Setting social media goals and establishing a solid social media strategy can feel overwhelming. With dozens of platforms to consider, countless tactics to try, and various metrics to evaluate, marketing teams can struggle to find their footing on social media. By considering these eight critical factors, marketers can help define the right goals for their product, brand, or business.
1. What are the overall business goals?
Start at the top. Business goals inform marketing goals, and marketing goals inform social media goals. Think about why the company has a social media presence, and evaluate whether existing social media efforts align with the overall goals. A business’s social media presence may need to be tweaked or overhauled if it’s not directly supporting the larger business goals.
2. How should social media goals be prioritized?
Common social media goals include:
- Building brand awareness
- Generating leads for sales
- Engaging with the community
- Driving more traffic to the website
- Increasing audience size
- Campaign visibility
All of these goals may seem necessary. But unless a business has unlimited time and money, marketers will need to identify the goals that best support the company. Conversations with C-level executives can help ensure that the essential social media goals get top priority.
At this stage, it’s critical to evaluate the budget and resources available for social media activities. Many social media platforms require little or no financial investment. But the time it takes to manage social media can be significant, especially when responding to comments and engaging authentically with the audience. A smaller, curated social media presence may be a better choice than a broader presence that can’t be effectively maintained.
3. How will social media goals be framed?
Most marketers are familiar with SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive. SMART goals can be useful for framing social media goals.
A SMART goal to drive more traffic to a website might be stated as: After one month, the company website will receive an average of 10 new page views per day from visitors who click through from Facebook.
4. Which KPIs and metrics will be used to track results?
The key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that are measured will vary based on the documented social media goals. Marketers may want to measure:
- Reach, in total follower count
- Engagement, in likes, mentions, shares/retweets, and comments
- Lead generation, in email addresses and downloads
- Sales conversions
- Website visits
- Customer loyalty
As part of determining which metrics to track, it’s also important to determine how they’ll be measured — and with what frequency.
5. What platforms will best reach the audience for the product or brand?
Most of a company’s current or potential customers have a presence on a small number of social media platforms. So, it’s rare that a business, brand, or product would need to be on all social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, WhatsApp, WeChat, TikTok, Telegram, Snapchat, Reddit, Quora.
Once marketing teams have identified personas representing buyers and users, they can target the two or three social media platforms that give them the best opportunity to reach their intended audience.
6. How will the designated social media platforms be used?
Identifying the most strategic platforms is just the start. Most social media platforms have various ways to share information and reach an audience. For example, Instagram offers posts, stories, reels, and lives, plus sponsored options. Marketing teams need to know how they plan to share information on their platforms.
Marketers also need to consider whether cross-platform posting supports their goals. For example, Instagram posts can easily be shared on Facebook, and segments of YouTube videos might be good TikTok videos or Instagram reels.
7. What has (and hasn’t) worked in the past?
These days, most companies have some sort of social media presence. Marketing teams can evaluate their existing social media strategies to determine where they’ve succeeded and where they’ve fallen short. While marketers shouldn’t limit themselves to familiar platforms and strategies, the past can provide valuable information to guide the formation of new goals.
8. Can the goals be achieved with the available resources?
Some marketing teams will have the time and expertise to manage the social media strategies that support their goals. Others may want to rely on outside sources. A company may need a simple solution such as a social media scheduling tool, or they may need support from a full-service marketing company that can walk them through the process of developing goals and executing the strategy to support them.
To partner with an experienced marketing team on social media strategy and content creation, contact Imaginari today.