Using social media as a small business can help you achieve certain goals for your brand – but never assume you’re going to get a brand new profit source, or become an internet sensation just because you’re on social media., however, you want to build a good relationship with customers or your target market, demonstrate your brand’s values and improve market awareness of your brand, products or services, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to set appropriate and effective goals for your social media.

Hate goal setting? Why you need to do it anyway

Without goals and objectives for your social media, you can’t build a plan for what you’re going to say, or how to encourage likers/followers to do what you want them to. It’s an overused analogy, but how do you get to your destination without a road map?

The goals of social media should be about community, awareness and engagement. They should not focus purely on achieving a sales target or getting new customers (although these may be a direct side effect of a good social media program). Anyone who tells you that social media is purely a numbers games is missing the point – and will eventually get left behind.

Setting small business social media goals
First up, it’s important that your social media goals are aligned with your overall marketing, brand and public relations goals. Ultimately, there are some core things you’re working towards in your business, right? Social media should be part of that. You don’t want the left hand operating independently of the right one.

As for themes, your social media goals should focus on achievements in growing your brand, improving its reputation, interacting with target markets and managing feedback. Goals can be reasonably broad in scope but you should be able to positively evaluate your success in reaching a goal within a timeframe. In short, whatever your goal is, you should be able to see if you’re achieving it or not.

Examples of good social media goals:

  • To grow a positive online community/following.
  • To engage with the online community and manage feedback and customer enquiries.
  • To ensure an active information flow between the business and its market.
  • To increase brand recognition in the online space.

Drilling down to your objectives

The next step is to set some objectives to achieve your goals. Objectives are the smaller strategic milestones that will take you towards achieving a broader goal. As with any business objectives, your objectives need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

Examples of un-SMART social media objectives

  • To make money from social media.
  • To get 10,000 likers/followers.
  • To create viral posts.
  • To exponentially increase traffic to my website or through the door of my business.

Examples of SMART social media objectives

  • To grow quality,organic likers at a rate of 5% per month by the end of this year.
  • To maintain an engagement level averaging 20% for this quarter.
  • To achieve a consistent 24 hours or less turnaround on responding to queries or feedback.
  • To collate and discuss positive and negative feedback patterns at monthly team meetings.

My suggestions for social media goals are based on integrating your marketing, public relations and community engagement. But every social media manager/marketer is different.

For me, the main goal of any social media campaign is a slow burn, positive effect that steadily grows or maintains your brand’s reputation and provides a two way information flow between your business and your target market and/or customers. Others take a more aggressive approach, claiming it’s purely a numbers game (quantity over quality).

So, what is your social media strategy?