You know that you want to “do social.” You know that it’s important. Now you need to figure out what you’re setting out to accomplish. “Fire, then aim” is not a strategy we recommend, and it’s a quick way to get disenfranchised with any type of strategy and execution plan, not just social media.
But because social media has been touted to be a save-all, miracle-working destination for our businesses, we tend to hop onto a platform before we’ve really decided what it means for our business. So before you dive into Facebook, build a presence on Twitter or connect with your network on LinkedIn, it’s time to set some goals, and align your expectations so that your strategy has a higher chance of succeeding from the get-go.
It is important that all of goals you identify are S.M.A.R.T. That means specific (quantifiable, not “good feelings), measurable (if you can’t find a metric that represents it, how will you show that you are achieving it?), attainable (yes, your goals should be aggressive, but they shouldn’t be so unattainable), realistic (if your goals aren’t aligned with the resources you have, they won’t be realistically doable), and time-bound (put some parameters on your goals to keep you honest). There are a few categories surrounding goals on social media that you’ll see consistently:
- Awareness: The visibility of your company, or presence online within social media platforms.
- Reach: How many unique users are seeing your content?
- Impressions: How frequently your users are seeing your content?
- Number of mentions on social media.
- Traffic to your website from social media.
- Engagement: The rate of which users are engaging with your company online.
- Number of engagements (or consumptions) your content and page received
- Engagement rate of the users who are seeing your content. How many of them are engaging?
- Average engaged users — how many, on average, users are engaging with your content?
- Website/Business: What kind of impact your strategy is having on your business.
- Conversions on your website that were generated from your social presence.
- Member retention.
- Customer support.
- Reputation: How this is impacting the sentiment surrounding your brand?
- Customer reviews.
- Response time.
As a forewarning, you can’t achieve everything. We recommend that you select a few goals to begin with, and expand as you start to feel more comfortable with your presence on the platform. What’s even more important is finding a baseline for where your organization sits currently. If you don’t have a social presence, great — you can start from the bottom and see great success right away because your strategy was focused from the beginning. If you do have a presence, see where your greatest areas of weakness are, so that you can align your goals with those areas as a way to see improvement.
Milena Regos is a principal at Out&About Marketing. Out&About Marketing is a social media consultancy with focus and experience in the fitness industry. For more information visit www.outandaboutmarketing.com.