How To Set Social Media Goals

How To Set Social Media Goals The point of setting goals and tracking results is to become aware of how your actions impact the outcome.

If you take conscious steps and then observe the reactions, you become responsible and completely aware of how you control those results.

Awareness = Control

If you think you can’t control what happens in social media, perhaps you should try taking a look from a different angle. Just looking at the pretty charts on Google Analytics or the number of Retweets on your posts won’t be enough to actually gain control over the results.

One of the things I love about blogs like ThinkTraffic is how they publish monthly reports, mostly on how they grow blog traffic. They turn themselves into a case study as a way of teaching people with their own experience.

I am considering following their example and start publishing this kind of content, maybe we do it at the end of this month. For now, let’s look at how to do it and use some dummy figures…

Set Some Rules

  • Establish the metrics you want to track.
  • Document everything to keep comparing month after month.
  • Each monthly report should be divided in 2 parts: Goals and Results.
  • Be consistent, set a date to work on this report every month. A good day to do this is a couple of days after the previous month is over, allow analytics to gather all necessary data.
  • Take a different approach, let’s not put all the focus on the data. Let’s actually support that data by acknowledging what happened.

Report Of The Ending Month

Blog Traffic

Head over to your Google Analytics and grab the digits for Visits, Pageviews, Average Time on Site, Bounce Rate and whatever else is important to your business.

Google Analytics Monthly Traffic Report

Now compare to the previous month’s numbers to see if it’s increasing or decreasing and get the rates (%). Keep it very simple, it should look like something like this:

  • Visits: 11,619 (Increment of 12%)
  • Pageviews: 18.073 (Increment of 14,2%)

We’ll also need Traffic Sources which is very important because it will tell you exactly where you need to focus. The truth is that this not about getting love from some sites more than others, you need to see this different, a social platform could give you more traffic because you’re more active there or because that’s where your prospect hangs out.

Google Analytics Traffic Source Report

Observe those things and you will soon know what to do, where and how frequently instead of blindly shooting everywhere to see if you hit something and consume all your energy…

Get only the top 5 or 10 traffic sources and more importantly, write a comment about it.

  • Twitter visits: 2,233 (Decreased 5,3%) – Activity level was lower the last week of the month.
  • Digg visits: 457 (Increased 14,4%) – The post “Top 10 Ways for Kicking Serious Ass” received 87 Diggs.

Also look for unexpected events.

  • Holy Kaw! visit: 867 – The post “Top 10 Whatever List” got picked up by Holy Kaw! at the beginning of the month.

Content

It has been said before, great content does NOT promote itself. Let me put it this way, if you create it already why not put it in front of the world? And, if already put it in front of the world, why not see how the world likes it?

  • First, what did you publish? Make a list of the titles and “live” dates.
  • How many posts? How many each week?
  • What types of posts did you publish? or divide them into blog categories if you like.

Make it look like this:

  • 9 posts were publish (2.25 per week).
  • 4 posts on social media strategy and how-to’s.
  • 3 fun Top 10 lists.
  • 2 polls.
  • Add the list of each piece of content.

Social Media

You can count retweets, likes, bookmarks and so on if you want or you can use PostRank services to measure content performance and get all the data processed for you and looking like a million dollars:

PostRank Content Engagement Report

Again, don’t get stuck in the numbers and pretty charts. Let’s just look at the big picture. Get the totals for the month like this:

  • 562 Retweets (Increased 7,1%) – I was more active sharing other people’s content and double the self-promotion tweets on the days I published content.
  • 365 Delicious bookmarks (Increased 57,4%) – I provided more resources, tools and links on my posts and people usually bookmark those.
  • 126 Facebook Likes (Decreased 23,1%) – Some posts were more business-oriented, maybe not appealing to the Facebook crowd.

You get the picture.

Subscriptions

Also very important if what you run is a blog and it says a lot of what you put out there because it represents people that finds you valuable enough to want to keep getting it on a regular basis. Much more important than a retweet or a bookmark.

  • RSS New Subscriptions: 109 (Increased 5,2%)
  • Email New Subscriptions: 29 (Increased 2,6%) – The subscription box was positioned at the top of the sidebar.

Conversion

It would be nice if you could also tell if you got any real results, you know, the kind that represents actual business… Wait! if you are willing to keep things simple and manual this could be very easy depending on the type of product or service. Let me illustrate by sharing a piece of a conversation with one of my latest clients:

Me: “Hey Mr. Customer, do you mind if I ask how did you find me?”

Client: “Oh yeah! last week I followed your tweet and read your post about the 7 examples of kick-ass personal brands…”

As simple as that. Imagine what you can do with that! Here is an idea:

  • New Prospects: 8 (6 from Twitter/1 from Facebook/1 from LinkedIn)
  • New Clients: 4 (3 from Twitter/1 from LinkedIn).

Compare

Before you continue to set your goals for the next month, review the goals you setup last month to see if you were successful, how close you got or where did you fail to achieve them.

Be honest.

Goals For The Starting Month

A couple of pointers before you dive in:

  • Set only a few very specific goals.
  • Be realistic. Set goals having in mind what you need to do in order to reach them.
  • Stretch a little, being realistic doesn’t mean being comfortable. Doing the things you usually resist is a good exercise.
  • Make sure you can measure the results.

This is a simple list that will look like this:

  • Increase the number of posts to 12 in order to build momentum. This should result in more traffic.
  • Write at least 2 guest post on other blogs.
  • Comment on other blogs. At least 5 comments per week. I don’t do this enough.
  • Be more active on Sphinn and Digg. Connect with people there and comment on posts.
  • Determine what social platforms to stop using.
  • Be more conversational on Twitter.
  • Start tracking the time I spend a day in social media.

Final Thought

If you try to set goals based on numbers, such as “Increase traffic by 20%” without a solid foundation and an action plan, the only thing you are increasing for sure are your chances of failing at the end.

Stop thinking about digits.

One more thing before I wrap this baby up, make sure your monthly goals are aligned with the general objectives of having your business online. It is very easy to get distracted by shiny objects and believe me… social media is very shiny!

Now go set some kick-ass goals for next month.

  • Wow, very useful info! I know plenty of bloggers (and companies) who aren't paying attention to anything expect their own WordPress or Blogger stats, and they sure don't track anything other than pageviews.

    And most sure aren't thinking about this: “make sure your monthly goals are aligned with the general objectives of having your business online” which is a great way to keep your focus.

    Thanks!

  • It's definitely easy to get confused as to which numbers/charts/graphs to pay attention to.

    I like what you said here: “Set only a few very specific goals.” I think that's key. Start small and as you become more acquainted with the stats you have available, you'll start to figure out what is important to look at and react to.

  • Aside from the fact that this is excellent information for any company starting out in a new social media campaign, this is also great for consultants. The best part here is the constant reminder to keep the bigger picture in mind, since it's very easy to get completely ecstatic or derailed by short-term metrics.

  • Thank you Tia. You're right, like I said, social media is very shiny and between analytics, new networks and apps, you lose sight of the true objectives of being online.

    I know it happens to me =

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  • Thats true………they write content, link keywords and forgot…..i have seen it very regular

  • I like the way you think. I am trying to do these things, but it is not easy for me. I tweek and tweek until it works. I really know what I am doing when the money starts to go up.

  • I am going to set my goals a little higher this year. I know that it will be difficult to keep up with, but with all of this help, I think I will do alright.

  • That's always a good metric to have in mind… Income.

  • Good to hear that Judy, and happy to see that we can contribute even if it only a little bit.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Great post…I am just now ready to dive into the social media river. Thanks for your comments. It is hard to sell this idea as expanding our social presence but that is truly what we are doing. Business is secondary.

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  • It’s just impossible for one person to carry out all the tasks that is required of a business today so face up to the fact that outsourcing stuff that you’d love to be having a dabble with, but just don’t have time to consider, is definitely the way forward.

  • Wow…the power just went out…guess I have the sheer delight of Goal Setting by candle light with a slightly waning full moon rising in another hour….pretty auspicious I’d say!

  • The best part here is the constant reminder to keep the bigger picture in mind, since it’s very easy to get completely ecstatic or derailed by short-term metrics.

  • Great post…I am just now ready to dive into the social media river. Thanks for your comments. It is hard to sell this idea as expanding our social presence but that is truly what we are doing. Business is secondary.

  • It’s just impossible for one person to carry out all the tasks that is required of a business today so face up to the fact that outsourcing stuff that you’d love to be having a dabble with, but just don’t have time to consider, is definitely the way forward.

  • Well the social platform could give you more traffic because you’re more active there or because that’s where your prospect hangs out..

  • thannks for the informations..its really helpful
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  • Anonymous

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    Your web site is top-notch I will have to read it all, thank you for the diversion from my classwork!

  • Goals is what you need to succeed in social media.. Without it you will not gonna have any direction on where we should be.. Having a goal is motivation that will keep you driving until you reach the success that you were aiming.. Always remember guys, social media is important tool that you can use for web marketing but you must have goal setting in order for to achieve it..

  • Everyone needs direction if they are to succeed and especially in social media.

  • It is simply impossible for a person to perform all tasks necessary for a
    business today to face the fact that outsourcing of the things I would
    like to have a mess with, but simply no time to think, is undoubtedly
    the way forward.

  • It is simply impossible for a person to perform all tasks necessary for a
    business today to face the fact that outsourcing of the things I would
    like to have a mess with, but simply no time to think, is undoubtedly
    the way forward.

  • Anonymous

    I have met some really neat people through the comments, I certainly want to encourage more me to comment. Thanks for the tips!

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    Hey just a thought, you would probably get more readers if you interviewed controversial people for your blog.

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  • Gee And Gee

    Before you continue to set your goals for the next month, review the goals you setup last month to see if you were successful, how close you got or where did you fail to achieve them.

  • If you take conscious steps and then observe the reactions, you become
    responsible and completely aware of how you control those results.

  • Charmy Bell

    The point of setting goals and tracking results is to become aware of how your actions impact the outcome.

  • The point of setting goals and tracking results is to become aware of how your actions impact the outcome. 

  • The point of setting goals and tracking results is to become aware of how your actions impact the outcome.

  • The number of Retweets on your posts won’t be enough to actually gain control over the results.

  • I am considering following their example and start publishing this
    kind of content, maybe we do it at the end of this month. For now, let’s
    look at how to do it and use some dummy figures…

  • If you take conscious steps and then observe the reactions, you
    become responsible and completely aware of how you control those
    results.
     

  • If you take conscious steps and then observe the reactions, you
    become responsible and completely aware of how you control those
    results.
     

  • “web presence” into a profit powerhouse using techniques on social
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  • “web presence” into a profit powerhouse using techniques on social media,

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  • I like the writing structure of your blog
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