No matter what kind of industry your business operates in, it pays to have a social media presence. However, while many companies follow this advice, few bother to really understand how to utilize social media platforms to make them work well for them. They think just by posting the odd update, blog or image they are ‘doing their bit’ as far as social media is concerned, but really this is just a waste of time and could end up being more damaging to your business than you think.
Doing something half-heartedly is always risky business. If you don’t respond to comments, don’t post thoughtful content or bother to proof-read your messages, and if you only post sporadically, this indicates to potential customers who do happen upon your social media feed that you don’t care about making a good impression, and this can be rather off putting.
So in order to do social media right, you need to have goals to work towards to help you clearly define the benefits of social media and why putting some effort into it and resource behind it can actually make a difference when it comes to your reputation, and your sales too.
So how do you set strategic, targeted social media goals that compliment the long term vision for your business?
Clarify your main priorities and objectives
First things first, you need to define exactly what your objective is. Clarifying your objective will help inform your goal setting, as it will make it easier to understand the tasks you need to complete. Your objective is your overarching aim, for example, to improve your revenue or to boost your website traffic. It’s the core or the foundation from which other goals will grow.
Make sure your goals follow the SMART rule
There is no point in creating social media goals if they don’t align with your objective and aren’t relevant to your business. That’s why following the SMART method can help ensure the goals you do set make sense. Your goals, therefore, should be:
Specific – don’t be vague, be transparent and clear about what it is you want
Measurable – ensure goals re quantifiable, so it is easy to see whether they are being met
Achievable – unrealistic goal setting will leave you feeling demotivated and demoralized
Realistic – don’t set goals that you can’t achieve because you don’t have the time or resources to complete them
Time-bound – make sure every goal comes with a deadline
Do a social media audit
There is no point in setting goals until you understand how you are currently doing. Establishing a baseline by conducting a social media audit will enable you to understand where you are currently. Doing so can be invaluable when it comes to understanding where you want to be. An audit will establish what’s working and what isn’t and indicate what needs to happen to improve your social media marketing.
Put analytics in place
You’ll never be able to establish how your social media campaigns are improving if you don’t have any way of measuring them. Decide early on which metrics to measure and ensure the tools are set up to capture this data.
Create your content strategy
To build your social media presence, you need to create a smart, active social media strategy for each of the platforms you intend to have a presence on. A well thought out strategy is critical, and by organizing your content in this way you’ll find it so much easier to keep the momentum going, create and post content consistently and have the flexibility to tweak campaigns and content when analytics show you what your audience wants more and less of.
Once you have done the above, you can set your social media goals with confidence, safe in the knowledge that you have done sufficient preparation to ensure you will succeed!
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