While there’s no doubt that social media marketing is highly effective for a business when done right, many organisations struggle to determine the real ROI of their strategy. This makes it difficult to report on your strategy, refine it for future campaigns, and assign the right resources and budget. If you have this issue, you’re not alone – around 41% of businesses are experiencing the same challenge and inability to properly measure the effectiveness of social media strategies. Fortunately, there is a solution – proper goal setting.
Set Your Main Objective
This is the overall direction you want your campaign to take – it’s not your goals, which are more specific, but a more general umbrella objective you would like to achieve. Common goals are things like improving revenue through social media or generating more web traffic using social platforms. Defining your core objective will in turn help to define your goals and build your social media roadmap.
Don’t Set Goals, Set SMART Goals
SMART is a great framework for setting goals because it’s easily applicable to smaller or medium-sized businesses in a wide range of industries. Essentially, it’s a framework for helping you to determine which goals are worth pursuing.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive.
- Specific – The more defined your goal is, the easier it is to apply it to your strategy and measure your results.
- Measurable – Choose a goal that is trackable in social media and online metrics, so you can apply analytics tools and receive accurate reports.
- Achievable – Goals should push your organisation to grow and succeed, but not be unreachable.
- Realistic – Your goals should be aligned with your available resources and budget, whether you are using an in-house team or bringing in an experienced social media management partner.
- Time Sensitive – Both long and short-term goals should have a defined time frame. Often, organisations will use specific dates or events to frame their goals. For example, implementing a 3-month strategy to promote gifts, roses, jewellery or restaurant deals before Valentine’s Day. This ensures that your strategy is actionable with clear parameters.
Your goals can be both online and offline. For example, you might want to increase brand visibility and make people aware of your store, increase walk-ins, build better relationships with loyal customers, promote a new product/service, or promote your brand in connection with a relevant date or event.
Establish Your Baseline
Simply put, you can’t know how well your social media marketing strategy is performing or if you’re getting anywhere near your goals if you don’t know where you were when it started. This means performing a social media audit to establish your baseline and properly target your goals, so you can show reports with demonstrable results. While a social media services team can perform this on your behalf, you can do it yourself too. Here’s how:
- Make a list of all the social media platforms your business is currently on.
- Update all your business information on these platforms to ensure it is accurate, consistent and in line with your brand. This includes images like logos.
- Claim your Google My Business page and fill in all relevant detail.
- Develop your target audience profiles (you can have several different personas)
- Analyse what types of posts are getting the most engagement, when you are posting them, the type of content, questions that consumers are asking, etc. Also look at posts that are not getting responses and analyse why – are they not relevant? Are they posted at the wrong time of day? Etc.
- Do an audit on your closest competitor’s social media marketing.
Choose Relevant Metrics
Analytics is a significant part of digital marketing and social media marketing, which means that there are dozens of metrics you can measure. However, it is important to only focus on those that are relevant to your goals and strategy, as these will help you understand how well you are progressing towards your goals.
For example, if raising brand awareness or visibility is your goal, then metrics like the number of followers you have, reach/impressions, shares and mentions are all important because they mean your content is reaching people and becoming part of their social media conversations.
If conversions are your goal, you should focus on tracking click-throughs, downloads, subscription and web traffic, as these impact on leads and sales.
Develop Your Content
Your content is what drives your people to your website and turns consumers into quality leads and loyal customers, so it’s important to have a comprehensive content strategy. Above all else, you content has to be well-written, relevant, interesting and helpful to your audience, so you need to know exactly who it is you are trying to reach if you want to get any traction. You want people to read your content, share it with others, and follow your call to action, so it has to resonate. You should only ever post content with a clear and purposeful strategy in mind.Good ideas to help form your content strategy include:
- Brainstorming with your team – How can you make your content more helpful/interesting/exciting/appealing? What are the main challenges facing your target personas? What content looks best or gets the most interest on different platforms?
- CTAs – Spend time developing your calls to action and set them up according to how each platform functions and what it is you want your followers to do. For example, Facebook offers buttons for specific CTAs, like a “Download now” button for eBooks.
- Organisation – Creating a content calendar will help organise your strategy. Plan out your content over the monthly or weekly timeframe of your social media strategy, mapping out posts, content types and themes so you get an even spread. Remember to include posts for specific days relevant to your audience or brand. Think outside the box – giving a shout out to the national team on a big day might not have anything to do with your brand, but if you have sports fans loyal to your brand, they’ll appreciate it!
- Focus on value – Many businesses see social media and online content and believe that by offering valuable content and empowering their audience, they will make themselves irrelevant (why tell someone how to fix a dripping tap themselves when you’re a plumber, for example). This is the wrong approach. Firstly, people can see you are demonstrating your expertise so they know you’re a great plumber and will call if they need something more complex done. Secondly, people often don’t have the time or the skills themselves and would like to trust the job to someone who knows what they are doing even if they have the information for free. Value really does result in returns far higher than those you give out!
If you’d like to develop a high-impact social media marketing strategy or would like more information on how to use social media to grow your business, contact us and chat to our helpful social media services team today.