Social Media Marketing Goals

by SaRita Custis
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Many business owners have established a presence on various social media properties, made a few posts, and then did nothing else with it for months or even years. This happens because they don't have goals attached to the activity.

So, in order to be successful with social media marketing, you need to set clear marketing goals.

It's likely you've heard of SMART goals. These are goals that are:

Specific – State clearly what it is you plan to accomplish
Measurable – Identify the criteria you'll use to know when you've achieved the goal
Attainable – Be realistic about what is actually possible
Relevant – Make sure the goal moves you closer to your major objectives
Time-limited – Set deadlines and milestones so you can monitor your progress

When setting your marketing goals, keep the SMART formula in mind. For example, “I want to increase my social following” is not an effective goal because it gives you no direction nor does it provide a clear destination. A better way to set this goal might be “I want to gain 1,000 Twitter followers by Christmas.” This goal is specific, measurable, and certainly attainable (assuming you're not starting right before Christmas!)

Here are four of the most likely goal categories you might want to explore with your social media marketing efforts.

1. Website Traffic

One of the most common goals of social media marketing is to generate traffic to your own web properties in order to convert followers into prospects and customers. So one of your goals might be to get people to a landing page with a free offer where they can subscribe to your list and become a lead. Or your might redirect people to a sales page or your online store. Another option might be to send followers to your blog where you share helpful information. Whatever the case, the end goal for a lot of businesses is to use social media to drive traffic to their own websites.

2. Public Relations

One way to set your business apart from the rest is to use your social media marketing strategy to associate your brand with feelings of good will and community involvement. Whether it's to repair a damaged reputation or to instill positive image in the minds of your prospects, using your social media presence as a PR tools is a good idea. You can easily share images and videos that represent your company's values and tap in to people's emotions. Talk about special events and causes that you support, and highlight things that clearly demonstrate your commitment to helping others.

3. Market Research

Social media is an excellent resource for learning more about your target audience. You can set up campaigns that are specifically geared to collecting information, such as surveys and questionnaires. You can also focus on engagement by asking your followers to comment on your posts. One major benefit of using social media is the ability to “spy” on conversations that are happening every day in your market. You are able to monitor your competitors' properties to see what their prospects and customers are asking for, complaining about, or interested in. This insight gives you true-to-life information that you can use to adjust your business practices to get the best results.

4. Greater Reach

If you're just starting out, and no one knows who you are, or if you want to increase the size of your audience, you can improve your brand recognition gain more followers by sharing unique, helpful, and/or entertaining content. The more engaging the content, the more likely it is that people will share it and, thus, expose your business to more and more people. Sharing viral content, running contests, and incorporating gamification can be a very effective social media marketing strategy for getting your name, logo and overall brand in front of as many people as possible as many times as possible. Just ensure your methods are permitted by the social media property's Terms and Conditions.

Remember to set specific goals for all of your social media marketing campaigns. Goals can be long term, short term, or a combination of the two. Deadlines and milestones can be helpful as well. The important thing is to know WHY you are implementing a particular strategy and to ensure that strategy is moving you closer to your ultimate goal.

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