There’s no doubt social media marketing is working for businesses of all types. But still, a lot of brands feel that determining the true ROI of a social media campaign is not easy. And that has led them to shed social media marketing altogether.
However, the fact of the matter is, social media marketing is like any other type of digital marketing, where it is very much possible to measure the ROI. However, it may prove to be challenging for some, especially to those businesses that do not have access to the right resources.According to an eConsultancy survey, 41% of businesses said that did not know how social media was helping them get favorable returns.
So why is it so difficult for brands to measure the financial impact social media has on their business growth?
The answer is lack of proper goal-setting. When you create a social media strategy, you want to have utmost clarity as to how you will achieve results. But without the right type of goals, you would not have any proper direction, making your overall social media presence weak.
Studies show that social media marketing spending in the United States alone is expected to increase from $7.52 billion in 2014 to $17.34 billion in the year 2019. However, all this spending can only give great returns in the long run when businesses know exactly what goals to aim for.
In order to make your social media marketing journey smoother, your business needs to…
- Set strategic goals that are easy to measure at every step
- Have a strong commitment towards creating quality social media content.
Leveraging social media is not rocket science. It definitely works, as long as it goes hand in hand with your current business growth strategies. Which is why successful social media marketing requires you to equally focus on…
- An understanding of your target audience
- The creative aspect of posting content
- Having a strong attention to detail
- The right level of data crunching
- Long term vision of your business
In order to make social media work consistently and ensure that you are clear in all the above areas, you need to create strong social media goals for your business.
Step #1: Know Your Main Objective
Your social media objective is tied in with your social media goals, but it’s not the same as them. Your main objective gives direction to your social media marketing and clarity on what to achieve. It comes much before your goals.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are running, knowing your objective definitely pays. Whether it is to improve your revenue numbers with the help of social media or get more free website traffic, you need be clear on what to focus on and identify the steps that will lead you to attaining your objective.
When you have firmly established your core objective, you will use your social media goals as a roadmap to achieving them. While your objective is broad, your social media goals deal with the specifics. They are about those small details that ultimately lead to success.
The bottom line is, you have to determine your objective at any cost or else your goal setting will be out of place. You want your goals to be strong and achievable, but ultimately they have to stand on a firm foundation, which is your main business objective.
Step #2: Set SMART Social Media Goals
Achieving your social media goals becomes easier when you follow a proven framework. While there are many goal-setting techniques out there, one that stands out from the rest is the SMART goal-setting method. Using which you can create goals that are not only worthy, but also practical.
Goals that follow the SMART framework are…
- Specific: The more clear and defined your goal is, the better.
- Measurable: You should be able to track and measure your goal.
- Achievable: Is your goal really achievable? Or too far fetched?
- Realistic: Your goal needs to be practical and realistic in terms of the resources you have.
- Time Sensitive: Whether long-term or short-term, your goal has to have a clear time frame.
Your social media goals can be of any size or scope, you should first take a bird’s view of them. Instead of asking yourself what you’d like to achieve this week, try to envision what your business wants to accomplish in a year. Also, it’s always a good idea to ensure your social media goals are in sync with your company’s mission statement.
Here are a few examples of social media goals that are broad enough:
- Achieve a higher social media ROI
- Boost brand awareness and visibility
- Build and strengthen with prospects/customers
- Increase store walk-ins and in-person sales numbers
While it’s a noble idea to customize your goals for each social network you are in, it can prove to be daunting in the long run. So it’s recommended that you start off with one main goal and pursue other more customized goals as you move forward and grow.
Step #3: Conduct a Social Media Audit
One of the most important tasks you need to take care of, even before setting your social media goals, is to establish your baseline targets. Or else your social media marketing will prove to be weak and ineffective. By conducting a proper social media audit, you will not only establish these baseline targets, but also ensure that each goal you set is laser-targeted.
So what exactly do we mean by a social media audit?
According to HubSpot, “A social media audit is a regular examination of social channels that represent your brand — including both your business’ owned profiles and imposter accounts ”You may already be putting enough effort into social media marketing, but is it as effective as it should be? Conducting a social media audit allows you to assess how well you’re doing in terms of financial returns.
Without doing a proper audit, you wouldn’t know what area to focus on. Instead of wasting your precious hours trying to fix something that’s not broken, it lets you improve things that actually require improvement. In short, you get a better view of your current situation and what all you can do improve your social media marketing campaign.
Take the following steps to conduct a social media audit that’s worth it..
- List out every single social media network you are currently using.
- Update any information that needs to be changed on all your social accounts.
- Review all your images to ensure they are relevant and updated.
- Make sure your branding is consistent across all social media platforms.
- Claim your vanity URLs if you haven’t already.
- Take a deeper look into your followers’ demographics.
- Analyze your overall posting activity and see where it’s lacking.
- Check if your engagement rates are consistent with your efforts.
- Study every successful piece of content that has garnered high number of shares, likes, etc.
- Track your competitors and conduct a thorough audit.
Step #4: Set Your Social Media OKRs
OKR, which is an abbreviation of “Objectives and Key Results”, add depth to your goals. The main objective we talked about in step one is different than OKRs.
OKRs happen to be individual objectives with the focus being on key results. So while the step one was all about setting things on a macro level, OKRs are about the micro.
The reason why you need OKRs is because in order to achieve the big picture and make sure things go well, it’s necessary to get the smaller details right. So in a way, you’ll be chopping down your macro goals.Your main objective seems difficult to achieve when you look it as one big thing. However, when you break it down in a detailed way, you’ll find that it’s easy to achieve both macro and micro social media goals.
Whether you have a big team or a small team, you can actually have OKRs in order to determine what micro goal will be assigned to each member.
With every team member having their own OKRs to work on, they’ll be contributing to achieving your main objective. Making the whole process of social media goal setting and achieving a collective effort.
By updating your progress consistently, week after week, month after month, you and your team will know exactly where you’re going. This clarity is paramount to your success. By having all organized in one central place, assessing your social media marketing performance becomes a breeze.
Applying the OKRs method to your social media goals not only brings you get closer to where you want to be, but it also motivates your team by showing them their actual progress.
However, you do need to constantly monitor your OKRs. Try to review them not only on a monthly basis, but also weekly.
In fact, it’s even better if you can review them along with your colleagues every morning before starting work. The more you focus on your OKRs and keep track of them, the better it collective results you will see as a team.
Step #5: Measure the Right Metrics
Measuring the right metrics is key to accomplishing your social media goals because you’ll know what is causing your progress, or what factors are hindering it.
It’s often said that social media is all about “vanity metrics” that don’t matter. But that’s not completely true. When you closely analyze metrics such as comments, likes, shares, followers, etc, you know if you are moving forward or not. And if your audience is connecting to your social media activity.
In short, your social media metrics can easily help you understand how your efforts are faring against your competition. If they are doing better, these metrics will be better. And vice versa.
They are also a good yardstick to measure the effectiveness of your content. Because if your social media content is great, it will definitely resonate with your target audience. They’ll show their support by sharing it and liking it. Which will eventually take your social media marketing to the next level.
However, you need to connect these metrics to your main business goals, without ignoring the latest social media trends. Or else they can easily be dismissed off as vanity metrics. You need to track all those metrics that can help you understand and demonstrate how social media is improving your business results.
Step #6: Build a Social Media Content Strategy
In order to meet your social media goals, it’s important that you impress your Instagram followers or Facebook fans. How?
You need to give them what they want in terms of content. If your content isn’t helpful or useful to them, then you wouldn’t get the kind of traction you want.
Your aim is to get more and more people to not only read your content but also spread it across their social media circle. You want to make your mark on the platforms of your choice. And that’s only possible when your content resonates with the interests of your target audience.
The previous steps that we discussed should give you enough direction to set the stage for great content. Your social media content strategy should never be created blindly. No, it has to be clear and focused on helping you achieve your business goals in the long run.
For example, if you are an online store selling ladies clothes, you could have your staff wear your clothes and pose as models. Posting these photos to your Instagram or Facebook will then add an air of authenticity to your content. And at the same time keep your audience updated about the latest trends.Keep the following in mind in order to improve your social media content strategy…
- Think out of the box and see what you can do to make your content more helpful. If you have any ideas, bounce them around with your team members and brainstorm something better.
- Leverage the power of a content calendar to make your postings more organized and consistent. Because consistency is something that will make your content stand out from the rest.
- Don’t forget the purpose of having a social media content strategy in the first place. It is to get more people to take action. Whether it is by visiting your site and signing up for your newsletter or buying your product/service. So include a strong yet relevant call to action to each post you make.
- Overdeliver when it comes to value. Your content strategy should be designed to help your prospects and customers get the most out of what you are sharing. Because that’s the only way they will help you reach your social media goals.
4 Social Media Goals Your Business Should Set
When it comes to making your social media marketing initiative successful, you need to work with business goals that can actually contribute to your growth.
In other words, your social media efforts should pay off by having a direct and real impact on the how your business grows. And you should also be able to measure this effect.
Let’s discuss four social media goals and how they tie back to your business. Each of the goal that we discuss below can be achieved with the help of social media marketing, given that you execute right.
Goal #1: Increase Brand Awareness
No matter what industry you are operating in, you will find that building brand awareness, gaining more recognition and increasing your influence pays off big time. It not only helps you increase your business, but also makes it easy for your existing customers to trust you.
Social media in today’s times plays a big role in building a brand identity. Because it ties with the lives of real people, who may be your prospects or your customers.
Your business has to stay relevant if it wants to survive and beat the competition. Your target audience needs to know that you exist. If they aren’t aware of your brand and what its values are, then you may be working too hard for minimal returns.When your prospects and customers come across your brand on social media and interact with your content, they will find you more reliable. They will see you as an authority. Which will push them to recommend your products/services to their friends. They may do this by simply liking your content on Facebook or directly tagging their friends on Instagram.
The bottom line is, social media is a powerful tool when it comes to spreading more awareness of your brand. So make sure it’s one of your social media goals.
Goal #2: Grow Website Traffic
Traffic is the lifeblood of any business website. Without the right kind of targeted traffic to your website or blog, you simply won’t get the needed leverage. Your products/services need exposure, and that can only happen when you have a consist flow of visitors. Or else selling online can become very difficult.
Driving more traffic to your website should not be your sole goal, as converting the traffic is also important. But it cannot be denied that you have to put in considerable amount of effort to get consistent traffic. No matter how well designed your website is and how well your copy is written, how do you expect to convert when your message isn’t even reaching your target audience?
Besides SEO traffic, the traffic you generated through social media is highly valuable. Why? Because it usually comes after someone recommends your content.
This means, people visiting your website have a direct relationship with the person who asked them to visit your site. It can deliver powerful results in the long run if you truly understand the power of tapping into social media audiences.
Remember, most of the Internet is hanging out in the social media world. And that includes your target audience. So if you really take a careful approach to connect to them, they will not only visit your site but also get others like them to visit. Which can directly influence your sales via social media and improve your business.
Goal #3: Build Website Visitor Loyalty
If you’re running a business website, then you should aim for visitor loyalty. Why? Because when people spend more time on your website, it shows that they trust your content and your approach. This makes it easy for them to take a buying decision.
So yes, loyal website visitors are more likely to turn into customers. Now, a lot of times businesses are happy with short-term gains. In other words, they’re okay if someone visits their website once. However, your goal should be to make your website sticky. Not only in terms of getting people to stay, but also having them visit back.Social media is a great tool to help you build website visitor loyalty. People that keep seeing your content on their social media account, and visit your site are happy and loyal. You want more such visitors.
Last but not the least, do keep in mind that building website visitor loyalty does not happen overnight. It takes time. But so does building an Instagram following or a strong Facebook fanbase.
So be patient in your approach but do not ignore this one social media goal. Because it can make a world of a difference to your overall social media marketing.
Goal #4: Boost Conversion Rates
Website conversions matter, because sales matter. If you’re running a business, your website is a tool to increase customers or clients. Social media can help you use this tool better by helping you build a direct relationship with your followers/prospects. Which automatically boosts the chances of them converting.
So yes, there is an obvious relationship between your social activity and the sales you generate, if you understand it. Social media traffic is like any other website traffic, but what makes it different is that it may be directly influenced by your brand image. And your connection with your followers.It’s important to track your social media traffic and how it’s converting with the help of Google Analytics and other similar tools. The more you know how social media is driving conversions for you, the more improvement you can make to your social media strategy. Higher conversions with social media are possible, only if you make measurement an important focus.
If you have’t set your social media goals for this year yet, then you should take these tips and get started. We promise you won’t regret it!
If you have set goals and want some extra help crossing the finish line and achieving them, we have a full staff of digital marketers and social media specialists that can get you there. Just drop us a line at 404-596-7925 and let’s get started.