You’ve probably heard the advice that your business has to “get on social”.
It’s not bad advice, but it’s pretty vague.
One way businesses have kind of figured out social media marketing is to jump in and try a bunch of stuff.
Throw darts at the board and see what sticks.
That’s not a horrible way to go. In fact, it’s a great way to go.
But if you do that or if you have more of a plan there is still something key to tying it all together.
Social Media Marketing Goals
What’s the reason we do anything in marketing?
Well, that’s not the only thing. We’re really looking for win-win situations.
Sales leads to profit for your business. That’s your win.
But you don’t want to just sell something to someone for the sake of doing it. You want them to benefit too.
Marketing gets a bad rap sometimes. I think those of us that write about marketing assume that a business is already selling something that will benefit the consumer.
Obviously that’s not always the case, but I think it’s still good to assume that. Believe the best in people.
Anyway, we’re doing social media marketing as a way to increase sales. A way to reach more potential customers.
Social media can help throughout the sales process. Probably more in the early stages of the process. There’s a rule I like to follow…
The Social Media 80/20 Rule
You’ve probably heard about the 80/20 Rule. I’ve seen it used in all kinds of contexts.
In this context we use it to show that about 80% of your efforts on social media will be in the early stages of the sales process. Your efforts won’t lead directly to a sale.
20% of your social media marketing efforts will lead to a sale.
It’s not exact. It’s a rough estimate, but I’ve seen it work as a pretty good rule of thumb depending on how a business is using social media.
Let’s say that about 40% of your effort on social media will be interacting with brand new people. They fit the profile of your target customers, but you’re just getting to know them.
Another 40% will be kind of the middle of the sales cycle. You’re getting to know each other. You’re earning trust. That kind of thing.
The last 20% is making a sale. You see a customer with a demand, challenge or struggle and your product or service can help. You close the deal straight away. This can happen with people that already know you or it can happen with brand new people.
Let’s look at how you can track this by setting up goals.
Goal #1: Earning Attention
My first job out of college was in the catalog business. One of my tasks was tracking ROI.
It was a great first job. I learned about lifetime value. How much it cost to earn a new customer and whether it was good, medium or bad.
I got into the catalog game pretty late. The process for measuring this had been around for awhile, but that doesn’t mean it was complex.
It was pretty simple actually.
You send out say 1,000 catalogs and you get 10 sales. At a certain price point.
Pretty simple. That was usually enough to see if sending catalogs to that segment of people was profitable.
The trick with early sales process marketing, though, is that we want to track sales, but people on social media usually aren’t ready to buy right now.
You can track this, but we’ll get to that in Goal #3.
Your goal right now for earning attention is to track your number of followers.
Followers are the number of people you’re reaching, but not just that. It’s a good gauge for the number of people giving you permission to have access to their attention.
Just like with email. Someone is giving you permission to entertain, educate or enlighten them.
So tracking follower growth over time is the key goal for this area of social media.
It has a few variables.
What you’re sharing to earn trust. Articles, videos, quotes, etc. You have to show people that you’re interesting or valuable.
How often you’re sharing. In general, the more you share the more followers you get.
How you share. Hashtags are a great way to extend your reach to potential followers.
Goal #2: Earning Trust
The next 40% of your social media effort is about earning trust.
Similar in a few ways to the first goal.
But the goal for this one is earning engagement.
You’ve now got the attention of people. Now you want them to show you signs that they trust you. That they value what you’re doing for them. You’re helping them.
Engagement on social media usually means:
- And more…
All the signs that someone has seen what you’re sharing and they’re taking time to show their approval.
Some is direct like commenting. Others, like a view, are more subtle. They’re not voicing their thoughts, but they’re doing so with their actions.
So obviously you want to track the growth of your engagement over time.
The number of shares this month vs. last month or vs. the same month last year.
Also look at it as it compares to followers.
You had 100 followers last year this month and 10 engagements. That’s about 10%.
This year you have 1,000 followers and 100 engagements. That’s still about 10%. Great follower growth, but stagnant engagement.
That might mean that you share content that gets more engagement. Videos, photos, questions, etc.
That could help boost that engagement rate to 15% or even 20% or more.
Goal #3: Solving Needs
Now we get into the more direct ROI tracking.
When I started ghost blogging the second client I got was via Twitter.
I had been following him on there for a few months. One month out of the blue I saw him tweet that he was looking for someone to blog for his personal side hobby website.
I reached out and got the job.
It’s a little different job today, but he’s still a client. Almost 7 years later…
We kind of skipped the early stages of the sales process because he was ready to buy.
This situation does exist on social media. It usually involves more listening.
Listening to your existing followers. Seeing what they’re saying on social media. Showing the occasional promotion for your product/service. Catching them when they’re ready to buy.
It also involves listening to non-followers. You could follow hashtags or certain searches like on Twitter.
The end goal for all marketing efforts including social media marketing is sales. You want to get a sale. But the sales process is longer than just the end result. Social media fits well with the early stages.
So remember that about 80% of your effort on social will be in the early stages of the sales cycle. The other 20% can be for closing deals.
Do that and use the strategies for the three goals and you’ll be in pretty good shape for success with your social media marketing goals.