Rare is the business today that does not utilize social media as a major aspect of their marketing strategy. While most generally agree that social media is a vital tool by which to communicate with vast audiences and potential customers, relatively few have a set of social media goals by which to measure success. Fewer still boast social media goals that are aligned with their overall business goals.

Why Do You Need Social Media Goals?

Instead of gauging social media success by tangible business goals, many businesses just “do” social media and expect it to work. Shooting at nothing guarantees a bullseye every time. Small wonder those same businesses are disenchanted with the results they achieve through social media. Why should you establish social media goals?
Advance Planning
Goals are necessary for advance planning and anticipating the long-term benefits from social media. Planning gives structure and motivation, as well as needed flexibility when changes must be adopted.
Showcasing Results
Goals and documented proof of tangible progress proves the overall effectiveness of your social media strategy. As you reach milestones of progress along your strategy timeline, showcasing the results can help inform and impact other areas of your business strategy, such as finance, production, and other advertising methods.
Dictating Future Strategies 
With results and any measurements of effectiveness in hand, focus can now be applied to setting future strategies. Future planning can focus on what resonates with customers based on your social media results. This allows constant improvements and refinements to conform to the needs of your audience.
Matching Business and Social Media Goals
For your social media goals to accomplish anything worthwhile for your business, they must be aligned with your overall business goals. The overall goal of every business is to make money; but what goals do you set to challenge effectiveness, quality, reach, consumer interest, and more? Without goals in vital areas of business, there is nothing for which to strive, and no standard of measurement.
Define Your Business Objectives
Establishing clear business goals will help your business be more intentional with social media activities.
Consider both short and long term goals, and construct your social media strategies appropriately. Here are some common business goals:

  • Increase profits – Most companies use social media to conduct paid advertising campaigns to sell products and/or services. Consider retargeting internet users who’ve visited your website without making a purchase. The right efforts can possibly bring them back to complete an incomplete purchase.
  • Improve customer satisfaction: Encouraging feedback and letting customer voices be heard is an effective strategy for social media and your company. A satisfied customer is the best brand ambassador for your business.
  • Sell more products: Highlight a specific product or service with a targeted social advertising campaign. Choose between cost per click or cost per conversion in order to determine specific marketing costs.
  • Retain customers: Engage with your current customers and fans to maintain goodwill. They will stay loyal when you ensure they are the first to know about exclusive special promotions, social media-only contests, and returning customer deals.
  • Explore a new market: Are you ready to discover an entirely new audience that would be open to your services, or perhaps test a completely new service offering or product? The measurement and testing tools available through social media platforms make it simple to measure and further optimize your efforts.

Pursue the Appropriate Social Media Strategy
After choosing your business goals, connect them with your social media strategy. Attaching social media goals to business goals will help you construct the action steps that will lead to success. Each business goal may have a number of action steps to follow. For each business goal, set up an appropriate social media strategy.
Set Marketing Goals
There are several ways to measure your Return on Investment (ROI), including:

  • Contest entries
  • Revenue
  • Clicks
  • Lead generation
  • Customer acquisition

To track and measure ROI, you must set end goals for your campaigns. In addition to increasing revenue, social media marketing can help improve your brand awareness and customer service. Determine the goals you will track for your different campaigns. Each goal should express the specific actions that users would take.
Choose Social Media Platforms
The social media channels you choose will depend on your social media goals. Audiences differ from industry to industry, and your target audience may prefer a specific platform or platforms. Visually-oriented industries, such as fashion, are much more active on Instagram than LinkedIn or Twitter.
The size of your audience, how much time they spend, and how often they visit particular social media platforms provide important insight about the content you should produce. Visual media is popular on Instagram, while video and articles are popular on Facebook and Twitter.
Develop a social media content strategy to establish your brand on the best social media platforms through which you will engage your audience. A social media strategy should describe your company voice, the type of content you will share, and other guidelines for engagement.
Track Your Campaigns
Remember to track your social media campaigns and adjust them to get the best performance. How else will you know if your social media strategies are contributing to meeting your business goals? Track every campaign you launch, and include every facet including activities done, cost of ads, posting frequencies and times, and more. There are many tools available, free and paid, to help you track social media metrics.
Compare tracking reports from differing time frames to determine the results generated from each social media platform. View each report with an eye on how your social media marketing activities can be improved, what is working well, and what should be discontinued.
Regardless of what social media platforms you use, they should be aligned with your specific business objectives. Matching social media and business goals helps to ensure you conduct successful marketing campaigns. It provides direction to your social media strategy and business goals that will ultimately lead to success and greater profitability.
How do you match social media goals and business goals in your company? What are some important tips or strategies you would pass on to our readers? Please share them and any other comments or suggestions below. And, if this article was helpful, why not share it with a friend?


About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”