How To Set Your Small Business Social Media Goals

August 14, 2013By
Social Media Goals

How do you want your social media program to look in one year?

A lot of small businesses feel the pressure to take part in social media.

There is the peer pressure out there whispering that you have to get on social media.

I’m probably guilty of it a little bit here with GBW and blogging. I try to be aware that social media, blogging and online marketing aren’t for every business. I try to make sure you know that your target audience might not be best reached with online efforts.

Heck, I used to work in the catalog industry. There was very little chance that the target customers at those companies would read blogs or use social media for anything other than checking on photos from their grandkids.

That’s why the pressure to social media shouldn’t get to you. It starts with understanding the reason why it might work for you and then developing your plans so you can give yourself the best chance to succeed.

If you determine that your customer is using social media then you’re ready to move forward with a strategy.

To figure out if your customer is using social media you can start with these posts:

From there it’s time to work on your goals.

Setting Social Media Goals

Most business get involved in social media because of the pressure and because it’s relatively easy to start a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account for your business. There is nothing to getting started, but the reason there is so much frustration around social media for businesses is that there are rarely goals or plans for the efforts.

Even worse is the fact that plans can change and you can get caught trying all kinds of different things while losing sight of the goal you’re trying to accomplish with the effort.

Everything in marketing comes back to sales and profit. Those are really the two biggest goals. If you’re marketing for any other reason you’re missing the point. Even if you’re trying something to learn and see how it goes you’re hoping that it might turn into sales and profit. Even if you’re a non-profit you’re still looking for donations or investment.

So the two biggest goals for social media are sales and profit.

Those are the two things you should always come back to when you lose direction or if you’re trying something new with your social media campaign.

Secondary goals include things that ultimately lead to sales and profit. These are the things business analyze so they can ensure that they’re doing the essential tasks that get them to sales and profit at the end of the day.

Especially in the B2B world, the sales cycle can be long. You need to generate interest at the beginning of the cycle if you want to close deals at the end of the cycle.

In my experience, social media is very much at the early stage of the cycle, but it’s still very important. It’s a great way for people to discover your business, learn about your business and eventually to make a purchase from your business.

Social media goals I’ve seen work for others and for myself include:

  • Growing followers
  • Growing traffic
  • Growing mentions

These are all things that can lead to sales and profit. You have to keep your on on sales and profit to make sure you’re keeping your eye on the ultimate goal. Sometimes focusing too much on followers, traffic and mentions can lead to actions that won’t lead to profit.

I’ve seen businesses pay for followers. That can get you more followers, but unless those followers fit the profile of your ideal customer you’re just wasting your time.

With everything you do in social media make sure you keep your mind on sales and profit. Set specific goals and measure your success based on those goals.

It might be things like:

  • 1,000 followers in 6 months
  • 10,000 visits in 6 months
  • 500 mentions in 6 months

One of the biggest lessons I learned early in my career was that it’s always important to set goals and to have a budget. It keeps you driven. An important aspect was that these goals cannot change. You can change the way you achieve the goals, but the goals themselves shouldn’t change.

If you determine that getting followers, traffic and mentions will bring you sales and profit then you can focus on the social media efforts that will make those things happen.

Then you can measure to see how you did while also looking at your sales and profit.

Constant Change In Social Media

Strategies always seem to be changing in social media. But setting social media goals will keep you focused on what the end result should be. You can try different things to achieve those goals and hopefully you’ll find a few formulas that will work for a long time.

Just keep your eye on the goals and you’ll eventually find success in social media that leads to sales and profit.

Image: Flickr