So the time has come. You or your organization has finally decided to bite the bullet and wade into the world of social media. But where do you even start? Simple answer; define your objective(s). But how do I do that? How do you establish social media objectives for your business?
Let’s start at the beginning.
align social media objectives for business with everything else
Social media objectives should align with business objectives. Most of these usually revolve around an element of one or more of the following: awareness, sales or intelligence.
Whether enlisting social media for marketing or public relations (although the line is incredibly blurred, I prefer a hybrid of both called Opportunity Marketing) the nature of social media allows you to tie business objectives to your social media activities so you can make a measurable impact that can be reviewed and impacted in the future.
Establishing Objectives When Awareness Is A Business Goal
If awareness is key, then your social media objectives revolve around any combination of the following. Share of voice, thought leadership or reach. At the heart of this is content so blogging and an editorial approach is best. Your social media objective is to establish a following at the simplest level. Over time your objectives can be to make the needle move on share of voice, thought leadership and reach. Thought leadership and reach can almost be interchangeable but the metric is somehow tied to seeing 1.) how far your perspective travels and 2.) if people come to you seeking your perspective. This can be in the form of back links or interview requests.
Establishing Objectives When Sales Are A Business Goal
This one is fairly self-explanatory. If sales are a goal then your social media objective is to create as much potential to generate leads or close sales. This can be as simple as posting coupons on Facebook and tracking redemption in store or as complicated as setting up back end Google analytics that tracks conversions by traffic source.
Establishing Objectives When R&D Is A Business Goal
The beauty of social media is that it allows any business, no matter how big or small, to keep a finger on the pulse of “what’s going on.” That’s a loaded phrase that can mean something as simple as monitoring what’s being said about your brand to identifying potential crisis or industry trends that can impact your bottom-line.
Just get going
The key is to not over-think it. It’s important to think about it, but make a decision and start going. Social media is a fluid, living and dynamic tool in your organizations marketing and communications arsenal intended to adapt to your needs over time. Don’t be slave to any one strategy.