If you plan to use or already use online marketing such as social media to get more traffic, more leads, or more customers, you need to set goals. Because without clear goals, you are literally aimless.
Social Media is a tool that can get you to your goals, but it is not a goal in and of itself. Posting for the sake of posting is totally useless and will not give you the results you want. So before you start using social media, it is vital to think about and plan what you want to get out of it. To do that, you need to set some concrete goals.
When it comes to goals, most people do it wrong.
Setting goals is usually where the problem starts because most people do it wrong. There is no single right way to set goals, but there are countless wrong ways to do it. The main mistake most people make when setting goals is making them too vague or too big. For example, “I want to be more successful on social media.” That seems like a great goal, but it’s probably not going to go well for you.
Why? Well, it’s just too vague. It’s too broad. And if you set goals like that, you are most likely setting yourself up for frustration and failure. One of the big issues that goal has is that it raises more questions than it answers. The most obvious one being – what is considered successful? If your answer is more followers, then all you need is one more person to follow you. Goal achieved, and everyone is happy. But nobody is going to be happy with that, yet the goal has been met.
However, all is not lost. In fact, that vague goal of more success on social media is a great starting point for defining and setting much more practical goals.
Why do you need goals?
First, setting goals gives you focus and guidance in the right direction. Without goals, the dreams you have for your business will stay just that… dreams.
By setting yourself goals, you know where you want to go and how you will get there.
One of the most famous and easiest to use is the SMART formula. Using this formula will help you set the kinds of goals needed to move your business forward. It will also increase the chances of success.
Setting SMART goals also makes sure you set the criteria to measure how your goals are coming along.
What are SMART goals?
SMART objectives are specifically formulated goals that make it possible to evaluate your online marketing strategy properly. SMART stands for:
How to use SMART goals
It is important to be clear and specific. Remember, this is about focus and motivation. Answering the “W” questions can help.
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- Why is it important?
- Who else is involved?
- Where is this happening?
- What are our resources or constraints?
Measuring your goals will help you determine if you are on track, ahead, or behind schedule. Questions to help you define the measurements:
- How many/much?
- How will I know when the goal has been reached?
It’s important to set goals that challenge you and your team, but they should also be something you and your team can actually reach. You also want to make sure you and your team have complete control to reach the goal. For this part, you should be able to answer questions like:
- How can I accomplish this goal?
- Do I have what and who I need to achieve this?
- Are there constraints or financial factors that affect whether or not I can achieve it?
Does this goal really matter to you or your company? Is this goal the most relevant? Many businesses on social media are driven by likes, but is that the most important? I can like private jets all day long, but I’m not ever going to be their customer.
- Is this really worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this support what my business truly needs?
Goals need target dates. Don’t set your goals to end when you meet certain criteria, like having a specific number of new customers. Instead, set your goal to have that number of new customers by a certain date. Deadlines create focus and make things a priority.
- When will this start or be finished?
A handy trick to formulate your SMART goals is the following:
I want to increase … by [percentage] (from [number/value] to [number/value]) by [date].
From vague goals to SMART goals
- Vague: I want more website traffic website
- SMART: I want to increase the number of visitors to my website by 20% (from 5000 to 6000 visitors per month) within 6 months, starting on September 1.
- Vague: I want more sales in my shop
- SMART: I want to increase the conversion rate of purchases from 2% to 5% for the upcoming quarter
- Vague: Get more followers on Instagram
- SMART: Get 500 more followers on Instagram within 4 weeks
- Vague: More leads from social media
- SMART: I want at least 3 appointments each week from LinkedIn before the end of March
As the examples show, the SMART method helps you bring your goals into sharp focus and make them concrete and actionable. Furthermore, there is no room for interpretation in these goals, which means no misunderstandings.
How can you set goals for social media?
When your goal is to live a happier life or be a successful entrepreneur, it’s hard to frame this as a SMART goal. Because it’s a feeling, you can’t really make it measurable. That is why it is wise to cut that big end goal into smaller pieces with SMART formulated objectives.
Let’s take another look at our big, vague goal of “I want to be more successful on Social media.”
Let’s make it more specific in 5 easy steps:
1 - What is your most important social media goal?
•What does “more successful” mean for you? More followers? More engagement? More brand awareness? Want to sell more in your shop? More leads? It has to be clear soyou to focus on it.
Posting on Instagram, chatting on LinkedIn, or creating videos for Facebook are no longer a waste of time as you now have a goal those things are accomplishing.
2 - Create sub-goals
3 - How are you going to achieve your goals?
Now that you know what you want to achieve and where you are going to do it, you must determine how you will do it.
By sharing relevant and valuable content at the right time, you attract new followers. What IS valuable content for your target audience? This is information that answers a question, fulfills a need, inspires, or prompts action. What is this for your company; are those tips? A free Ebook? Information about how your product makes their lives easier?
Determine exactly how you can get your target audience to take action. And stick to the 80-20 rule. 80% value, 20% promotion. It’s not called SOCIAL Media for nothing.
4 - Are there factors that could negatively affect your goal?
Do you have enough existing content? Images and videos that represent you and your company well? Is your web store easy to use on a tablet or cellphone so that people easily order or can they order directly from Facebook or Instagram?
5 - Make your goals measurable and concrete
The next step is to attach a deadline to this, as well as to make it concrete.
You want to reach 400 new followers within 1 month. You have something measurable. Don’t wait until the last day of the month to see how it’s going. Stay on top of it. 400 new followers in a month means roughly 100 every week or 14 a day. Check your numbers regularly. If your numbers are off and you haven’t checked until the last two days of the month, there’s nothing you can do to meet those numbers.
However, if you notice after 5 days that you have 1 new follower, you have the time to adjust and try to bridge the gap in order to achieve your goal.