Goal setting is a critical step in nearly every activity from a healthy lifestyle to our careers to business. So what are your social media goals? Have you ever considered what your social media aims and objectives are?
If setting goals for your social media is something you haven’t done before, we may be getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a step back and take a look at why you should be setting social media goals and the best approach for doing so.
Why you should set social media goals
Setting goals provides a host of benefits for those that engage in the practice, but here are the primary core reasons for setting social media goals:
1. Goals provide clarity to your purpose
Knowing why you are doing something gives it meaning and value. There should be a reason behind the platforms your business engages with and a purpose for the content and frequency you post. Defining your goals help you clarify what you doing, the reason for doing it, and how you intend to accomplish it.
At Hello Marketing our motto is, “Say goodbye to random acts of marketing.” Our focus is to help B2B businesses end the haphazard approach to marketing and to develop sound strategies that achieve end goals – specifically attracting new leads for your business. The same is true for engaging in B2B social media. Without social media goals in place, your efforts become ‘random acts’ without a clear picture of why or how you are doing it.
2. Setting goals defines what you want to achieve
With your how and why in place, setting social media goals provides a clear focus for what you want to achieve. Knowing what you are working towards gives everyone involved a clear objective and keeps them from becoming distracted or confused.
Not all social media goals need to be lofty endeavors. It could simply be to increase your followers or to engage with influencers in your industry. The point is that setting a goal provides a clear picture for what you are working towards.
3. Setting goals gives your something to measure against
Reviewing your marketing activity and diving into your online analytics is an important part of any marketing activity. We want to see results from our efforts. However if your social media marketing is aimlessly plodding along, how do you know if your efforts are really effective?
When you set social media goals, you will have an identifiable benchmark to measure against. Not only will it be clear if you reached your goals, but you’ll also have way to determine how successful each tactic in your strategy was. Defining where you want to be also lets you know how you are progressing and if any changes are needed to help you reach your goals.
How to set B2B social media goals
Okay, goals give us purpose, focus and a method of measuring our success. So how should you create them?
In a word, make your social media goals SMART.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.
Start with what you want to achieve in a very clear statement that is as granular as possible. You may have goals for each of your social media platforms when finished. Keep refining this part until it is very clear what you are working towards.
Now quantify your goals so you have a way to measure their success. This could be a specific number or percentage. Your social media goals need to be realistic for your business. Just like in life, you can’t compare yourselves to the model in a magazine, so don’t compare your business to the international corporation that has been in business for 35 years if that’s not who you are.
Finally, set your social media goals around the results you want and when you want them. Your smart goal may look something like this: We want to gain 25 new YouTube subscribers by the end of next quarter, by promoting our videos across other social channels and with YouTube ads.
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Use the framework above as a starting point for laying out your goals. Then ask yourself some key questions to fill in the details.
1. Who are we targeting? Remember to keep your target audience in mind – this means looking at your buyer personas for who you want to connect with.
2. Where are we now? Knowing your starting point will help you develop a realistic picture of where you can go.
3. How much support do we have? If you are managing your B2B social media alone, your goals may be different than if you have a team of colleagues to collaborate with and share the workload.
4. What other resources do we have to help reach our social media goals? Can you include paid advertising? Can other team members share your content on their platforms?
It’s time to set your social media goals
What do you want to accomplish with social media? Setting goals doesn’t mean that you are locked in forever. It is a framework for outlining what you want to accomplish, how you intend to do it, with a clear end in view. Don’t leave your social media to chance.
Understand how your social media plans fit into the bigger picture of your larger marketing goals. Set those goals and then get to work. You’ll be glad you did when you start seeing the results of your efforts with well laid-out plans. Don’t wait to set your social media goals.
If LinkedIn is part of your goals, you’ll want to download this helpful guide, LinkedIn for Business Development.