Social media is always evolving and there is a lot of noise out there in the market. For an internet retailer, things can quickly get confusing and overwhelming as they are constantly bombarded with new information, best practices, and vendors pitching new social tools/platforms. This makes setting clear social media goals and objectives all the more important. Goals help you navigate through all the noise, help you stay focused and help you choose the right social media strategies, tools, and platforms. Some of your goals may include:
- Increasing sales or leads
- Building engagement and awareness around your brand or products
- Increasing your Twitter followers or Facebook “Likes”
- Improving customer service
- Customer data – learning about who they are, where they live and what they want/need
- Building a community
- Brand recognition
Not all strategies, tools, and platforms are created equal. Some are better suited to help with one goal but not another. Setting clear goals before hand will save you a lot of time and money when it comes time to choose the social tools tools you need because you will know exactly what tools you need to help you accomplish your goals. This will also help both you and the various vendors you are talking to determine if there is a right fit between your needs and what they are offering. Just like with personal goals, social media goals need to be measurable. Measure metrics around engagement, reach and influence in order to determine if your social initiatives are successful or not.
In short, the questions every retailer needs to ask themselves before devoting a significant amount of time and resources into social are:
- What do we want to accomplish with our social media marketing?
- How do these objectives align with our overall company goals? Do they align with our revenue goals?
- How do we know our social initiatives are successful?
Once an online retailer has a good understanding of what they want to accomplish with social, they only thing left to do is to find the right tools and platforms that will pave the way to social success.