It is predominantly accepted by most business owners that they need social media. They understand most people use some sort of social networking platform and they understand they need to reach their audience there.
However, I frequently see people misunderstand what their main social media objectives should be.
You can't just jump on social and start posting content and call it a sound marketing strategy. You need to understand what you are trying to do on social media first and foremost.
Remember, at it's very core, social media platforms are expanding your network and the ways in which you offer information about your product or service to your target market.
In order to determine your social media objectives, you need to evaluate five things:
1. Your overall marketing performance. Look at how your other marketing tactics are performing. Generally when running a small business we want to grow. In order to grow we need to do two core things: generate leads and raise brand awareness. When analyzing your other marketing tactics look at what they are and/or aren't delivering. Evaluate where you need to strengthen.
2. Analyze your buyer personas. Now that you know where you are lacking in your marketing efforts and what the base of your objectives need to focus on (raising brand awareness, generating leads or both) you need to look at how your target audience is using social media. Depending on what your product or service is will greatly determine what social media platforms you are going to be on. Consider where your target audience is, what they are typically doing in this particular venue and if there is a way for you to communicate the messages you need to.
3. Determine what additional materials are required. Create specific deliverables/pathways that allow you to achieve your objective. You need to have a way to generate leads and/or deliver core messages in the form of blog posts, videos, ebooks, etc. to raise brand awareness. What are you able to offer tangibly that will leave an impression or convert a prospect?
4. Incorporate social media into your overall marketing strategy. In addition to determining what you need to create, look at what other marketing and public relations materials you already have at your disposal to offer your target market. Get creative and think of how can you cross promote materials that you use in other marketing tactics.
5. Determine how you are going to measure your objectives. It is essential that your objectives can be measured in someway in the first place! Once you know where you are going to be doing what with your social media marketing strategy you need to determine some goals associated with a timeline.
When trying to determine what your social media objectives should be, bottom line, you need to always be looking at the bigger picture of your company. What is best for your small business and how can you use social media as a tool to deliver?