So you want to win, succeed, crush it at social media?
The best way to start is to figure out just what “success” actually means for you and your team – and what metrics to track to see if you’re actually making progress.
Here are five excellent social media marketing goals to consider as you get started with digital marketing, as well as a few ways to break down these abstract goals into workable measures and gauge your success – whatever that means:
1.) Increase Brand Awareness
More than anything, increasing awareness of brands and products is the primary reason that businesses put social media strategies in place. With their enormous built-in audiences and nearly endless options for amplification, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have a power to elevate and disseminate brand messaging and storytelling like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Snapchat and Instagram, meanwhile, make it easy to connect with audiences on their level, showing a deeply human, personal side of your company that’s hard to really reflect with any other marketing channel.
Even better? Social media has made it easy to actually quantify and measure “awareness” and word of mouth. To monitor the extent of your brand’s awareness, audience, and reach, track these metrics:
- Follower Count: This will allow you to determine how many people you have the potential to reach with any one post or share
- Post Reach: Not every follower will see everything you share; conversely, some things you post may appear to plenty of people who don’t follow you, by way of retweets, pins, or hashtags. Monitor your reach to see how many people are actually laying eyes on your content daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Shares, Retweets, and Mentions: Keeping an eye on these metrics, which catalog responses to your posts, will help you determine both how many people are talking about your social content, and what kind of conversations they’re having.
2.) Increase Website Traffic
It’s not a starry-eyed dream to launch your social media marketing campaign with the end goal of increasing website traffic. Plenty of brands have made great use of social media platforms as a steady source of referral traffic – so much so, in fact, that social once constituted almost a third of all referral traffic online, while Pinterest alone drove in nearly a quarter of all retail website referral traffic as of last year.
To see how many eager audience members you’re sending through to your landing pages, you’ll want to make use of Google Analytics. Pay particular attention to these metrics:
- Traffic from social media
- Social media as percentage of overall website traffic
- Bounce rate of social media traffic (i.e., how long do users stay after coming from your social feeds?)
If you use a social scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you may also be able to use their in-suite analytics tools to measure clicks, but these metrics, in our experience, can be a bit misleading, and won’t always correlate one-to-one with your Google Analytics results.
3.) Increase Engagement and Build Community
Maybe social media to you means… well, being social! Building a community of plugged-in, active users who show up on social media is a great way to retain customers and attract new ones. Research also suggests that users who are able to interact with you on social media are more likely to have a higher perception of your brand and give better recommendations.
What’s more? Increasing engagement is also a way to encourage clickthrough, conversions, and other goals we mention on this list; rather than pure chronology, social algorithms today tend to prioritize posts with higher engagement. So, the more people who like and interact with your content, the more total people who will see your content, total.
How engaging are you? Here’s where to look to find out:
- Comments, Mentions and Replies
4.) Provide More Efficient Social Service
In many ways, social media has become the front line for providing customer service, and users have high expectations when it comes time for you to respond to a complaint or assuage a doubt; in fact, a full 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour.
It’s unbelievably important to interact and engage with your audience – especially with their complaints. Maybe you’re just trying to get better at handling social complaints; maybe you’re trying to be able to secure more positive user-generated content; maybe you’re trying to make social media your primary channel for customer care.
Whatever your reasoning, providing more effective customer service on social media is a worthwhile goal. Our guide to reasonably and efficiently tackling customer service on social media is available here; here’s how to see if your efforts are working:
- Number of customer service questions: To determine this, you’ll need to closely monitor your replies, posts, reviews, and mentions, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, where people are most likely to first turn with questions.
- Average response time: Again, this will be something you’ll have to be diligently about tracking. Did it take you a day to respond to negative feedback? An hour?
For more detailed metrics, or if customer service is a key pillar of your online strategy, you may want to invest in a platform like Respond, LiveWorld, or Lithium. In addition to giving you a clearer total overall picture of how to interact with consumers online, many of these platforms offer pretty specific customer care metrics, such as “post-resolution feedback” and “time to first reply."
5.) Generate Leads and Conversions
Maybe for you, marketing, at the end of the day, is all about the conversion rates. Of course, conversions start as leads, and social media is a great way to start users down the path of your conversion funnel, putting them on your radar and encouraging them to become customers.
It’s important to realize that this goal can be a little bit tricky to measure, because exactly what makes someone a “lead” can be defined quite broadly. For our purposes, let’s think in terms of someone completing an action that you set out on your website or social media (that’s certainly how Google Analytics defines it). With that in mind, you may be able to gauge the efficacy of your social media marketing at securing leads by tracking:
- Email list sign-ups
- Form completions
- Gated content downloads
- Clicks and engagement with your shared links to lead generating content
The bottom line, here? You can’t be successful at social media marketing without having a concrete goal to work towards, and you can’t keep up with your goal if you don’t know where to look. Every brand is going to use social media a little differently, and to different ends – what matters is finding what works and what doesn’t for you.