I've found that some businesses fail to realize their full social media potential because their goals are simplistic, misguided, or unrealistic. My favorite example is the goal you’re probably thinking about right now: getting more sales!
Make no mistake – increasing sales is fundamental to business success. Sales growth is also one of the many benefits to having a successful social media strategy. But in order to achieve that goal, I recommend taking a deeper dive to identify specific targets that will lead to this end result. Here are a few examples of better goals to have when crafting your social media strategy:
• Increase website traffic
• Establish credibility
• Build your audience/following
• Increase search engine rankings
• Generate e-mail opt-ins for list building
• Drive foot traffic to a physical location
• Increase visibility/brand awareness
• Raise awareness of a product or service
• Reach a specific new audience
• Increase customer engagement
Do you see how setting these types of goals could lead to higher sales? Think of social media as a tool that builds your reputation, generates awareness, and brings more visibility to your business. Then you execute these goals with sound business fundamentals by providing excellent service when they visit your store, having a product or service that the marketplace needs, or demonstrating a skill set to clients who need your services.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only goals you can set. Maybe you want to have a goal that’s more specific to your business, like educating the public about an aspect of your business that’s often misunderstood. Whatever the case, I recommend identifying two short-term goals. Finally, while not everything in social media is measurable, it certainly does help if you can select goals that are measurable in some way.
For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website, you could use Google analytics to determine the number of hits to your site as well as the source(s) of the traffic. If you’d like to generate buzz by increasing engagement on your social sites, you can easily measure your success based on the number of comments you receive from your audience.
Have you established social media goals? What are you working toward?