One way to achieve social media marketing success is to set social media goals that are achievable and meaningful for your business, for you as well as your consumers. This, ideally, is the first step in planning your social media strategy.
However, if you are unable to define, identify and set your social goals, do not fret, because you are not alone. More than 50% of marketers feel that identifying and aligning their business goals along with their social media campaigns is one of their top struggles, according to the Sprout Social Index: Empower and Elevate.
The reason for this is quite apparent: often, marketers do not know what their social media goals should be. This is because social goals vary from one company to another. Despite challenges involved in setting your social media goals, this step is very important for your business growth and success. It will, in the long run, enable you to design a social media marketing plan that will drive more social followers, such as followers for Instagram, Facebook and other key networks towards your site.
A few of the top reasons you need to set social goals include:
- Holds you accountable
- Helps guide your budget
- Compels you to pay attention to the data
- Encourages you to follow a more data-driven approach to ensure success in social media.
In simple terms, setting your social goals will help you to narrow down all the most relevant and vital KPIs and metrics that will help you to understand what is working in terms of engagement, clicks, conversions and revenue through social media generated leads.
Look beyond inbound marketing
Modern social media marketing involves much more than inbound marketing. It has shifted to a mix of inbound and content marketing, as well as other tactics.
The term “inbound marketing” may be confused with content marketing, though it helps in getting traction, it is entirely different. Ideally, inbound marketing is all about being visible and getting found online through the search engines as well as through social sites like:
- Instagram and others.
Inbound marketing is a crucial marketing component to successful marketing in today’s marketing world, but true success is difficult to attain if you do not create compelling, useful and informative content and distribute it through a variety of social and online channels. This can help you grow your followers as well as help you to stay active in online communities with fresh content. This is essential for virtually all types of businesses today.
Therefore, you will need to have a content marketing mindset in your approach, as that will help you to nurture the leads that your campaigns generate.
Your approach should include the following three components:
- Strategic planning
- Content creation
- Distribution (in that order)
You must also focus your metrics based on the multiple stages of the consumer buying cycle according to different customer personas. This, when incorporated in your inbound marketing strategy, will make your social marketing complete and more holistic. This principle will help you to meet your overall business marketing and social goals.
Content and social goals
Each piece of content you create should have its own goals. This means that you must create your content with a purpose. To know the purpose of your content, you must ask yourself these two questions
- Why are you producing the piece of content?
- What value will the piece of content add for your brand?
A few of answers to these questions could include:
- To keep your blog active
- To satisfy Google’s requirement for regular content
- To rank higher on search engine results pages
- To gain more traffic
- To earn more links
- To educate your audience
- To drive more social engagement.
What do all these answers point out? It is that you must understand what precisely any specific piece of your content can do for your brand. If you find any piece adds limited or no value, there is no need to create it.
After answering these questions, you may need to ask the following additional questions to uncover necessary tweaks to get your content to a place where it does add value:
- Does it add value to your broader marketing and social goals?
- Is it good enough to help you actually to achieve these goals?
- Does it need any changes in its format?
This means that you will need to research your content, your audience and their needs thoroughly to effectively set goals. This will allow you to more effectively achieve your goals.
Steps to follow
You can set and achieve your social media goals in three easy steps. These include:
- Conduct a social media audit to get a clear picture of where you stand at present. This social media audit will help you to identify and record all of the existing programs and social media accounts in one place. You will get a clear idea about the level of performance and use it as a benchmark for creating your future social media marketing plans.
- Find out what is essential from the information you have collected from your social media audit. This will help you to see those social channels that are performing well and those that need improvement or even an entirely different focus and approach. If you find vanity metrics, try to align them with your business goals.
Most importantly, follow a S.M.A.R.T. goal framework to make your goals more relevant and achievable. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely goals.
Defining and implementing the goals
It is challenging to identify and implement your content goals for every piece of it. The best way to proceed is to follow the wheat and white bread content writing approach.
- Snackable content: This is the concept of making your content easier to digest for your audience. These are easier to consume, share and start some conversation. Samples of this kind of content could be listicles, checklists or infographics.
- In-depth content: These are difficult to create and depend on the topic entirely. Though these may require more effort for the readers to digest, these types of content will create a repeatable process to solve tough problems, address an important issue with a fresh and from a different perspective.
Now that you have some direction to set and follow your social media marketing goals, you are set up to be far more effective when executing your social media strategy. Without a strategy, it is very challenging to succeed.
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