You don’t want to be at the same place in your business 12 months from now. You’ve got ambition, targets and things you want to achieve so you can reach the next level of success, whatever that means for you. This is the perfect time to start anew. January is the month of fresh beginnings where we can all reset and focus again on step one. It’s time to assess where you are in your online business and social media progress, and determine where you want to be by December 31st of this year.
In the previous blog post, we discussed the metrics that you need to track to achieve social media success. In this post, we’ll teach you how to set social marketing goals so that by the end of the year, you can look forward to a fruitful social media marketing year for your online business.
The high value of setting social media goals
For you to say that you actually made progress with social media, you need data that will backup your statement. It takes time, goal setting and social media efforts to create the social results that you want. You need to carefully plan out the next steps to take, so you’ll have something to show at the end. Everything needs to align with your overall company values, before they pan out into technical details that are implemented on a daily basis.
As you begin to establish clarity on what needs to be done to have social media success, you also need to attach defining questions that will bring life to your goals, such as, by when do you want it to happen, and how much of it must be done. When you follow this guideline, your social marketing plan isn’t so vague anymore, but a sure, workable plan. It’s not haphazard or a wishy washy plan set to failure, but one that’s concise, doable and realistic, like any S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Through this approach, you’ll have clear answers whether what you’re aiming to do and the methods you choose to follow to achieve it, suffice to get you there. And if they don’t, you’ll still get a good idea of how to get there. That’s what setting clear social media goals does, it gives direction to your marketing actions, and when your steps don’t bring you directly there, you’re still on the path to success. With that said, let’s learn how to set proper social media goals.
Your 1000% Return on Energy
According to the great motivational expert Brian Tracy, every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution, and so, it gives you a 1000% return on energy! It saves you from wasted time and diffused efforts. Picture the scenario. Just by taking some time to set your social media goals, it keeps you from frustration, you’re more likely to achieve what you want to happen for your business and social media, you won’t be left hanging as to how people can get to know your brand more or whether your followers will actually increase or not. If you want progress and results, you have to get serious in your planning. You want more impact to your audience? You need to be intentional by strategizing how you’re going to approach your content delivery. Anything is possible if you just take time to think about it and plan.
Clear goals are motivating and should spur you to action. If you know that posting on Facebook effectively increases interaction among your followers, and you set to post once a day for the next 30 days with a clear call to action, you can then expect that it will convert to sales. Imagine how much you can sell if you optimize your posting by publishing messages at a time when revenue is at its highest, then you’ve got a higher ROI to expect. With clear goals, you’re able to translate your broad dreams into doable and measurable steps.
How to Develop the Best Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Business
Here’s what we recommend on how you should set your social media marketing goals. Consider our 5-step plan.
Step 1. Go back to your brand’s mission and vision statement.
Reconnect with your why, the very purpose why your online business exists. Remind yourself and your team (if you have one) about your mission and vision statement. Recall how you want to impact the world through your e-commerce or B2B business, what you want to happen and how you’re going to effect change. It also defines your brand identity, so make sure you give some thought to it. Realize that every action you take should align with your mission. Your social media marketing is but an extension of implementing your mission. And so, if anything doesn’t fit to your mission, you shouldn’t be doing it, see the truth that it’s only a distraction from your focus. It also means that each of your social posts contribute to a greater business strategy. So never post unrelated, unthoughtful messages. Give importance on how you position your business, and the more you will attract and keep the right customers.
A few examples of truly inspiring business’ mission statements are:
Amazon.com’s mission: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
Vision: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Kellogg Company’s vision: “To enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.”
Mission (Purpose): “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.”
Nike’s mission is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Lego’s vision is to: “Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow…”
Values: imagination, creativity, fun, learning, caring, quality
Starbucks mission is: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Inspired enough? What about you? What’s your mission and vision statement? What inspirations do you have for change? Go ahead, and write them down.
As you mull over your vision, look where you want your business to go. Think of your customers, how do you want to help them? How do you see them going through daily life as you help them through your business?
Having this in mind, what do you want to achieve with your social media marketing? How do you want to reach them? What content strategies come to mind? There are no rules, just ideas. Keep on listing your unique ways to show your target market that your brand cares. Who knows what out-of-the-box solutions it may lead to.
Step 2. Social media audit. Know where you are.
How are you doing with your current social presence? How many fans do you have in Facebook? How many followers do you have in Twitter and LinkedIn? How many new followers do you gain each month? How are you doing compared to your competitors? How many mentions do you receive from social networks each month? How many industry influencers are connected with you right now?
What social channels are you most active in? Do you have optimized social profiles in all of these accounts? Do you really need to be active in all of your social accounts? Which ones do you think should you focus on? Is your audience there? What do they do most of the time there?
How do your current social media marketing efforts work for your business? Are they bringing you a good social ROI?
Once you know the current state of your social presence, you’ll have a clear picture whether your social media is helpful to your business right now, or if it still needs a lot of work and organizing. You’ll be able to gauge the right social media path for your online business for 2018.
Step 3. Define who your customers are, again. Know them well.
As you reconnect with your mission and vision, it’s also good that you refresh yourself about your customers. You may have done this before, but you may need to bring your awareness into focus about the very heart of your business – your customers. Who are these people that you choose to serve through your products or services? Remember, you win by serving with excellence the few minority who needs your help. Be as specific as you can.
What are their demographics? What age range? Where are they located? What are their professions or businesses? How much is their gross income? What income bracket do they belong to?
What are their interests? Hobbies? What keeps them awake at night? What excites them? Where do they always go when online? What are they doing there? What change do they want to see happen?
What’s their favorite social media channel? What other social networks they go to? What’s their motive for going there?
When you get in-touch again with your customers, you’ve found your center. It’s easier to set targets, achieve them and do it creatively all over again.
Step 4. Come up with goals and set social media marketing targets that will help you hit your goal.
At this stage, you’re ready to set business goals. You can create a social media marketing plan that supports your goals. You can use the information you have from steps 1 to 3, to fuel goals that really matter for your online business.
Some common goals that most businesses set which are related to social media marketing include increasing the metrics that we discussed about social media success. You can also say “Get 50 leads everyday or get 2,000 web visitors monthly.” Whatever it is, write your goals in order of priority, set your deadline and determine the daily activities that you must be diligently executing to reach those goals. This is the most effective template that you can follow to turn your plans into reality.
However, whether you want to increase brand awareness, increase your website traffic, generate more leads or grow your revenue, the steps still boil down to your social media content. We suggest that you follow these actions that will help you prepare a great content marketing plan for superb social media marketing this year. What social networks are you going to focus on? Write the top 3 to 5. Which one is most beneficial for your business. Identify.
Create a content marketing plan. What type of content are you going to publish. No idea? Use the 80-20 rule. Use 80% for inspiration, education, motivation and 20% for selling, promoting your site. For your content, what action do you want your readers to take? Write it out, so it will be clear to you how to write your copy for each piece of content. You can plan your content calendar weekly or every two weeks. Do what’s effective and manageable for your team.
Note all the holidays and special events. Are you going to do something special for these days? Make sure to customize your messages for each holiday to make it more appealing for your audience. Note this in your content calendar.
Step 5. Track and analyze.
Now that you have clearly defined social media goals and metrics that will help you track each goal, you can track them as soon as you want or as often as you want. Monitor your results accordingly. You can check your metrics weekly first, then every two weeks until you turn it into monthly or quarterly. If you’re trying out something new, it’s best that you monitor the feedback as quickly as possible. When it gained momentum, you can allow a bit of time to truly evaluate the results. Keep on analyzing your data, so you can tweak immediately.
If you’ve seen that your Twitter account is accelerating with more followers and audience participation, double up your efforts there. Don’t be afraid to scale up as long as your data analytics supports your decision. Monitor closely and respond quickly whenever you see a good opportunity, or move back when your efforts seem not to be paying off as they should be. Be smart, and use tools that will report your social ROI and give you detailed insights into all of your social media actions. Never take blind action, without knowledge of how you’re doing with your results. That risk isn’t worth it, that’s why you need to invest in tools that will help you make intelligent decisions for your online business.
How to Achieve Your Social Media Marketing Plan Successfully
There’s no single, concrete rule that will allow you to succeed in your business. There’s only being flexible to take those risks that are more likely to bring you to that successful path. You can learn which risks are better for your business than others. When you leverage smart business analytics software tools, it’s similar to hiring experts for their advice, but at a cheaper cost and far greater insight. Would you be interested in that level of data access?
When you invest in a robust social media ROI software tool, you’ll gain access to high levels of information that will guide you on which social actions and platforms are most beneficial for your business. Whether it’s the most number of leads generated or clicks to your sales page or the actual sales in your e-commerce site, you can define for yourself which metric is most meaningful for your business, and actually track it. You’ll get to know what actions lead to your results, and duplicate those that are successful, and stop those that aren’t giving you a good ROI.
You can succeed at your social media goals in the new year. You can design your content marketing plan so it’s customized to your target market. And then, you can track your audience response so you’ll know what to adjust. You can know exactly where you’re at with your goals, and have the knowledge of what’s next to do. You won’t be left guessing what could be the right thing to do to make your social efforts work. You’ll have the insights to see your online business in an overview and in a detailed perspective so you won’t miss a spot. You’re always in the know.
Simply put, you can make a difference this year in your online business and start succeeding in your social media marketing.