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March 17, 2011 // 1:00 PM

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

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This moment of asking why? is all about getting you to think about and determine your social media goals. It turns out we don't advocate using social media just because it's fun (though it is!), we do so because social media drives some significant business results for both us and our customers. But a key part of a successful social media strategy is knowing what you want to get out of social media, since this will drive your actions and help you measure progress.  

Select Your Key Social Media Marketing Metric

What is the #1 metric you're trying to influence by jumping into social media?  

  • Traffic : If you're an ad-supported website, you care a lot about eyeballs on your site. More eyeballs means more advertising dollars. You want to use social media to drive a larger and larger audience to visit your website.  
  • Leads : If you're - really - any business, you care about getting people to come from social media and drop their contact information to request education or contact from you. You want to use social media to drive people to your website to download a free offer and become a lead.
  • Reach : Reach is not usually an end goal but rather a means to one of the other two goals of traffic or leads. That's because the greater reach you have, the easier it is to get significant traffic or leads from social media channels. If reach is your key metric, you want to increase your social media followers or fans.
  • Buzz (Mentions) : More mentions means more people talking about you means more awareness of your company and product among a greater audience. If buzz or awareness is important to you, you will want to measure mentions of your brand names in social media over time.
  • Customer Happiness (Customer Support) : People are talking about you whether or not you want them to! Social media allows you to tune into conversations your customers are having, be they positive or negative. Social media has turned into a particularly great tool for responding to customers directly and quickly when they're having problems with your product. If you're focused on improving customer happiness through social media, you'll likely want to track number of non-social media support tickets (maybe they'll go down!) and general customer happiness metrics like Net Promoter Score .

Set Your Social Media Goal Numbers

Setting your actual goal numbers - be they traffic goals or reach goals - is very dependent on where you are, where you want to be, and how you plan on getting there. With some simple calculations, you can set your social media goals based on your high-level business goals .

Track Your Progress

Do you have tools in place to track your progress on your selected metric? Here are a few tool suggestions:

  • Traffic: Google Analytics, HubSpot
  • Leads: HubSpot
  • Reach: Facebook Insights, Twitter Counter, HubSpot
  • Buzz (Mentions): PostRank
  • Customer Happiness (Customer Support): your support tracking tool - we use our CRM, Salesforce.com

Next Steps

Develop a plan to achieve your goals and jump in! Keep in mind that it takes some time to gain traction in social media, but once you get it rolling, it will be easier to see continued results. Next you may want to determine which social media site delivers the best results for your business.


Topics: Social Media

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