February 19, 2014

What are your social media goals this year? Are you going for the long shot or playing it safe? When I help clients design their social media strategies, they inevitably have some lofty goals. Whether it's to gain thousands of followers or to increase leads by a certain percentage, everyone has some "big" expectations from social media. And while I definitely think we should swing for the fences, I also think you should set realistic social media goals.

Let's think about Olympic athletes (I warned you, I have an obsession with the Olympics!). Sure, any good athlete has lofty goals and dreams of making it to the Olympics and performing on the world's largest stage. And, of course, that is a great goal to have. But if that's the only goal they set, they're setting themselves up for failure. Instead, they need to set smaller realistic goals along the way. Maybe they want to win their regional competition, then win a state competition, then make a national team, and then win a national title.

Having these intermittent and realistic goals along the way helps keep them motivated to reach the ultimate end goal.

Social media marketing should be approached in much the same way. Maybe your big goal is to have 10,000 Facebook fans. Or to increase leads by 30%. Or increase sales on a new product launch. These are all great goals and you should put these on your horizon. But if you just launched your Facebook page last month, these are all unrealistic in the short term. Or if your Twitter account has been stagnant at 200 followers for 6 months, expecting to hit 5000 followers in a month is not likely to happen.

Instead, focus on creating realistic social media goals.

These may include reaching 100 fans, then 1000 fans, then 2000 fans, then 5000 fans. Setting these smaller, realistic goals and celebrating their achievements will help you stay on target and keep you motivated. Likewise, you may want to originally aim to increase leads by 5%, then 10%, then 20% before you can reach your goal of 30%.

Not only do you want to set these smaller goals along the way, but you also want to set timelines for your goals. Set a goal for one month from now and see how close you come. The more you give yourself guidance and structure to accomplish something according to a timeline, the more likely you are to achieve it.

Set the bar just high enough to challenge yourself but not so high that you feel like a failure if you can't reach it. Reward yourself for your accomplishments along the way too!

Following these steps will help ensure you see success and positive results from your social media strategy this year.

And if you would like help crafting an effective social media strategy, please contact me to get started today!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I love the idea of progressive goals (much the same way I approach losing weight). If you only feel success when you reach your “ultimate” goal, you lose many opportunities along the way to feel validated for your hard work!

    1. I agree, Kim! It’s important to celebrate the small victories along the way (with all goals – including weight loss!).

  2. I think it’s important to differentiate between Goals (more general) and objectives (more specific), and these should be S.M.A.R.T. – many people forget the importance of this.

    1. Yes, Antonio, the SMART strategy is very effective.
      I tend to define goals as an end state (no matter how big or small) and the objectives as the tactics/means to reach those goals. No matter how you define them, it is important, as you said, to differentiate them and approach each one effectively.

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