Social media can be utilised to achieve a broad range of marketing goals. We’ve seen that it can be effective at every stage of the marketing funnel. But just because it can be used for multiple goals, doesn’t mean it should be – at least not all at the same time. In order to make social media as effective as possible decide what you’re optimising for and focus on achieving that. Here’s why and how.
Decide what you’re optimising for
We’ve built a five-step plan to help you improve your social media marketing moving forward by optimising for the things that really matter. Here it is:
- Define the role of social media in your business
- Identify meaningful goals
- Prioritise these goals
- Adjust your expectations
- Stay focused
Let’s take a closer look at each of these key stages.
1. Determine the role of social media
Your first challenge as a marketer is to identify the role social media plays in your business’s operations and growth. The role of social media should be inherently linked to any goals you set for your Facebook or Instagram presence, for example. Ideally, this role is something social media is already doing for your brand so your focus can be on adapting your strategy to magnify that effect.
If you decide social media should be playing an entirely different role to the one it currently does, you’ll need to totally overhaul your strategy. Either way, the next thing to do is develop meaningful goals based around social media’s primary function for your business.
2. Decide on meaningful goals
It’s important to have objective, measurable goals. But this doesn’t mean they must be obvious metrics such as increasing Facebook fans, for example. Whilst this may be a noble pursuit, this kind of vanity metric doesn’t generally hold much value of its own so it’s more likely to be part of a wider aim.
Your goals should be clear and measurable but it’s key that by achieving these goals, social media will have fulfilled its role in your business aims. Read more about social media goals and strategy here.
3. Prioritise your goals
You may have concluded that there are several roles social media plays for your business and there are four or five things you’d like to achieve on social media. That’s great but it’s down to you to decide what really matters at this point in time. Having one primary, overarching goal is what you need.
Note that it is possible to achieve more that one goal at one time but pursuing them simultaneously is rarely ideal.
It sounds basic, but if what you really want is consultation bookings you must optimise all your actions for this. If you want to increase your brand awareness amongst your audience, you must focus your efforts on this and appreciate that other metrics may not flourish to the same extent.
Having a clear sense of priority contributes to your long term social media success. Flitting between aims leads to partial progress; often insufficient time to really see how your strategy might play out; insufficient time to optimise those ads for maximum output.
4. Adjust your expectations accordingly
If social media’s role is purely to increase brand reach, don’t attach any sales expectations to it. That’s not to say that a reach campaign will not contribute to sales (it almost certainly will in the long term), but the campaign will simply not be set up to maximise sales.
Even with a huge content, management and ads budget, there will still be a need to prioritise. Spreading those resources across several goals still represents dilution.
5. Stay focused
One of the hardest parts of optimising your social media endeavours for one or two primary goals is having the ability to stay true to them. It is easy to become distracted by what other brands are doing or become disheartened that you’re not seeing a 360-degree improvement in your presence or marketing metrics.
It’s only when we remain committed to a goal over a sustained period that we begin to see if we can be truly effective. It takes time to hone massaging and imagery especially if targeting a new audience. Perfecting your Facebook ads campaigns requires analysis of data over time and your split-testing strategies will likely happen over a period of weeks or months.
Overall, how you execute your social strategy will be unique to your brand and it may well be within your company’s capabilities to achieve multiple things at once.
Setting yourself up for success is easier if you have a solitary primary focus. This way, all of your efforts, research and strategic thinking can go into