Squad goals. Job goals. Hockey goals. All important, and all have amusing memes related to them. But that is not the purpose of this blog (sadly). Instead we are talking about social media goals and looking at the purpose of social media for business in general. Although lets just throw in a meme for good measure:
The way I see it there are two different versions of social media goals. First there is your goals of social media. These would have to do with your actual SM posts and your analytics. Do you want 100 more followers this month? Do you want to increase your engagement by 20% in the next quarter? Do you want to know how to look at your analytics or what “impressions,” “engagement” and “reach” even mean? We can dig deeper into them in a later blog but for now what you need to know is that you want all those numbers to go up. How much and how quickly is between you and your boss but remember, you are not Beyoncé, you won’t get a million likes in one day (or probably even in a longer period of time) and there’s a good chance you are not going to go viral. Which is good. Keeping up with the notifications, comments and general engagement on a viral post must be exhausting. The pressure to make another, just as popular, post would also be super high not to mention that it will throw off your analytics with this one giant outlier. I’ve had a couple of retweets from comic artist Liz Climo when I’ve shared one of her comics and my phone just about blew up with the notifications that came from that but my analytics for that week were useless. And let’s not forget that time when Lin-Manuel Miranda replied to my tweet! Yes it was amazing. Yes I almost lost my mind in the ATM vestibule when I got the notification. Yes I am using this blog as an excuse to share this fact with more people as its one of my crowning achievements. But again, my twitter notifications went craaaaaaaaaaaazy. And I am still getting likes from that tweet almost two weeks later.
But there’s a reason it’s a crowning achievement. Because I never expected it. Keep the expectations of your SM realistic and you’ll be much happier.
All of this is leading to setting number goals for your SM accounts. Those are great small goals to have. You can focus on increasing engagement this month or followers or whatever but overarching on all of these SM goals is the larger, more important (and second in my two types of goals) goal which is what is the goal of your Social Media? What is the purpose of it? Why do you have it and how can you use it to your advantage? A common answer to this question is to drive people to your website. Or, to your facility or to donate to your thing. In the case of Whale Tales, it’s to get people to submit their stories. You need to treat your SM like you would treat any other traditional marketing. You have bus ads to get people to your facility, you have social media posts to do something similar. But SM posts are free! And you can have a lot of them, change them when they don’t work and track them with analytics and all that fancy stuff. Evolving and changing your SM content and profiles can all be done in real time as your posts go out and interact with the world. But you have to look for it. Like all goals, you have to work on it and make sure your SM is the best that it can be.
These two different goal types are what I talk about during interviews and with clients and why it’s so hard to answer the question “what would you do to fix our social media?” Even though I’ve looked at their accounts beforehand I don’t know what they are trying to achieve and often times, the people asking the question don’t either. I’ve been asked to just “Do” the social media and make it “good” but when I asked what their purpose is I just got blank stares. Creating engaging content is hard enough without a reason behind it. So, find the reason, set your goals and keep them in mind when you create your content. Your accounts will be well rounded, your posts will have purpose and hopefully you will achieve whatever it is you set out to do. And maybe even one day, go viral.