I’m often asked by people, “How do you identify social objectives?” My answer is always: “Tie it back to the actual business objectives.” More often than not, I’m given a semi-blank stare, with a response related to how difficult that can actually be. There are many tools available that help us track the success of social campaigns. Here are some common social business objectives that can be applied to any launch campaign:

Gaining brand exposure

Exposure is an important and powerful metric to measure. When your content is good, social can help you push your content further beyond your own audiences – to even those who may not have heard of you.

Fostering consumer dialogue

The objective of creating a conversation or dialogue between an organization and its consumers is grounded in the fundamental concept of using social media to facilitate conversations between people. These dialogues require brands to act in a genuine manner. Components of the dialogue include: building awareness by initiating conversations (creating original content), engaging with consumers to understand their response to ideas, thoughts, products, etc., and responding to individuals through genuine interactions (a great way to instill trust).

Promoting consumer advocacy

This objective really involves enlisting the support and dedication of individuals who are ambassadors of a brand/company, without having an official connection. This type of advocacy allows brands to extend their reach by taking advantage of the word of mouth opportunities. Consumer advocacy requires: nurturing existing relationships, encouraging word of mouth activity and developing relationships with folks who have an affinity with your brand.

Facilitating customer support

This business objective represents the major shift in consumer empowerment – which has been enabled by social media. Consumers can now turn to social media channels to share their issues. They can certainly share your praises for everyone to hear, but can just as easily throw you under the bus. This has also led to the expectation of instantaneous responses to their social posts. With that said, consumers who are listening and sharing, will develop (and share) their impressions of your brand based on your ability to respond to them in a timely manner, along with the quality of your answers. Support requires the following: expediting issue resolution (and communicating it), resolving the issues through the social channels and ultimately satisfying customers.

Learning from the conversations

This should be an obvious objective for all organizations. It’s important to realize that every conversation with an advocate, customer, etc. provides an opportunity to learn. The best businesses will embrace these experiences and formalize the learning process by tracking insight, dialogue and even complaints, as a part of their long term growth and strategy.

Read more: Content Marketing and Social Business