We recently published a guide that outlines the most important social media metrics for you to understand as a small business owner (if you haven't checked it out yet, you can do so here). Now that you are familiar with social media metrics, the next step is to set some objectives for your brand!
Why is setting social media objectives so important?
Setting measurable objectives is essential in any facet of running a business. You probably already have objectives set for profits, revenue, and other critical measurements of your brand's success. Social media metrics should be treated the same way!
Without social media objectives, it would be impossible to tell if your time and effort are being put to good use. Objectives make sure that you are always moving forward and trying to improve upon your current results. They also let you examine what's working for your brand and what isn't.
Figuring out what isn't working is sometimes more important than figuring out what is! Objectives also increase productivity - everyone works harder when there's a goal to meet!
What types of businesses should set social media objectives?
Easy question - every business with an online presence should be setting social media objectives! They don't need to be as robust as the objectives set by large companies like Apple or Target; any small business can make a gameplan that fits its needs.
Alright, now that I get WHY social media objectives are so important, HOW do I create them?
We'll get you started in no time with this 6 step guide!
1) Identify which metrics are important to your brand
What do you consider the most critical metrics in your social media strategy? Followers? Engagement? Engagement Rate?
Our social media metrics blog article discusses seven of the most important numbers to measure, but every business is different (some companies use social media for lead generation, driving product sales, etc.).
Make a list of which metrics you consider valuable to your unique strategy.
2) Measure your current performance
It's hard to set goals if you don't know where you currently stand! How many followers do you currently have on Instagram? What is your current engagement rate on Facebook? We suggest making a spreadsheet that lays out all of your current social media data to keep things organized and in one place.
3) Decide on measurable growth objectives
Now comes the fun part - deciding on your objectives! You basically have two options here: aiming for a specific number, or a specific growth rate. Both options can be useful for various metrics.
For example, if you currently have 200 Instagram followers, your goal could be to get to 300 followers OR increase your follower count by 50%. Both options work, so pick whichever you prefer.
You also need to decide on a timeframe for your objectives. The easiest way to go about it is by setting a single time frame for all of your objectives. This could be updated monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
If you have past social media data, your life will be even easier for setting objectives. For example, Facebook allows you to see your follower count over time in the Insights tab. If your follower count grew by 30% last year, maybe you want to set your goal for 45% this year.
We encourage you to set your objectives high, but reachable. Even if you don't quite reach them, you can still be happy about the progress you made!
4) Set up a game plan to achieve these objectives
Now that you've set your objectives, it's time to figure out how you're going to reach them! Are your current strategies going to be enough to meet your goals?
If you've set your objectives high enough, you will most likely have to think of a few new innovative ideas to reach them. What exciting content do you want to post? Do you want to run some contests/giveaways? Be creative!
5) Measure your progress as you move along
As you move along your timeframe, you can stop and measure where you currently stand against your goals. Are you projected to surpass your goals, or will you fall short if your growth rates remain stagnant? Measuring your results allows you to make adjustments to your current strategy and optimize for the future.
What types of content are helping you towards your objectives, and which aren't performing so hot? Sometimes you have to remove certain parts of your strategy and replace them with fresh ideas!
6) Finalize your results, and repeat the process
When your timeframe comes to an end, it's time to see if your current metrics match up to the objectives you previously set. If you didn't quite reach your goals, don't worry! You can always make improvements in the future.
The fact that you're setting goals and trying to reach them is something to be proud of in itself. On the other hand, if you DID surpass your goals, give yourself a pat on the back (or a margarita or two)! It's surprising the amount of progress you can make when you have a clear sight of what you want to achieve.
When this process is over, just re-apply this process for your next timeframe. Take the things you learned from this last cycle, and apply them to your future social media strategy. Just make sure to always keep striving to improve and innovate - never be satisfied!
Setting social media objectives is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. We hope this guide helps you create a game plan that perfectly fits your brand's online presence!
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