Social media success is based on setting goals, but I am constantly amazed at how many businesses give little thought to creating their social media objectives.
When working with clients to create an online marketing strategy, one of my first questions to them is simply “what are you hoping to achieve with social media?” So many times I see businesses jump on board the latest social network without any thought as to what they actually want to achieve there.
Strategy Without Goals Is Putting The Cart Before The Horse
Without specific goals in mind, it can be difficult to measure the success of your efforts and make meaningful changes to your approach. Clear goals will not only propel your strategy forward, but they will also serve as defined metrics when it comes to measuring your progress.
Common Social Media Marketing Goals
Below you will find a list of some common social media marketing goals — decide which of these is most aligned with your business goals.
- Attract more patients to your practice
- Improve the quality of health information online
- Drive traffic to your website
- Run a disease awareness campaign
- Establish online authority and credibility
Tip: Research shows that writing down your goals increases the completion rate of goals.
How To Set SMART Social Media Goals
For a goal to become a reality, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic, as well as time specific — these are often called SMART goals. SMART goals are one of the longest-lasting, most popular goal-setting frameworks for business.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes a goal SMART
Specific — the more specific you can be with defining a goal, the easier it will be to clearly see what it is you are trying to achieve. Let’s take as an example a goal to increase your Twitter followers by 10%.
Measurable — how will you measure your success? In this case it’s easy to measure 10% growth in Twitter followers when you check your follower numbers.
Attainable — is your goal attainable? Can you realistically achieve this Twitter growth?
Relevant — a relevant goal is aligned closely to your social media objectives. Is this goal relevant to your overall social media strategy? Is Twitter the right platform for your communications?
Time Specific — give your goal a deadline – for example, increase your Twitter followers by 10% by the end of the month.
Setting SMART goals to which you can align your social media activity is a good guarantee of online marketing success. Once you have a clear set of goals, you can track your key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics more accurately. It’s also important to note that SMART goals are flexible and can be adjusted as necessary. Continuously re-evaluate and adjust your goals as needed to ensure that they remain relevant and aligned with your overall business objectives. A winning formula is to measure, adjust and then rinse and repeat.