When brands tell us they are struggling to use social media to grow their business, we are skeptical. Not skeptical that they aren’t seeing growth, but that they are fully using each social media tool to its full advantage. Social Media Marketing is a modern melt of art, strategy & experimentation to create an impactful comprehensive digital plan. Like any proper experiment, you need structure to measure your results. To help you and your brand kick off 2019 with a bang, we’re breaking down the four keys to growth in the digital space.
The Four Keys to Growth:
In order to set out on your brand’s growth journey, you need to lay a strong foundation. You’ll be happy to learn that this step has more than likely been executed little by little over the course of your business. To know which social methods to utilize, you need an idea of where you hope to go as a business. Grab a pen and paper and start with the following exercise:
Where do you want your business to be in one, five, and ten years? Don’t inhibit yourself by thinking about how you’ll get there, just let your inner visionary run free. Be as specific as you can, but make sure to get everything out on paper.
For Example: Perhaps you’re a small business owner looking to increase revenue over the next year.
Brainstorm the details. Now that you have all your grand ideas and concepts written out, continue to brainstorm the ones that stick out to you. (Feel free to brainstorm on all of them if you have the time!) Some of our favorite methods for brainstorming are free writing, list making, or mind mapping. Choose a method that works best for you, but utilize this time to get very specific about each one of your concepts from the previous question.
For Example: You have identified that a key step in increasing revenue is to both triple the number of unique shoppers in your brick and mortar and e-commerce stores and double the number of actual sales.
Sort it out. Now it’s time to prioritize. Take all of the big dreams and essential details from your brainstorming steps and decide on each plan’s attainability, required time commitment, financial impact, and desirability. Use these rankings to identify your most important goals. In order to move on to the next step, you should be walking away with a few goals that are SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. For more on setting SMART goals, check out this article from The Balance.
For example: Increasing your company’s revenue by growing your customer base and boosting sales is a Specific goal that can be Measured through actionable steps such as implementing a focused digital content strategy and a number of unique and targeted, paid ad campaigns. It will take time and effort, but it is realistic and Attainable. The goals of growing your customer base and boosting sales are Relevant because they will directly affect your company’s revenue. You want to complete this within a year, so it is Time-Based.
At this point, you should have been able to identify a few loose goals that you can begin working on immediately. Don’t overwhelm yourself by making a game plan for every one of your business dreams right now. It’s time to get specific and calculated. The best use of your time is to map out the execution of your most immediate goals. Create a plan for each your goals with the following exercise:
Focus on why the goal is important to you and what it will mean once you achieve it.
Determine specific actions you can take to achieve the goal.
Define the metrics you will use to track the progress of this goal.
Clarify how your business will use your digital platforms to achieve this goal.
Growing your customer base and boosting sales is important in increasing revenue for your company. To achieve this, you must 1. Implement a focused digital content strategy 2. Run a thorough analysis of your audience and your competitors’ audiences and 3. Run unique and targeted, paid ad campaigns. To measure the achievement of these goals, you will use the completion of your action items, the levels of traffic to your store and website, and the number of leads and sales as benchmarks for growth. You will use paid and organic social media advertising to promote your business.
Now that you have an understanding of your business’s goals and the role your digital platforms will have in achieving this goal, it is time to run a diagnostic on your brand’s current performance in the social media space. It is critical to have a precise understanding of where you are starting in order to accurately measure growth down the road.
Every goal will have a unique set of metrics to focus on, depending on the function of your social media marketing strategy. We’ve broken down the must-measure metrics by function below.
Brand Awareness – Reach, Followers, Likes, Visits, Shares, Mentions
Community Engagement – Followers, Engagement Rate, Shares, Impressions, Content Type
Web Traffic – Traffic Sources, Click Thru Rate, Website Interactions
Generating Leads/Sales – Click Thru Rate, Conversion Rate, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Lead
Brand Advocacy – Followers, Shares, Mentions, Comments, User Generated Content
Download and fill out this spreadsheet to record your benchmark analytics. There’s a tab customized to each one of the above goals! For more on the importance of measuring analytics, read our post on it here.
For example: If you are emphasizing paid ads to generate leads and sales, the primary metrics you might want to emphasize are the number of actual sales, conversion rates, and cost per conversion. Your secondary metrics might be click through rates, cost per click, and cost per lead.
Once you have run your diagnostic, be sure to return to these analytics and measure your growth. Set dates to hold you accountable to these goals. Check-ins can be weekly, monthly, or annually (or all three!), just make sure you’re taking the time to analyze your performance, and adjust course accordingly.
Now that you know where you’re starting, create some goals for metrics benchmarks to support your overarching goal and break those goals down into actionable initiatives and campaigns.
To best optimize your paid ad initiative, you will need to emphasize lowering each ad’s cost per conversion. Lowering cost per conversion requires increasing the sales driven by that ad. You can do this by performing a deep audience analysis on competitors with high ad-driven sales, creating a highly specific audience that is the most likely to make a purchase after clicking, and A/B testing to optimize your content strategy.
We have covered so much in this article, so it is absolutely natural for you to be feeling a grand sense of overwhelm. Remember to take each one of your business (and personal!) goals one action item at a time. Progress is made simply by putting one foot in front of the other. When measuring your progress, it is important to remain flexible and responsive. A goal you set today might become irrelevant or may need a serious re-working down the road, and that’s ok! Change is inevitable, so adjust your course accordingly.
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes! It is key to continue to motivate yourself, and our favorite way to do this is to take note when you are hitting the benchmarks you set for yourself, your company, and your team.
Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.
Have questions about goal-setting and growth? Want to share your progress? Tweet us @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.