Any investment in your business should be for a specific reason. And each investment of time or money should have specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals associated with it so you can determine if the investment is viable.
Using social media is no different, yet with something so intangible, how do you go about creating these measurable goals?
You start with the basics – the big picture goals, such as:
• Increase fan or follower base
• Drive traffic to the company website
• Build/increase your company’s e-mail subscriber list
• Reach new clients through relationship building
With these high-level goals, you now have to determine your specific goals. I can’t say what your goals should be since I’m not familiar with your company or what your definition of success is. You or your management team have to decide what numbers to strive for. I can, however, give you some suggestions on how you might start tracking the goals mentioned above.
Increase fan or follower base –
This assumes you are already on Twitter or Facebook. Take a note of how many fans and followers you have today. Then decide what number you want to strive for, and in what time period. If you’re a medium-size company, expecting 135,000 followers could be a stretch, but if you have 10,000 followers already, getting to 30,000 in 4 months may be appropriate.
With a social media tool, such as any mentioned in the last post, you can set up your Twitter account to automatically follow all those who follow your company, and by doing that, you can gain more exposure.
Drive traffic to the company website –
Get access to the analytics for your website traffic. If you don’t have the details already, contact your website manager or use Google Analytics (mentioned below). You want to look at how many people are visiting your site, but more important, how long they are staying on your site, which pages they are visiting, how many visitors opt-in to your newsletter or subscribe to your blog, and so on.
Once you have a baseline of where you are, you can determine where you want to be. A refresh of the website content or redesign of the landing page may be in order. Check the numbers on a weekly basis to see if your changes are working, or if you might need more website changes.
You also want to use social media platforms that allow you to include your website link with any posts. Most social media platforms have this functionality.
Build/increase your company’s e-mail subscriber list –
You’ll need to know the size of your e-mail list today before you can set a goal for how large you want to grow the list.
LinkedIn is a great tool for this bullet point because you can capture, download, and utilize the contact information of those you have “linked” with. At a minimum you will get names, e-mail addresses, company names, and locations for all your contacts.
An engaging opt-in page on your company’s website or Facebook landing page can capture e-mail addresses (at a minimum), or full contact information (if you offer the right incentive). One important note is to make sure you receive opt-ins for your newsletter and are compliant with the CAN-SPAM act.
Reach new clients through relationship building –
Google+ and Twitter are good platforms for the softer goal of building relationships because of the ease in having conversations through live streaming comments.
Google+ also gives you the ability to ‘circle’ people into categories for focused advertising or feedback, and it has “hangouts” where you can live-chat with one or more people at any time. Although it’s difficult to put a measurable goal on relationships, making the right connections and having useful interactions will lead to the bottom line at some point.
Building relationships isn’t all about pushing your product into the masses, it’s having conversations in person or through social media that give people something interesting to consider and comment on. And in order to be successful, it has to be two-way communication. So, no matter what platform or tool you use, there needs to be the back and forth with people, which takes time, effort, and planning.
Setting up ways to track results for your goals is the next task. There are many tools out there, and what you choose will depend, again, on what your ultimate target is.
• Google Analytics lets you track sales and conversions against the goals you’ve set for your company; track e-mail campaigns and keywords; create customized reports
• Facebook Insights gives you data on such things as the content viewers are reading and interacting with per individual post or consolidated way, demographic locations of the activity (if available from the user’s page)
• Hootsuite (mentioned in the last post on Twitter management tools) lets you incorporate Google Analytics and Facebook Insights in a dashboard. You can analyze social media traffic; follow conversations around your brand name; create custom reports
If you’re already on some platforms and they are giving you a positive return on your investment, refresh your profile. If you’re new to a platform, don’t hesitate to get started, because it does take time to gain traction.
Quick Tips: How to Create Measurable Goals with Social Media