Are they the right social media goals?
How recently did I update my goals?
Do you know how you’re doing in achieving those goals?
These are ALL good questions you should ask yourself.
If you haven’t set social media goals recently or if you don’t use those goals to guide your analytics (and decisions), you’re costing your firm MONEY!
Social media goals
Why are social media goals important? Because goals direct actions — they determine where the organization focuses energy and attention — they determine what you measure.
You need to create at least 5 SMART goals for your organization. SMART goals are:
SMART goals look like this:
Increase sales by 20% over the next year
Assuming this is realistic and achievable (which you can only determine based on context), then you’ve got a SMART goal. It’s specific — increase sales by 20%, measurable — because it’s an objective number, and timely — since you’ve specified a year to achieve the goal.
Be careful with the achievable and realistic parts. The goal should be challenging (just like an athlete performs better against someone better), but attainable (a good athlete will give up if facing a challenger totally out of their league).
Starting a new business with the goal of being the best “whatever” in a year probably isn’t realistic and it won’t work as a goal. Setting a goal that’s ridiculously high doesn’t motivate, it dis-motivates.
Setting the RIGHT social media goals
But, is sales the right goal? Sure, I know you’re in business to make money — we all are. A single-minded focus on the end game isn’t enough.
Let’s use a sports analogy. Football (american).
The goal is the goal (see how good this analogy works). But the team doesn’t worry about that — it’s 80 or so yards away. They focus attention on getting the 10 yards needed for the next first down. This allows them to break the goal down into intermediate goals that look more achievable.
Even the modest goal of a first down looks unrealistic if you don’t field a team with the right skills — running backs, quarterbacks, defenders, coaches … So you can break your goal down even further to include recruiting the right players. And, we could continue with this analogy, breaking down each goal into the steps necessary to achieve that goal.
So too, with social media goals. We need to break down our goal of increasing sales into the steps necessary to achieve that goal — bringing visitors to the website, transitioning them through the website to become customers, etc.
And, update your goals. As you achieve previous goals, set new, challenging goals for your organization.
Measure your goals
An interesting conundrum (don’t you just love using words like that — they just make your mouth feel good) about social media is that firms are literally SWIMMING in data. That makes social media different than traditional media where you might have NO data. How do you know WHAT metrics are important?
You’re goals guide which metrics are valuable from superfluous data. Like vanity metrics like # of Facebook Fans, which really doesn’t correlate with ANYTHING because Fans are no more likely to visit your site than non-Fans.
Once you’ve established goals, you can assess how well you’re doing in achieving them. So, if driving visitors to your website is an important goal, you can look at not only visits to your site, but what brought them there — which social networks, content, and sharing strategies work best. Now, you have actionable insights that help you reach your goals.
Whether you need a complete social media marketing strategy or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel or developing a market information system that matches your needs. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.