Social Media Marketing Strategy: Setting Social Media Goals

Let's talk about setting social media KPIs Once you've created a buyer persona and mapped out some S-M-A-R-T goals, you can do a deeper dive and determine what key performance indicators, or KPIs, you should be targeting in your social media strategy

A KPI is a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, or project in meeting objectives for performance Knowing what your KPIs are from the start will help you make crucial decisions on content, advertising, budget, and other resources you may need The main thing to consider is how you can develop actionable goals instead of goals of merely reporting a high result on a vanity metric And what's a vanity metric? Simply put, a vanity metric is a surface-level metric made up of numbers or statistics that look great on paper but don’t correlate to business success For example, follower count is probably one of the fluffiest of the various KPIs

Having as many followers as possible may look impressive, but if they aren't the right people following you — the ones who will buy your products and services — then that follower count is essentially only a vanity metric "I would say for about the last decade, there's been a large focus on accumulating and amassing and building the biggest possible audience, and I truly believe that we've been focused on the wrong thing I'm a big fan of Kevin Kelly's concept of a thousand true fans Far better to have an audience of your thousand true fans who rave about you, who buy everything that you offer, who share your content, engage with your content On Facebook, they have you on see first

They have your notifications turned on They tune into your Facebook lives They're engaged in your Facebook groups It's much better that than having millions of fans or followers that don't really engage with you, or they're maybe not even your right target market To set the right KPIs, you need to go back to your business goals

If your goal is to increase sales, vanity metrics such as numbers of likes, shares, retweets, followers, and page views are not going to be the most important metrics for you to measure But, if your goal is awareness, then those metrics may not just be vanity metrics Followers, reach, and page views may be more important for you Let's break this down a bit further There are four categories of social media KPIs, and most of your targets should fall within those areas

Let's start by looking at Reach These KPIs tend to be the most fluffy and they veer toward what many think are vanity metrics, but if your business goals are tied to company awareness and reaching as many qualified users as possible, then these may be the KPIs you want to measure Follower count: how many individuals follow your social channels Impressions: how often your content is viewed Mentions: how many times your brand is mentioned across social channels

Share of voice: how many people are talking about your brand vs the competition Engagement is next These KPIs demonstrate how engaged your audience is and how they may be interacting with your content, which is usually a better indicator than reach when it comes to measuring the success of your campaigns The following KPIs measure how people are taking action in relation to your brand

Likes or favorites indicate that your viewers appreciate the content This is a simple action and often one of the biggest vanity measures but useful to measure to determine if the content is of interest Comments indicate direct engagement with your content Sharing and retweets demonstrate that your audience cares enough about the content that they want to let others know This also increases reach and awareness

Customer ratings and reviews demonstrate strong engagement and opinion They are also one of the biggest indicators to other people that a product or a service is worth buying Inbound website links from social media show that your content is interesting enough for your audience to click through to your site Measuring social media ROI and garnering leads are goals that many salespeople and executives will gravitate toward While often harder to drive, these are the types of KPIs that can directly affect the business's bottom line

This means that executives may be more open to listening to proposals from your social team when it comes to asking for additional budget or headcount to meet these business goals Some of these KPIs include: Direct sales revenue from social media, such as orders that come in from a coupon or links into your website that lead to purchase Lead conversions from social media campaigns This may vary from company to company but could include email signups, downloads of materials like an ebook, or activations of trial software Support costs per customer

If your business goal is to reduce customer support call costs, for example, you may want to set KPIs for how many calls you can offset by helping them on your social media channels instead Lifetime value This is the projected revenue a customer will generate in their lifetime There are a variety of ways to calculate this number, and how you acquire the customer — in this case, through social media, especially acquisition plays and customer touch points — will affect the lifetime value Last, but definitely not least, is retention and loyalty

If your business goals are centered around customer service excellence or on retaining customers, then your social KPIs should be aligned to reflect this Consider the following: Customer reviews and ratings – mentioned previously, these are a fantastic measure of how your customers think about your brand and products Issues resolved demonstrates how well you're doing (or not doing) taking care of your customers through social media Another metric to consider in tandem is your SLA, or service-level agreement In the social space the SLA usually refers to how long time passes between when a customer reaches out and when there is a response

Note that a response doesn't always mean the issue is resolved–that might be another KPI to consider Time to resolution: How long it takes for a question that comes in from social media to receive not just a reply, but a resolution Customer satisfaction – it's often tracked with a net promoter score (often called NPS), this gives you a sense of whether or not your social customer efforts are working Sentiment is a tricky metric to measure, but it's important because sentiment tells you what people are thinking and feeling about your brand Is it negative? Perhaps your KPI should be set to shift that balance to positive

And lastly, make sure to revisit your KPIs on a six month to yearly basis Not only does the world of social media change — and fast — but your business changes, too If your business goals change, then your KPIs probably need to be reworked as well Now you have the foundation for developing KPIs that will help you prove the value of your social media efforts

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