Setting Goals for Social Media Activity for Executives

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Setting goals for social media can help you meet your business objectives. In this lesson, you'll learn more about setting goals for your social media activity and how to track the success of your social media efforts.

Becoming Goal-Oriented on Social Media

Edgar has just started his new role as marketing manager for a popular shopping center. The shopping center has not been very active on social media and Edgar wants to change that. He doesn't want to approach social media haphazardly, though, so he's putting together a plan for a goal-oriented social media strategy. This lesson is a peek over Edgar's shoulder as he identifies how to set goals for the shopping center's social media plan, some potential goals to consider consider and ways he will be able to track how well those goals are being met.

Social Media Goal-Setting

The first thing you should consider when setting social media goals is what your business and marketing objectives are. If your business objective is to increase sales, but your social media content is focused on improving customer service, your social media efforts may be less effective than you hoped.

Some of your basic social media goals based on business objectives might include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Driving more traffic to your website
  • Getting more leads and customers
  • Increasing sales and revenue
  • Getting more customers into your retail locations
  • Boosting customer engagement
  • Improving customer service

Next, decide what channels to focus on. Most of this will be determined by your target audience and where they spend their time (so it's important to know the demographics of your consumers). Your social media objectives may also influence what channels you use. For example, it's hard to share a lot of content on Instagram, which is more photo-based.

Now, you're ready to set goals for your business's social media presence. One of the most popular goal-setting frameworks is known by the acronym SMART. SMART goals are:

  • Specific: A goal should be specific, rather than vague. Instead of saying you want to increase traffic to your website, a specific goal would be, ''I want to increase traffic to my website by 20 percent.''
  • Measurable: Measurable goals can be quantified. In the example above, ''20 percent'' would be measurable by using analytics and key performance indicators. We'll talk about those in a minute.
  • Achievable: Goals should be achievable - challenging, but attainable. Saying that you want to increase traffic to your website by 200 percent probably won't be achievable.
  • Relevant: Ask yourself if your goal is relevant to your business objectives. If your objective is to increase revenue, getting more leads and customers through social media would be a good goal to set.
  • Time-bound: There should be a timeline or deadline for the goal you set, such as ''I want to increase traffic to my website by 20 percent over the next year.'' This gives you a target date to work toward.

Assessing Goals

So, now that you've set a goal for your social media activity, how do you know if your goal has been successful? Knowing which analytics and key performance indicators to track can help you gauge your success level. Both of these are measurements that can show you how effective your social media efforts have been.

For example, let's pretend our goal is to increase awareness of our brand on social media. What types of analytic measurement should you be tracking? Things like the number of followers you acquire and how many people are retweeting your posts are good measurements to consider.

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