Creating goals for a social media campaign requires mixing common sense and traditional techniques that have been used for years for other kinds of promotional campaigns, with a few new ones that match the upgraded technology. You can get more accomplished with new ways of measuring progress, than working backwards towards overall business objectives - without losing touch with the fundamentals of goal-setting.
Types of social media campaign goals
Increasing brand awareness might be your primary social media goal, especially if your company is a relative latecomer to social media itself. Achieving that awareness through social media means driving more web traffic, gaining visitor loyalty and improving conversion rates (the portion of your visitors who decide to buy what you're selling).
Social media campaign goals generally fall into these types (with examples):
- Activity-based - getting more visitor "likes" on pages.
- Audience-building - increasing page traffic and "retweets."
- Engagement - increasing visitor time at a page, or comments on posts.
- ROI - converting more visitors to customers for dollars spent on content.
Examples of conversion might be users completing surveys or signing up to receive added benefits, or purchasing your goods or services (of course).
Common sense elements of creating campaign goals
Much can be learned from longstanding approaches to goal-setting. One related framework that traces its routes back to the early 1980s is S.M.A.R.T., where:
- "S" = specific
- "M" = measurable
- "A" = attainable
- "R" = relevant
- "T" = time-bound
Specificity can be constructed around who, what, where, why and which. This helps make your goals measurable, so you'll know when you've achieved them. Attainable keeps your goals realistic, while relevancy focuses them on your business objectives. Time helps define and complement the other dimensions.
In a social media campaign you might start with specific measurables like traffic and conversion rates. Next, you would generate related targets keyed to broader business objectives, finally set the month and year you want to see your targets reached.
Adapted goal-setting for social media campaign
Where social media offers opportunities to savvy small businesses, its technology also alters the approach to creating subsequent campaign goals, because of all the data you’ll have to work with. Social media introduces advanced ways to measure progress continuously. Generally these metrics boil down to traffic, conversion, engagement and return on your investment.
Working from these metrics backward to connect with your company goals exploits the latest technology while rooting results in your type of business and culture, so you get the most out of your social media campaign.
Social media also offers new ways to involve your entire team (or "audience") directly and continuously throughout your campaign. This degree of “sharing” will help keep your team aligned with tasks and goals and motivated to achieve them.