Setting Social Media Goals

Stats

I have always believed that getting more fans and followers was a consequence of your actions. But as with much in life social media is a popularity contest. Everyone wants your attention, your eyeballs and your time.

But is getting 300 clicks on every link you post on Twitter enough to justify your expense as a Social Media consultant or community manager?

Real engagement requires more than a mouse click and a momentary glance. You want people to interact with your content. A comment, sharing it, voting, liking or any other way where they are contributing to the conversation.

So over the last week I have been setting some social media goals. The first goal is to learn more about our audience. We need to know what content is popular already and then add some engagement features like better comment sections, polls, and ask questions to encourage people to have a variety of conversations around that article, blog post or idea. If something is popular it needs to be seeded in new ways, developed and promoted to extend the reach of our brand further and further. In essence the brand piggybacks on the quality and popularity of your content as it travels across the interwebs.

For me Social Media is about conversations, either about or by your brand. So one key metric is how many conversations you have and how frequently they occur.

Conversations on Twitter dont need to include @you which is a 'mention' but rather just name you in the tweet. I call these 'hits'. Hits can be mentions, references or hashtags, they could include typos of your brand or product names too.

Key Goal: Increase the frequency and quality of conversation happening about your brand, product and industry over time.

Staying on top of these conversations is a challenge in itself. I use a multitude of tools from google alerts to socialmention.com, tap11.com, and manual searching and sifting. Manual searches and constant reading is the only way to really gauge sentiment and get a handle on what the key issues or topics are for you.

The other Key Goal is to promote your social sites to your current customers and converting them into active fans. Your most influential and loyal advocates are your customers. And they have the user experience you want shared, leveraged and developed.

The most fulfilling experience on twitter is when a prospective customer tweets out a question about you, and your fans and customers reply supporting you. Rewarding and supporting that sort of engagement creates enduring buzz.

The more customers you can convert to active participants in your social community the further your brand can reach out and touch more people.

So drive more activity, more frequently with interesting content. Promote the content of your followers and look for insightful ways you can add value to conversations around your already popular content.