Yesterday, I tweeted a retro blog post titled Why Use Social Media? Someone responded with: How do you effectively use it?

This question struck a huge cord with me because it made me think about what does it mean to be effective. Does it mean someone responds to my tweet or comments on my Facebook status? Does it mean I get a client as a result? How can effectiveness be measured if I’m unclear as to what being effective is?

How would you have answered this question?

Effective according to means:

  1. adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.
  2. actually in operation or in force; functioning.
  3. producing a deep or vivid impression; striking.
  4. prepared and available for service, especially military service.

We’ll go with definition number one since it is the most in line with the previous questions.

What’s the purpose of using social media?

Is it to build relationships, meet people you’d never have the opportunity to meet, increase followers, pick up guys or girls, get new clients?

People are on social media for all kinds of reasons, however what is your reason. My hope is that it’s to build relationships. With that being said are you effectively building relationships? How do you know? Is it measurable? How so?

Can we really base how well we’re building relationships based on the number of followers we get each day? Or is it better to base it on the number of retweets, favorited tweets, or replies back as a result of something that we have tweeted. Is it the number of frequent followers we’ve been linked to?

In order to determine how effective your social media efforts are, you must determine the purpose for being their in the first place. If you don’t know why you’re using social media, before you send another status update or tweet understand the purpose for being there.

If it’s to learn a new recipe, then clearly you can just do a Google search for that. If it is for building relationships, meeting new people, making contact with others who are like minded then seek those who have what you are looking for. Unfollow the folks who are not providing something that will contribute to the effectiveness of your social media activity. And I’m not talking about deleting people who share their breakfast or workout regiment. We all are human right and certainly enjoy hearing that other people are living life just as we are. However if someone is really obnoxious to others or provides no value whatsoever, it really is okay to disconnect all forms of contact.

Keep the reason that you are using social media on the forefront of your mind as you go throughout your day. Not only will this help you become more effective it will also make you more fun and enjoyable to hangout with via the web.

Please share below. Why do you use social media?