The One Social Media Element Marketers Miss!

5 Social Media Steps Every Marketer Needs

Number one Does your social media marketing miss the mark? For many marketers, this is a difficult question since they’ve just rushed in and started participating on social media platforms in hopes they’ll be able to show results later. The reality is that without business goals tailored to your firm’s overarching objectives you’ll wind up measuring whatever’s available.

Don’t worry. You’re in good company. Many marketers either don’t have goals or have loosely defined goals. For example, What does “We want to improve our brand reputation.” mean?

5 Steps to developing effective social media marketing goals.

To get your social media marketing on track, here are five steps to develop effective, actionable objectives for your program.

  1. Define specific and actionable goals. Outline what you’re going to do exactly so others within your organization understand them. Skip the fancy language. The objective is to rally your team to action. Additionally, the goals need to be for a defined time period. While consumers expect immediate action, marketing and purchase processes take time. Use quarters or years.
  2. Get buy-in from senior management. While you can do social media as a test on the side, it’s matured as a practice. To ensure you’re able to act on the work you do to achieve your business goals on social media platforms, senior management support is critical.
  3. Use metrics related to your business goals. After determining business goals is the time to select the appropriate metrics to track success. Go beyond counting likes and followers. If you don’t have appropriate social media metrics, consider actionable proxies. At this point, engage with your analytics team to ensure you’re on track.
  4. Make your social media activity trackable. In most cases, this involves using a tailored calls-to-action and unique promotional codes.  For example, integrate the call-to-action into your social media content and track activity through the entire purchase process.
  5. Incorporate your social media marketing into your overall plan. Social media marketing doesn’t exist in a silo. It needs to be incorporated with the rest of your sales and business processes. At a minimum, you must have optimized landing pages and purchase checkout to conclude the sales where possible. Further, where you must convert warm leads, you need to ensure that the relationship can be handed off smoothly and expanded upon.

7 Social media marketing goals

Here are seven social media marketing goals businesses can effectively use and track.

  1. Build brand awareness. For many brands, this is a key rationale for being present on social media, especially Facebook. While social media can’t deliver the same level of brand impressions as television, it can engage directly with prospects, customers and fans. Consider whether you’ll use existing branding metrics or create new ones related to social media.
  2. Protect brand reputation. In today’s 24/7 media cycle, defensively position your brand and build a following on social media platforms before you need their support. This is more difficult to track because the objective is to be prepared like a boy scout. Track the level of engagement as well as fans because you need to have a base that’s willing to get your word out. (Check out how to stop a social media crisis.)
  3. Learn more about your target audience. By engaging with prospects and customers, your organization can substitute social media participation for marketer research. Understand while this goal is a cost saving (since it reduces market research) it yields a self-selecting group rather than a statistically valid sample. This can skew your results.
  4. Increase customers or warm leads. Building your customer base is a vital part of any business since customer needs change for reasons beyond your control such as, they get older, have a life event, or change their location. Use social media platforms to acquire new prospects based on the content you’re creating. Think in terms of how to engage prospects. Do they need an enticement such as a coupon or a white paper?  These extras need to be included in your campaign costs.
  5. Enhance revenue generation. This is an elusive objective for many businesses. To achieve this goal, understand what motivates your target audience, where they are in the purchase process and hot long it takes to close the deal. Further, distinguish between new buyers and repeat buyers. It helps to link as close to the purchase process as possible.  Consider how you’ll track sales since prospects may need more than one visit to make up their mind. (Here’s help to get social media selling.)
  6. Extend customer service. Social media can be very effective for engaging with prospects and customers to answer their problems. That said, it may not be less expensive for corporations. You need to have customer service representatives who can engage via written format and understand social media. The challenge is that customers will seek to get answers from you wherever you have an entryway to your company. Consider how you’ll handle customer inquiries during a high issue period such as an airport being closed or other problem. Track the number of inquiries and resolutions as well as time to resolution. Are you improving your track record?
  7. Create brand advocates.  Use your social media outlets to encourage customers to congregate and discuss their experiences. At a minimum, use some form of customer reviews to entice new prospects and customers with other customers’ input. This is particularly important for millennials. How are you engaging with brand advocates? How is this effecting your ability to reach new prospects and customers.

Incorporate business goals into your social media marketing strategy. Take it further and ensure that you can track results from your initiatives.

What other marketing goals would you incorporate into your social media and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit:  Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved

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  • Anonymous

    Heidi, this is a well-thought article with lots of good information. We find that a lot of our clients just want their websites to go live without thought to a strategy or indeed the goals that will help them thrive in social media. We’ve written our own take on this:
    http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/are-you-looking-to-impress/ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzannemannionhopkins Suzanne Mannion-Hopkins

    Your ‘Learn more about your target audience’ point is well taken. Most marketers are getting past their initial fear of social media (i.e., the unknown) and there’s increased confidence in using it to enhance overall marketing efforts. Being permanently in touch with customers & offering solutions by being where they are online present many benefits for a business and increases a company’s visibility.