Work with a Goal in Mind: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

February 24, 2012

I often get the query "My department is on Facebook and Twitter, now what should I be posting?" Due to the frequency of this question, I thought it deserved an answer on the blog. If you find yourself asking the question above or feeling confused about what to do next on social media, you need to step back and define your goals. Not your social media goals. Not even your communications goals. You need to define your organization's goals.

Respond to each of the following questions with an answer as brief as a tweet: 

1. What is my organization trying to achieve?

(What is the mission statement?)

2. What are my organization's top three priorities?

(Be brief!)

3. What does success look like for my organization?

(What outcomes?)

A priority should not be to have 10,000 followers; the metric should not be disconnected from the mission of the organization. Instead focus on priorities such as building a better reputation for your department, receiving more applications to a program, or increasing donations from alumni/ae. Define your organization's mission, priorities, and vision for success in order to develop a social media strategy. With goals in mind, you are capable of asking How can social media help my organization reach its goals?


I have identified that receiving more undergraduate student applications is a priority for my department. Therefore, I know my social media efforts should be focused on platforms where high school juniors and seniors are the most active.

Don't waste your time floundering in cyberspace with no clear direction. Start with your goals – make social media work for you and not the other way around.

Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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