Unsure About Your Social Media Goals?

November 14, 2017 by

social media goalsHave you noticed that social media sites don’t advertise? People flock to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest without any urging from TV, radio, or print advertising.

What’s their secret?

The demand was already there…people love to share their news, interests, and opinions online!

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are just more sophisticated platforms for doing what we’ve done over the web from the beginning. Back when you posted and commented with just a modem. Even then, we shared what we knew and felt.

The essence of social media is liking, commenting, and sharing. Relevant posts get likes. Posts that move people get comments and maybe a share. For the right audience, a post might provide an answer to an important question, thus drawing clicks to websites for more information.

And the power of social media marketing is in the exponential reach with which a post can scale. If you have 100 followers on your business’s Facebook page, and just a few of them share your post, it appears on their follower's feeds. Then add in your employees’ shares. You see the ease in getting your name in front of lots of interested people.

The best part is, unless you’re marketing on Pay Per Click, the use of the platforms is free. But how do you take advantage of this dynamic media?

If you’re unsure about your social media marketing, the first step is to understand its nature: people expressing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It never was built for sales, just sharing. That’s an important point to get.

It’s like joining the local country club to play golf, which I did years ago when I was an insurance agent.

I joined because I love to play golf. But for business reasons, too. I wanted to meet people and get my name out there. Maybe answer the questions my golfing buddies had about insurance. But never coming out and selling.

Imagine, as an insurance agent, my first tee conversation after picking up sides for a $5 Nassau. My partner and I win the toss and hit first. Just before my partner prepares to hit his drive, I say, “Put a smooth swing on it. Oh, yeah, after you hit, I want to talk to you about a home insurance policy especially for you!”

Nobody would ever play with me again!

If they ask you about insurance, fine, inform them. Tell jokes about your business. But nobody sells on the golf course during a friendly Saturday morning round.

Social media marketing is like that. It’s getting your name out there, getting acquainted and being generous with your knowledge. It’s a conversation with your audience, a way to get attention. Not a chance to sell them.

But to get the most out of that conversation, you’ve got to ask yourself, What kinds of content will resonate with my audience? Which platforms are they on? If you’re going to market on social media, it can’t just be random. As with any of your marketing, you need some structure. You have to have goals.

An aside: (Before we get to the goals, I’ll never forget the joke in a Woody Allen movie where Woody is in prison and condemned to spend 30 days in the “hole” with a life insurance agent. Following Woody down the stairs is the well dressed agent carrying his brief case enthusiastically crooning, “Have I got a policy for you!” Then the door at the top of the hole slams shut over them both. One of my favorite Woody Allen scenes, especially since I was a life insurance agent. Very funny. As with social media, there's a time and a place.)

Choose from These Proven Social Media Goals

From the list below, pick one primary and one, two, or three secondary social media goals. And, yes, the goals overlap in places. Nothing set in stone, but useful as guidelines.

1. Reach a larger audience of readers, prospects, and customers
Especially effective for businesses with products and services that can easily sell to a broad marketplace.

2. Build Your Brand
Establish your authority in the marketplace. Use social media to get your name out there and gain popularity. Great not only for larger companies but also for solo entrepreneurs, consultants, and freelancers.

3. Engage Your Readers
News and book publishers. Special interest websites like food, sports, or politics.

4. Engage Influencers and Connectors
Reach out to people who make a difference in your marketplace and ask them to blog or post on social media about your product. Also, comment and share their posts. This is great for freelancers or solo businesses getting the word out.

5. Increase Customer Loyalty
When trust is a factor in your business, such as a bank or insurance agency, publishing helpful, engaging content on social media increases customer loyalty. You can also develop special access and loyalty programs on social media.

6. Drive People to Places and Events
Restaurants, bars, retail brick and mortar businesses, chambers of commerce, non-profits all benefit from social media getting people excited about their establishments and events.

7. Improve Customer Service
Companies search Twitter and Facebook for good and bad reviews, then answer them personally online. Establishes a more intimate connection with customers.

8. Generate Direct Sales
For the most part, social media isn’t a place for sales (see our conversation on the first tee above). But retail businesses can set up a page on Facebook to sell online. See 1-800-Flowers.

What Are My Most Important Social Media Goals?

You might think I would pick as my primary goal, “Reaching a larger audience of readers, prospects, and customers.” After all, more people equals more customers, right? Thing is, I work alone. My Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is that I offer individual attention to my clients. No passing them around to various agency personnel.

Which means, I can only work with a small number of clients at a time. So my primary goal is number 2 above, “Build Your Brand.” I try to post helpful, actionable information from my own blog posts and from others in the content marketing world. That builds my authority in the marketplace and proves I have the knowledge and experience to help businesses market with content.

My secondary goals are “Engage Influencers and Connectors” and “Increase Customer Loyalty.” Can you guess why these are my two secondary social media goals? Go ahead and comment below.

There’s more to social media marketing success than goals. Who is your audience? What platforms do they use? What kinds of information are the interested in?

I can help you with figuring out what social media goals should drive your campaign. Find out more here. And more on social media marketing in posts to come.

Until next time,
Nick

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