One of the most common mistakes small to medium businesses (SME’s) make when it comes to social media marketing, is failing to set specific social media goals. In today’s age where platforms like Facebook boast 15,000,000 monthly users in Australia alone, it’s even more important to develop a clear strategy with specific aims if you want to achieve effective growth.

A key part of using social media to build your brand is setting targeted goals and developing your social media strategy with a clear direction. Winging it with non-targeted content is often going to be a waste of time and money. Taking the time to identify a clear goal will help you get the most out of social media. Below are five of the most common social media goals for businesses:

1. Build brand awareness

With over 2.7 billion people now using social media, this channel has become one of the best places to promote your brand and make a name for yourself. As such, if you want to build your reputation and get attention on social media, then brand awareness should be your social media goal. Yet developing content that can cut through all the clutter and connect with your audience is an ongoing challenge.

To build brand awareness, your content needs to be high quality and valuable enough for people to want to share it with others. Providing tips or information that is useful or enjoyed by your audience is the key to building brand awareness on social media. Competitions can also be effective, as people love to win something for nothing.

The best way to measure your brand awareness is to look at the reach, followers, shares and mentions of your posts on social media. Although they are separate social media goals, brand awareness ultimately works hand-in-hand with engagement, if you want people to see your brand, then you need to create engaging content.

2. Increase engagement

Building engagement is a very important social media goal as it encourages brand building, generates referrals, and determines how your content is prioritised and how many people you will reach. On social media, the engagement of your audience is measured by how many likes, shares and comments they make on your posts. In other words, engagement provides an insight into how effectively your content is capturing the interest of your audience.

If your goal to increase engagement, you should design a strategy to produce content that provides maximum value to your customers. For example if you run a real estate agency, you could post or share an article on “5 tips to increase the sale price of your home”. In this example, the content is providing an informative checklist to help the agency’s target audience.

3. Lead generation

In many cases, boosting engagement isn’t enough and you might choose to make lead generation the primary social media goal for your business. Lead generation is where you reach out to, and entice new customers to enter your sales funnel. If this is your goal, all your efforts on social media are used to prime them for a sale or conversion.

In order to achieve this you need to run customer journey and nurture campaigns to persuade them to do business with you. With a lead generation campaign you’re playing the long game, and nurturing your prospects. The best metrics for assessing your progress are subscriptions, downloads, clicks and conversions.

4. Drive traffic to your website

When it comes to online presence, your website is your HQ. As such, driving traffic to your website is another common social media goal for SME’s. The more prospects you get onto your website, the more you expose them to your brand proposition and targeted content like blogs or newsletters. As a bonus, driving traffic to your site will also improve your search engine ranking.

If driving website traffic is your goal on social media, you need to make your page easy to find. Including call-to-actions (CTA’s) in every post you make will help to boost your click-through rates and drive traffic to your site. To measure this goal you need to use Google Analytics.

Google Analytics will help you to determine which social media platforms your customers are coming from (traffic per channel), the quality of the customers being sent and the quality of content on your site (bounce rates), and which messaging resonates the most with your customers (clicks). Reviewing this information will help you determine areas for improvement so you can refine your strategy accordingly.

5. Provide customer service

Finally, if you’re looking to provide a higher standard of service for your customers, setting customer service as your social media goal could work for your business. Providing full customer support on social media can greatly enhance the experience of your customers and increase your overall revenue. The best way to achieve this goal is to respond to customer enquiries quickly and listen to what your customer’s are saying to see where you can exceed their expectations.

In order to measure your standard of customer service you want to look at your response time and minimise it as much as possible. Likewise, it’s a good idea to keep track of how many queries you receive and their accompanying conversion rate. You can track these manually or use one of the many social listening tools available for businesses.

Small to medium businesses need targeted social media goals

If you want to get the most out of your social media strategy, it’s important to set targeted social media goals. Specific goals allow you to develop highly targeted content that increases your results. However, it’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to achieve everything at once. Instead, concentrate on breaking down one goal at a time until you’ve delivered clear returns.

If you’d like help with setting up and executing effective social media goals for your business then please get in touch.