A successful social media lead generation strategy begins with setting meaningful and realistic goals and objectives for engaging your target audience. Your social media goals will influence how you set up your pages, and this should be the basis for your marketing strategy. Every decision you make about your business profile should ultimately support those goals and objectives.
“Getting as many followers as possible” is a tactical activity. It is not a goal. Yes, audience-building efforts are extremely important for social proof and should be pursued, but your main goal should be to use social media as a tool to humanize your brand and engage your target audience, because that is what will grow your business. This goes far beyond counting numbers.
Not taking this important very important fact into consideration is why many small businesses do not achieve their business goals on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If you approach social media in general purely as a means to expand your reach and generate leads rather than to provide value and engage with customers and prospects, you will find it difficult to achieve any meaningful success through the platform.
Setting Your Goals
Getting clear on your goals is a crucial first step because every decision you make on your social media pages should ultimately support your top goals and objectives. Increasing your followership is really not enough. You need to establish “why” you want to reach those people, what messages you want them to receive and what you want them to do when they receive those messages. Social media in general is more about “quality”, not quantity.
Building a network of 10,000 friends on Facebook will have no significant impact on your business without clear goals around what you want those fans to do.
At the end of the day, you want an engaged network of targeted individuals who are interested in your industry and what you do, and like what you are posting. You’ll achieve so much more than having a large collection of random people that have no real interest in you or your business.
It is worth defining the goals you want to accomplish and translate those goals into practical elements you can measure so that you can track the results. You can’t define a meaningful marketing strategy and devise a plan to reach those goals if you don’t have solid goals, or can’t refer back to them to make sure the tactics and strategies you are using are leading you in the direction of achieving those goals.
Without goals, the effectiveness of your social media lead generation campaign cannot be analyzed. In order to accurately measure the effectiveness of a particular campaign, a clear understanding of where exactly relevant figures were before it started is essential. Without such a clear starting point to measure from, the results of any campaign will remain, at best, unclear. You need to know where you are at the beginning of your campaign so that you can compare it with where you end up at the end of it.
When developing a strategy for a social network, it is important to think through what you want to achieve on the platform. Providing clear answers to the following questions will help you define your goals:
- What exactly do you want to accomplish there? Do you want to gain more targeted followers and increase your reach? Generate brand awareness for your restaurant or store? Establish authority and thought leadership? Drive more qualified traffic to your website where people can make a purchase? Build a following around your brand? Listen to your customers? Sell more products or have more people sign up for your mailing list?
- Why do you want to accomplish that specific goal? For instance, it is great to have a large network of followers, but if your goal is to grow your fan base on Facebook to 10,000 followers, how will getting more followers benefit your business? You need to specify very clearly, what you’re going to do with those followers. It is very important to know exactly why you are setting a specific goal.
- Who will be involved in the process of accomplishing your goals? Usually it will be you and your target audience.
- Which guidelines and requirements need to be adhered to?
After you have identified your goals, take this process a step further and get more specific by setting objectives. For example, if your goal is to “Build an audience of 5000 followers on Facebook”, that is a very broad goal. You need to get more specific. If you have a local pet grooming business, your goal and overall objective might look something like this:
“Build a target audience on Facebook of 5,000 dog owners aged between 35 and 54 that live within a radius of 25 miles of Newport Beach and earn a minimum income of $75,000 PA. We’ll do this with a branding awarness and lead generation campaign.”
“For Pinterest, our goal is to establish authority in the pet health and care space by communicating our knowledge on pet health and care. We’ll do this by saving one article rich pin per week and repin images that share pet health tips 2 times a day. The goal is to get 10 repins per day.
You will then be able to craft marketing messages that would be more effective for prospects in that specific demographic. The more specific you can get with your goals, the easier it will be to ensure that your marketing plans support your key objectives.
Defining Your Objectives
Objectives are the specific, measurable results that you want to achieve on the platform within a defined time frame. The process begins with setting SMART objectives. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-constrained.
- Specific: Your objectives should be clearly defined and unequivocal. You should be very clear on exactly what you are trying to achieve on social media.
- Measurable: It is very important that you are able to effectively track and analyse the results of your objectives. This will help you track and evaluate the performance of your campaign.
- Attainable and Realistic: Set objectives that are achievable or attainable. Your objectives should be challenging and make you stretch, but not to the point that it’s practically impossible to achieve. It is also important that your objectives are realistic and practicable. For example, will you be able to dedicate the time and resources required in order to achieve those objectives?
- Relevant: Relevant objectives are those that further the aims of what you are trying to accomplish on Facebook. For example, successfully getting 1000 likes to your Facebook page is not relevant if those likes are from people who are not interested in you, your business, product or service.
- Time Constrained: This involves grounding goals within a time frame, and giving them a target date. A time-constrained goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency. A commitment to a deadline will help focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date.
Setting an objective begins with identifying intent. Next, make it specific by adding a number, percentage, increase/decrease and a date.
Examples of clearly defined objectives:
- Get 10 repins on Pinterest per day.
- Increase organic traffic from Facebook by 25% within 3 months.
- Increase our followers on Pinterest by getting 10 new followers and 50 repins per week.
- Increase brand awareness on Pinterest by repinning images that shre pet health tips 10 times per day.
- Increase the number of fans who purchase by 25% by March 2013”
- Increase email list signups through social media channels by 500 names by December 21st, 2012.
- Increase the age/ethnicity/gender/income/geographic of Facebook fans by 20% by June 26th 2012.
- Increase likes and comments with fans on Facebook to 8 comments per post by June 30, 2013.
It is very important to define your business goals and objectives from the beginning, and adjust them as your presence expands on the various platforms. You also need to have a clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve on Facebook, and setting goals allow you to direct and focus your efforts on achieving those goals.
Following are eight key metrics to consider when analyzing the performance of your socia media marketing:
- Page views
- Clicks to external pages
- Fan growth
- Inbound links to your social channels
- Brand mentions
Without understanding your goals and objectives from the outset, you will have no way of knowing whether your marketing efforts are succeeding on the platform or not.