If you have been to a social media seminar lately, it's likely been assumed they that you HAVE to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and probably Instagram as well. Not to mention the other traditional channels that you had in mind before you arrived. That's not necessarily a good assumption for all businesses. You have a lot of options, limited resources and of course a limited amount of time.

Each social media channel requires a good deal of care and feeding and a real commitment to keeping your content lively and interesting. So let's step back and figure out what it is that we're trying to accomplish. Do you want to build buzz? Do you want to establish credibility? Do you want to target specific customers? Be specific about your goals with the usual SMART approach detailing what, how many and when. Leave the how in the parking lot for just a minute.

In order to tackle the “How” you are going to need a framework. My niece, a startup maven in the making (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-gezo-4027b812), was kind enough to recommend a book entitled “Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. It's the “go to” traction channel encyclopedia for startups and defines most “traction” channels, gives examples of how they're used and provides a framework for prioritizing and selecting the best traction channel(s) for your business. While it is focused on startups, it's a broadly applicable and I highly recommend it.

The framework for selecting and prioritizing traction channels is called the bull's-eye technique. You start by listing the channels which are available and possible in the outer ring of the bullseye. In the middle ring you put the ones which are most appropriate for you and the ones which you think will have the best chance of success. This is where knowing your target customer and where you are likely to find them will come in handy (i.e. you are not likely to find C Suite Corporate Execs on Pinterest). Then you select the channels which you will test and list them in the center. Finally it’s execution time as you go about testing each of the selected channels and determine if you're getting traction. Tracking leads generated is critical and you will need a good way to determine their source, such as a specific landing page, email address or phone number. Once you find the best channel to achieve your goals, you focus and exploit it exclusively until traction starts to decline. Then step and repeat the process to maximize your traction and minimize resource expenditures.