Everybody uses social media, there’s no avoiding it. It’s our favorite place to remain connected to friends, family, colleagues, news, and, most significantly to marketers and companies.

There are now quite 2.3 billion active social media users, which makes social media an unavoidable part of your marketing strategy. Unlike the past where marketers blindly advertised and hoped for the results to go their way, social media provides your company the chance to interact with customers in real time. Customer complaint? You'll solve it. Positive customer review? You'll thank the user and offer a present or promotion almost instantly.

Simply being there isn’t enough. Your company must engage and interact to grow a loyal following.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Social Media Goals

The most important aspect of any social media marketing strategy is to line S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Posting blindly and expecting to realize massive amounts of latest sales would be like cooking without the proper ingredients and expecting perfection. By setting goals before you start, it’s easier to live success or failure. These goals aren’t always focused on money or return on investment, and that they shouldn’t be. Social media marketing is more about engagement and providing solutions to problems instead of selling.

5 Goals of Social Media Marketing:

1. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is all about your brand becoming relevant to potential buyers. This suggests posting content regularly that answers the questions your customers are asking. That content includes links to blog posts, infographics, statistics, and relevant articles. But don’t forget to point out the planet that your brand is by posting photos of employees, the office, and company events. You’ll also post humorous, relevant memes that support your brand. This may help build a reference to customers.

Analytics to Track:

· Increase Engagement
· Followers
· Likes
· Retweets
· Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal:
· Gain 1,000 Twitter followers by the top of the month.

2. Enhance PR

By following your company’s mentions, you'll determine what customers are saying about your brand, and answer complaints during a timely manner. In fact, consistent with Social Media Today, when companies engage and answer customer service requests over social media, those customers find yourself spending 20% – 40% more with the corporate. Responding quickly and solving problems allows you to remain before large-scale complaints and make brand loyalty. This sort of engagement is simpler by using tools like a Unified Social Inbox.

Analytics to Track:
· Improve Relationships
· Mentions
· Ratings
· Reviews

Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

Gain 10 5-Star Reviews on Google in three months.

3. Build Community of Advocates

Brand loyalty has always been one among the foremost important factors in future growth. Within the past, companies relied on word of mouth. Now, social media provides a completely new platform where brand loyalty is often shared with thousands of individuals in real time.

For instance, because the amount of photos of food increases on social media, restaurants are offering promotions and discounts for people who post pictures of their food on social media. That gives the restaurant with exposure and therefore the customer feels connected.

Analytics to Track:

· Follows
· Mentions
· Likes
· Retweets

Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

Achieve 10 mentions every week on Twitter within three months.

4. Research and Development

By constantly engaging with customers, your company can stay awake so far on the issues they’re facing and develop solutions. Even as importantly, follow your competitors on social media to ascertain how they engage their customers, if they’re facing any complaints, and if they’re rolling out any promotions or new products. An excellent thanks to track competitors is using Custom Search Feeds, where you'll create and save feeds supporting specific keywords.

Analytics to Track:

· Keep Track of Competition
· Increase Engagement
· Insights into Customer Problems

Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

Engage 10 customers a month on various social media channels about problems for 3 months.

5. Driving Sales and Leads

If you’re not leveraging social media to accumulate leads and generate sales, you’re not using social media properly. This is often what most companies strive for first, but fail to understand that without time spent on the primary four goals, it’s unlikely that sales will grow.

Social media provides the right opportunity to interact with potential customers, both on a private level and an organizational level, to measure their pain points, and to know their basic corporate culture. This data allows for a warm call once you first engage, as against a chilly call.

Aspects to Track:

· Increase Web Traffic
· Click Through Rate
· Call To Actions
· Landing Pages

Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal:
Average 5% Click Through Rate on Tweets by end of year.

Leveraging Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business

Social media marketing may be a multi-faceted approach that, when used properly, can help grow your business by creating brand awareness, engaging with customers, and finding new customers. It is, however, impossible to be everywhere, which is why you would like to seek out the social media channels that are right for your company and your brand. As an example, 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35. But although that’s your target market, it still doesn’t mean Instagram is the right channel for your brand.

Your organization must set S.M.A.R.T. goals so successes and failures are often measured properly. More often than not, especially within the beginning, it's better to specialize in engagement and building a presence. If you jump right into selling, you'll lose traction before getting started. Use your knowledge and expertise to supply solutions to problems, and you'll present your company as a trusted advisor that folks want to shop for from.

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