"A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder." - Thomas Carlyle
It sounds obvious but without clear objectives, it is unlikely that you will be able to reach your goals whatever they are. Never is this truer than in the world of Social Media but with so many possible objectives and metrics which one is most important to your organisation?
Success on Social Media depends on what you want to achieve and no that’s not me just being vague! For instance, a large corporate retail company might be more concerned with ultimately generating more sales and be more interested in high-profile integrated campaigns. A charity, on the other hand, might be running an awareness campaign or is aiming to inspire fundraiser engagement. In each case, the strategy and approach would be entirely different. What is more, larger companies might have a large dedicated marketing budget to further enhance their Social Media plan with paid support or greater resources whereas a charity might not be in a position to do this.
How to measure success
When creating a Social Media strategy it is necessary to start with the organisation's objectives. Here are some ideas to get you into the mindset:
· Greater Engagement – Increase in activity around your content (such as likes and comments) over a specific time period
· Greater Visibility – Increase in the number of people seeing your posts over a specific time period
· Increase in Traffic to website – Growth in the number of visitors to your site as a consequence of your Social Media marketing activity
· Increase in Website Goal Conversions – Goal conversions could be almost anything such people who went on to buy from you or downloaded some resources from a specific web page.
These are by no means the only ones so be sure to choose ones that have relevance to you. In addition, take into account the current position of Social Media in your organisation and how much time and resources you can dedicate to making it a success. You may have the best plan in the world but if you are not able to put it into action it won’t be a lot of use! Social Media needs to sit and function harmoniously in your business or organisation before you can make impact externally.
You will face challenges and you may not get the right formula straight away. Ensure you are monitoring your progress and changing your targets as required like a ship adjusting its course. So if you’re setting sail into the uncharted waters of Social Media make sure you have a clear idea of your objectives. It will save you time and energy in the long term.