How to Set Kick-Arse Social Media Goals for Your Small Business
We know now, more than ever, that setting up social media for your small business not only promises awareness and recognition of your brand within the online world, it also offers your business a sense of legitimacy. We’re living in the digital age; therefore, not having a social media presence for your business is, to the rest of the world, like saying your business doesn’t exist.
Doing it without any main objectives or goal-setting framework, though? That’s kind of like fumbling around in the darkness, knowing you could turn on the light and make life a whole lot easier, but struggling on anyway. In short: it’s not the most effective way to get the most from your efforts.
To make social media a viable and valuable asset, you need to set strong and effective goals that align with the needs of your business.
Why should you set social media goals?
Social media offers us solopreneurs and small business owners the ability to interact with our customers and potential new clients in ways we’ve never been able to before; we can share images of our products and services, the behind-the-scenes action and effort that goes into creating them, and receive comments, feedback and likes – all with the quick tap of a screen.
But if you’re putting all your time and energy into creating and refining a social media presence for your business, it’s important for you to know that it’s actually achieving your objectives and giving you a return on your investment (or ROI for short).
Setting goals in this area not only gives you something to work towards, but also a tangible way to measure your success, tweaking your goals as you go along.
First: begin with a social media audit
More than likely, you’ve already set up a social media presence for your brand, and what an audit allows you to do is examine your profiles from both a specific and holistic point of view and assess what areas could be improved to boost your brand’s positive exposure and financial returns as a result.
Here’s a checklist of the things to review during your audit:
Ensure all the relevant information about your business is up to date across all social media accounts – think bios, about pages, hyperlinks, physical shop address, contact number and email address
Is your branding consistent across all the social media channels you’re using? This includes pictures, colours, fonts – anything that distinguishes your brand.
Dig deeper into who your brand’s demographic is and compare with the stats you’re receiving in your social media analytics to knuckle down your target audience
Examine your posting schedule – the time of day, day of the week, the types of images and the style and lengths of captions that go with them – and ask what needs improvement, what you could be doing more (or less) of, and are your engagement rates equal to the effort you’re putting into your content.
Another tip: after you’ve completed an audit on your socials, try doing an audit on the social channels of other businesses in your field that you admire. It’s a good way to discover what others are doing well and something to aspire to with your own channels.
Fresh and haven’t yet created your social media channels? A social media audit is still a great way to brainstorm the best direction to take your social accounts and can be used as a checklist to tick off during the planning and creation process.
A social media audit of your chosen platforms will give you a baseline to work from to measure your growth in all areas once you’ve implemented the strategies to achieve your social media goals.
Now ask: what do you want your social media to achieve? Find your overall objective.
This is an important one, because your overall objective for having social media for your small business and your goals for your small business social media will likely align on a pyramid-like level.
So start by figuring out what your overall objective is; the one overarching objective that all your social media efforts will ultimately culminate in. Where does all this effort lead?
For a lot of businesses, the most obvious objective would be to generate revenue. For others, though, the objective might be to create and grow a community, use social media as a portal for traffic to their website, be the embodiment of their brand’s mission statement, or bring greater awareness to an important cause.
Locking in your main objective can feel overwhelming; it can be hard to distil all your reasons and purpose for having social media into a single phrase. This is where your goal setting comes into play, breaking down it into smaller, achievable increments that will all build towards your major defining objective.
Be SMART when setting your goals
You might have seen this clever little acronym around before. Why? Because it’s great. The SMART goal-setting framework is a useful and to-the-point tool that will help you nail what you need to think about when creating and defining your social media goals.
S – Specific: keep your goals clear and defined; who, what, where, when, why and how
M – Measurable: ensure you have a series of metrics and analytics to review your progress
A – Achievable: can you accomplish these goals with the time and resources at your disposal?
R – Relevant: will this goal help you achieve your overall business objective?
T – Timely: all goals need a timeframe. How much time will you have to reach your goal?
Your goals can be focused anywhere from what you’d like to achieve each week, and build to what you’d like to achieve in a year – there’s no limit. In our opinion, the latter option is a great place to start because you’re looking at the bigger picture of your small business. From here you can break things down into incremental goals that ultimately achieve larger goals, which eventually fulfil your overall objective.
Common examples of social media goals that small businesses want to achieve include:
Increasing brand awareness
Creating a loyal following/community
Driving traffic to your website
Developing greater, more transparent communication with customers
While not necessary to begin with, it’s worth noting that once you’ve set your goals, over time you may find that different social media channels call for different goals. Instagram could be the perfect platform for your small business to build brand awareness because it’s so visual, while Facebook is the place you’ll focus on driving traffic to your website.
We recommend starting out by setting the same goals for all channels and then fine tuning them later down the track as you discover what works best for each platform.
Measuring your success with the relevant metrics
Now that you’ve locked in your overall objective, set a series of goals to work towards, created a stack of content designed to achieve said goals and overall objective, and a period of time has passed, you need to measure your social media metrics to ensure you’re on the right track.
Remember that social media audit we discussed earlier? It will be the baseline you compare your new metric data against and will reveal how effective your content has been in achieving your social media goals (and, if you audited other accounts in your field, this’ll show you how your profile fares against your competitors)
First you’ll need think about what you’ll be measuring and identify the metrics you’ll need to take note of.
For example, if you’re measuring brand awareness your metrics should include:
Once you have your list you can compare these against the baseline you established in your audit.