I’m wondering today, do you have a sentence or twelve that act as a sort of mandate, or a set of established values that help drive and define you? I mean… think about it, what is your purpose here? What propels you and keeps you grounded? You may have a great mission statement for your company, but do you have one for here, in the realm of social networking?

I wasn’t originally going to share this, but after reading this as I set out to publish it, I reconsidered. Here is the quote on a little yellow sticky-note that I wrote after a conversation with Chris Brogan. It’s tiny, and yet it helps me as I write each day: “How will this help the small business types? Don’t be navel-gazey” How’s that for a blog mission statement?!

According to Wikipedia, a mission statement is: …a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company´s strategies are formulated.”

Social media, your participation here, is likely not your actual business. Maybe you sell cars or write scripts for commercials, and you’re here trying to promote your skills and/or wares just like the rest of us. Lately, with social media, we’ve all felt compelled to function more like an advertising and marketing department and handle our own PR and networking. I think it’s a great idea to establish a separate and yet complimentary mission here if you already haven’t. I can’t define this for you, I just wanted to point out that selling cars and building relationships online are different enough to warrant some thought here.

 In my company we read our mission at the beginning of each meeting. I’m not ashamed to say that we do this because we often need reminded. We are accountable to this statement, and sometimes need to re-focus and align ourselves once again. I do the same thing here, and across all of my social networks. It may be just the post-it stuck on the monitor that I look at each day, but it is a mission statement, and I am reminded to adhere each day as I set out to interact in social spaces.

Do you have a separate mission statement for social media? Are you leaning on one that was established before your involvement in the social web? I want to hear about how it’s working out for you. If you’re willing to share, I want to hear from you in the comments!

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