Fourth and final post in a series for the get-revved-up week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Questions (courtesy j_anet on Flickr CC)The right question is not, “How do we get more Twitter followers?” or “How do we get more Like-ers/fans on Facebook?”

The right question is, “What do we want to DO with our followers and fans?”

Counting heads is fun – we’re all guilty of it, including me – but unless those people are helping you achieve stated objective(s) for your organization or business, you’re fooling yourself that anything is accomplished by totting up raw numbers.

Rev-up recommendation for you:

**  As you gather more supporters in 2012, have plans for what you want to do for them, and what they could do for you.

—->>  On your blog – do you want readers to sign up to get your posts by email or RSS?  Take a hard look at whether you have made that signup process as simple as possible, including on a mobile device.

—->>  It’s Facebook Page 101:   make sure that people can sign up for your email newsletter right there on your Page.  On our Tourism Currents Facebook Page, we use a tab and a short signup form via our MailChimp email service.

Are you trying to build your own list, or are you busy building Mark Zuckerberg’s list?  Use Facebook for your own business success!

—->>  On Twitter, periodically let followers know how to sign up for your email updates.  Note: Send them directly to your signup page – don’t dump them onto your homepage and hope they find it.

—->>  What are you doing with your email newsletter list?  What’s your point to cranking it out? WHY should people open up their already-overloaded IN boxes to you?  Ask yourself those tough questions….often.

Back to numbers:  if you suddenly picked up 1000 more fans or followers, what would you DO with them that you couldn’t do already, right now?

My own 2012 plan for the fans and followers of this blog

Since I’m asking you about your plans for your platforms, here are mine for Sheila’s Guide:

1)  Lead the tourism industry away from a somewhat silo’d focus on social media, and toward a more general incorporation of social communications as simply “how we do things.”  It’s like email – nobody has an Email Department, do they?  It’s time for social media to stop being new or special.

2)  Support the growth of my Tourism Currents business with Becky McCray.  We’ve set a performance goal that we’ve agreed to meet by our 3rd anniversary in business (September 2012) or we’re going to radically overhaul what we offer.

3)  Support my work as a professional speaker on tourism and social media.

4)  Support the marketing of my upcoming book, The Elastic Waist Entrepreneur.

Thanks so much for your support, and hope to see many more of you in person in 2012.

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