Today, there are so many ways to track the success or failure of your marketing efforts. Data and analytics are out there and should be used in your marketing. When you use data to guide your choices you won’t just be making a decision on gut feel or guessing; instead, you’ll be making informed decisions that have supporting evidence.
One of the things I’ve always believed is that marketing is throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.
I've changed my stance on this over the years, but only slightly.
I still think you have to try a bunch of stuff to see what works, but learning from each attempt helps you know what stuff to throw so you have a better idea of what will stick.
Today, there are so many ways to track the success or failure of your marketing efforts. Data and analytics are out there and should be used in your marketing. When you use data to guide your choices you won’t just be making a decision on gut feel or guessing; instead, you’ll be making informed decisions that have supporting evidence.Here are five ways to use data when setting your social media goals:
1) Growing Your Audience
Growing your audience is something that should be on the top of any marketer's mind. You always want the opportunity to reach more people with your message. There are a number of ways to grow your audience, but the most important is that you have a plan and execute it.
But what does a good audience building goal look like? This is where we start gathering the data.
To begin, take a snapshot of your current stats. Look at how many followers you have and write it down. You should also look at how your audience has grown over the last few months. You can find that information in the insights or analytics section for your social media account.
Based on those numbers you can start creating a specific goal
Say you have a Facebook audience of 1,000 followers and last year that audience was at 500 followers. You grew by 500 followers at a rate of 100% growth. Not bad! Now comes the hard part, what is going to be your goal for this year? Do you grow by another 500 followers? If so, that is now only a 50% growth. If you wish to grow at 100% again, that would mean adding an additional 1,000 followers.
Looking at your past data will help you set your SMART goals for audience growth. If you think there is a lot of growth opportunity, then shoot for the moon. If, however, you feel like you might have reached a market cap, then try and set a realistic goal - but one that will still stretch you.
Accountability tip: it's always helpful to break out the overall goal into some chucks or milestones. So if the goal is set for a year, you should check back monthly or quarterly to make sure you are staying on track.
2) Consistent Post Frequency
Knowing how often to post to social media is tricky. There are mixed reports and opinions out there as to how much or how little you should be posting. But keep in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social media. What works for one industry might not always work for you.
Look at your own data and see how people are engaging with your content. Do you get more interaction when you post every day or is it better when you only post once or twice a week? From your data you should be able to identify the trends that are both positive and negative. Capitalize on the positive and learn from the negative.
If you are just starting out, or don’t have a lot of data to draw from, consider running some experiments of your own and documenting the results. You can set goals around when to post and how often based on the information you gather.
3) Balancing Your Content
Having a balanced content strategy will help you post the right content to the right people at the right time. Do you know which type of posts get the most likes, shares, retweets, comments, etc? If you don't, again, back to the data.
Look at what types of posts get the most engagement. Is it video? Images? Links, Text? Is it your own content or things you have shared? As you look through the information you will find tendencies that you can set goals around.
Maybe you find that posts with images are getting the most engagement, it might be an indication that your audience is very visually oriented. This might lead you to set a goal to implement video into your content plan.
Just be sure that despite what you find when gathering your data, you don't saturate your newsfeed with the same type of content all the time. Balance is still important.
4) Drive Traffic To Your Website Or Blog
Hopefully your website is connected to some type of analytics tracking. If not, consider implementing Google Analytics or other tracking platforms such as Adobe Analytics and KissMetrics onto your site. Once you’ve implemented tracking, have your web developer or marketing manager generate a report of your social media traffic.
With your analytics report you will be able to get a better idea of which social channels are driving visitors to your site. The report might show you that while you've been spending a lot of time posting content to your Facebook, the majority of your visitors are actually coming from Pinterest.
This allows you to rethink your marketing strategy and direct more time towards promoting your content on sites like Pinterest that are generating more results.
5) Increasing Revenue
The majority of companies that develop their social media strategies are failing to understand how they can use social media to increase their revenues. If setup and executed properly, social media has the ability to drive a lot more visitors to your site than anything else.
Here’s some success stories on some of the top social media marketing campaigns this year.
In order to show ROI from social media it’s important to adopt the measurement tools that allow you to track the data. Once you analyze the data, you’ll be able to create SMART goals that will add to your bottom line.
Your social media channels have the potential to give you so much more than you’re asking. Consider these five data driven goals and you’ll be on your way to creating a successful social media marketing strategy.