to set goals and track them.

I’ve been working with a client whose first venture into content marketing is daily interactions via Twitter and Facebook. He doesn’t think it’s producing any returns. I tend to agree.

Social media marketing is ephemeral. It’s “social.” It produces the best returns for businesses which use it for customer service, or to make special offerings to customers who already know their business.

You can use social media for lead generation too – but your prospects need to be aware of your business already. Maybe they’re responding to an ad in a magazine or a newspaper, or an ad on a website. Either way, they know you. They’ve heard your message, and are responding.

Without strong content to back it up however, chats and interactions on social media are meaningless. The messages have no foundation; they’re clouds drifting and scattering on the wind.

Tip: think in terms of goals, and trackable results.

Create a marketing goal. Use content creation and social media as part of that goal, if they fit. They may not fit at all. Your audience may not be searching online. Perhaps they don’t use social media, or use it sparingly, to communicate with close friends.

I’m often asked, “how much content do I need?”

The short answer is: enough to meet your goals.

You must set goals, and track them. Even if a campaign fails, you’ll learn something.

Plan Your Way Out of To Do List Chaos

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Mastering Your To Do List: Planning is the Answer

I have fond memories of my ultimate To Do list manager, long-defunct Lotus Agenda. (Now available as freeware, if you have an old MS DOS machine lying around…)

Agenda was an early Personal Information Manager. For its users, it was perfect. So of course, it vanished when the world turned to Windows. In the decades since its demise, nothing has been developed to take Agenda’s place.

Here’s why I LOVED Agenda. And why, if I let myself think about the program, my eyes fill with nostalgic tears: the program made PLANNING easy.

None — not a single, solitary one — of the applications available now can take Agenda’s place, because they don’t take the planning aspect of To Do list and time management into account.

Your To Do list is useless without a plan

This article, A Brief History of the To-Do List and the Psychology of Its Success | Brain Pickings, is wonderful. It points out that:

“… our brain appears to be wired to nag about unfinished to-do list items as uncompleted tasks and unmet goals continue to pop up into our minds.”

As the article points out, the items on your To Do List keep popping into your mind because: “the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan.”

Once you create a plan, completing the To Do list tasks isn’t a chore, it’s fun, because you can see the bigger picture.

The Brain may be as close to Agenda as you can get

I love The Brain. No, it’s not Agenda; the program doesn’t automatically sort your freeform entries.

But it does make it easier to plan. If you use tags judiciously — @today, @important, @this week etc, you can link your To Do list items to their plans, and to what you’ll need to carry out those plans.

I still wish I could use Agenda…

Achieve Your Goals: You Are What You Think

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You are what you think about. If you want to achieve any goal, you need to plan and act. The first quarter of 2012 is almost over. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Chances are you forgot about them long before January was over.

Last week I was catching up with a copywriting client. We were talking about business and personal goals, and he complained that it’s too easy to forget all about your goals in the midst of everything you need to do every day.

I suggested that he try The Brain. I’ve been using this miraculous mind mapping program (it’s much more than a mere mind map) since 1998. (Disclosure: I have no connection to the company; I just use the software.)

Here’s why I love the program: it helps me to think. Everywhere.

That’s important. A post from The Brain’s blog, which makes the point about goals, » YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK., says:

“Though jotting a key goal down on a piece of paper may mentally provide commitment and relief, your digital brain provides a network for you to elaborate on your idea, remind you when to take action, and turn it into reality! Once you have created a Thought for your goal, the next step is to add other Thoughts that support and elaborate on your goal. This is where perseverance and planning come into play.”

One of my current goals is to publish a novel on the Kindle platform by the end of 2012. This novel will be the first in a series.

I’m on track to achieve that goal, only because of The Brain.

That goal is never out of my mind, because I can THINK about it, and ACT on my thoughts, using The Brain.

One of the brilliant features of The Brain is that it’s available anywhere, even on my iPad, using the Web Brain service.

My Brain is synced to the site and I can access it anywhere I have a Web browser. It’s completely private, no one else can access it. So if I get an idea while I’m out shopping, I can add it to my Brain on the go.

However, if you do want to work with others, you can collaborate on Brains. You can even create public Web Brains.

Think, and act

What goals would you like to achieve by 2013?

As long as you think about those goals, and act on them, achievement is assured.