Social Strategy: 3 Steps to Setting Goals on Social Media
July 15, 2013
When developing a social strategy, there are a couple of things you must understand before you start writing strategic documents and sending social posts. The first is your target market (if you aren’t sure of yours yet, visit my recent post on understanding your social media target market). Secondly, you must be able to answer these three questions:
- Why are you on social media?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- How will you measure success?
Answering these three questions will help to lay the groundwork for your social strategy. So let’s get started.
Why are you on social media?
Before deciding how to best engage with your social media audience, you’ll need to define why you’re here in the first place. Why did you decide to create yet another new profile and add another task to your to-do list? What are your goals of sharing on social media? Here are some examples to get you started, but feel free to add in your own as they relate to your business and your target market:
- To drive traffic to your website
- To increase brand awareness
- To strengthen relationships with current customers
- To build relationships with potential customers
- To provide social proof in the buying decision process
- To optimize your search engine results
Remember, you can have more than one reason for joining social media.
What do you hope to achieve?
Goals are an important way to set the purpose of a project. Without them, your social media activities will likely have no defined structure, your success (if any) will likely stagnate, and as a result, you won’t accomplish much of anything.
Your social goals should be based on the reasons you defined in the section above and your social strategy – including what social networks to join and what content to share – will be fundamentally dependent on these goals.
So how do you create a social goal? If you’re just starting out on social media, you may want to provide internal goals such as the number of times to post per day. Getting your groove and being consistent is one of the largest hurdles to overcome when first adopting a new social platform.
Of course, once you’ve got your groove, you’ll want to set more specific and measureable social goals related to your reason for being on social. You should have at least one goal for every reason you’re on social (your answers to question 1). A goal might look like:
This goal would be relevant if one of your reasons for joining social was to drive website traffic. If you were looking for social engagement with current customers, one of your goals might look like this:
In order for your social goals to be effective, make sure they are:
- Specific – specify the social network and quantifiable result;
- Timely – have a timeline or due date;
- Attainable but challenging – you don’t want to set lofty goals that leave you feeling like you’ve failed, but you do want to improve.
Look at the first goal again to see where these different components surface:
Once you’ve met these criteria, the last step in creating effective goals is to make them measureable.
How will you measure success?
It’s important when setting goals to ensure that they’re measureable in some way, but this doesn’t mean just including numbers in your goal. Measuring how many people come to your website through social media is relatively simple using tools like Google Analytics or Hubspot (see a tutorial here). But determining whether or not your brand awareness is increasing as a direct result of social media is trickier – not to mention more costly. So when you’re setting goals, make sure that you will be able to determine whether or not you actually achieved them. Otherwise you won’t be using your time efficiently!
Co-Founder at Fides