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How to Create and Track Goals for Your Social Media Accounts
  • 17 April 2017
  • Eric Michaels

How to Create and Track Goals for Your Social Media Accounts

No matter what type of business you run, you can benefit from having a solid social media strategy in place. Though it may not be necessary to download and try every new social media app, it always pays for you to actively post and advertise on platforms that your customers use. Unfortunately, many business owners start producing social media content without determining a way to measure their results. Without hard performance data, you may waste the time and money you invest in your social media marketing campaigns. Here are some tips on how to create and track goals for your social media accounts.

1. Understand your potential on social

While every business can benefit from social media, you need to have insight into your own company's potential. For example, if you are a DJ in demand around the country, you can expect followers to come to your account organically and in large numbers. On the other hand, most small business owners have to work for every follower they get, and they can go down an infinite number of paths to reach this audience. As a best practice, you should start by working to understand how your market uses social media. Once you gain this understanding, you can determine the specific channels that deserve your focus and the types of messages that may resonate with your audience.

2. Define your goals

Before you start implementing a strategy, you need to set goals. For your first campaign, you may want to think of something small, such as doubling your company's Facebook Likes over a given period of time. If you already have a fairly solid social media presence, you may want to think bigger and launch a campaign with monetary goals attached. For example, you can set a goal that has to do with the number of digital sales triggered by your social media marketing posts. As each approach can cost you time and money, it is important to make sure that your tactics align with your overall goals as a business.

3. Establish an appropriate social strategy

Your next step is to match the right social media strategy to the goals you set. Different audiences frequent Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, so you should plan on tailoring all of your campaigns to the market you hope to reach. Social marketers can walk you through the basics and point you in the right direction, but you should be an active participant in discussions relevant to your business and follow influencers in your industry along with trending hashtags. It's also wise to download a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite, that allows you to see all your brand mentions along with competitors.

4. Start testing

In order to take accurate measurements, you may need to invest in certain types of programs for your website and social pages. For example, you may want to create a landing page for a specific campaign that you have launched. Then, customers who click on a link provided in your social media marketing message can go directly to a page designed to welcome them to your website and sell the specific product or service that was advertised. Or you can use a link shortener that allows you to track all site traffic coming from a particular social media post or channel.

In this scenario, your goal may be to increase your website visitors through your social media efforts. In order to test and measure this goal, you may want to invest in programs, such as Google Analytics, that provide you with the tools you need to track your website traffic (and the sources from which this traffic originated). You can even use Google Analytics "funnels" to determine the points at which potential customers left your website before completing their purchases.

5. Set deadlines

Creating urgency is important in any ad, and you should set a deadline on both your offer and the time you spend testing it. Again, it is important for each individual small business owner to dictate the amount of time he or she spends on a certain campaign. For example, you may want to spend one month focusing on your efforts to increase the number of followers you have on a particular platform. However, if you are offering a deal on one of your company's best products, 7–10 days may be a better time frame for your campaign. Once the allotted time passes, you should analyze what is working and strive to tweak your next campaign accordingly.

In order to get the most out of your campaigns, you must establish and track goals for your social media accounts on a regular basis. By following the above steps, you can be on the right track to success.

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