I want to ask you a question. What’s the strategic business purpose of your social media? Woah – have you thought about it? Have you considered what it is? There are really five solid substantive reasons why you might want to use social media.

The first one of those is networking. The social media can be an efficient way of online networking, just like you network in the real world. Developing relationships, getting to know people, exchanging information – the same things you do face-to-face at networking at or conferences, you can also do online. And guess what, you don’t need to ravel to another city or take time away from the office. So it’s an efficient way too doing that.

The second one is something that’s becoming more popular recently and that is content promotion. You’re developing this content that people are anticipating, and that’s educating them on what you do and what kind of value you can bring to an engagement. But how do you promote that? How do you get that out there? Social media is probably one of the vary best ways to do that, to get that information out to the world so they can pass that along to where it works for them.

The third thing is Search engine optimization, or SEO. You may not realize it, but promoting content and using social media as a tool for distributing that content can actually help in your social media. IT’s not direct, but when you promote your content out there and people link back to it, or they share it with others who link back to it, that really helps your organic or naturally occurring SEO.

The fourth way or thing that you can use social media for in a strategic purpose is research. Actually understanding something about your target audience. People ask us all the time, you know, how can you research my target audience. Well, social media is a low-cost, low-time commitment way to track what’s going on with your target audience. You’ll understand them better and you can research individual companies. There are a lot of tools out there to make that a reality.

Finally, you can use it in recruiting. There’s a war out there for talent. How do you get the best talent? Well, social media is one of the ways people look for positions, they look for the culture. What’s the fit they’re going to have with your firm and sharing that with social media is a great way to supplement your recruiting efforts.

So choose which of those five or what combination of those possible strategic goals you want to use.