In the first article of our B2B social media series, we reviewed the role social media plays in B2B marketing and how it helps businesses succeed. Today’s top B2B brands are utilizing social media to their advantage, and they’re seeing real results.
According to a Content Marketing Institute survey from 2021, social media helped B2B marketers create brand awareness, build credibility and trust and educate their audience. But, when it comes to incorporating social media into your own marketing strategy, it can often be challenging to predict whether it can work for your business and niche.
The reality is—an effective social media strategy can yield tremendous results for businesses across the board. The key here is an ‘effective’ social media strategy. An effective strategy is well-planned with clear goals and objectives. Ideally, these goals and objectives would closely relate to your larger business goals and objectives. Looking to generate leads, drive traffic to your website or grow your customer base? Start using social media.
Why set social media goals?
Whether you’re running a single ad, sharing a series of organic posts or creating a full-scale, cross-platform campaign, your social media goals should always reflect your business needs. Thankfully, most social media goals can be applied to any campaign, and some campaigns can even contribute to several goals at once.
Like business goals, without setting clear social media goals, it’s hard to determine how well your efforts are performing and what you need to change to maximize ROI. Beyond that, goals can help you:
- Be accountable – justify your strategy and tactics
- Guide your budget – spend where it matters most
- Pay attention to metrics – optimize performance
Get SMART about your goals
While your social media goals can vary depending on the size and industry of your business, some examples of business goals that can translate to social media goals are:
- Increase brand awareness (impressions, reach, engagement rate)
- Increase website traffic (clicks, traffic from social)
- Generate leads & sales (downloads, form submissions, clicks, traffic from social)
- Grow brand audience (followers, Facebook & LinkedIn group members)
- Boost brand affinity (engagement, reviews, group members)
- Provide customer service (mentions, sent messages, reviews)
* Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
Once you determine which social media goal(s) align closest with your business goals, you’ll want to set SMART goals that will inspire your daily social activities. SMART stands for:
Specific: Your goals should be clear and defined.
Measurable: Your goals should be simple to track.
Achievable: Your goals should be attainable within your resources.
Relevant: Your goals should be related to your broader business goals.
Time-sensitive: Your goals should include a timeframe.
To give you a practical example, take a look at our SMART goals for one of our social media clients below.
Business goal: Become customer-first thought leaders across all segments.
Social media goal: Build a community of loyal followers and boost engagement on Facebook and LinkedIn.
SMART goals: To ensure we reach our goal in a timely manner, we’ll spend X amount of dollars on a followers campaign each month for one quarter. To supplement our paid efforts and keep our new, larger audience interested and engaged, we’ll prioritize sharing quality over quantity on the social media feeds, posting organically 3-5 days a week while interacting with our audience daily. The goal is to add 100 new followers monthly while maintaining an average engagement rate of 4%.
S: Grow the audience and keep them engaged
M: Increase following and engagement rate
A: Doable with both organic and paid tactics
R: Interacting with the audience daily will build community and establish our client as a customer-first thought leader on social media.
T: Time-bound goal to hit 100 new followers and a 4% engagement rate each month for three consecutive months
Test and re-test
Once you set and track social media goals, you’ll learn what works for your business and what doesn’t. Bear in mind—these things take time, and you’ll likely learn what doesn’t work before you learn what does. Prepare for trial and error. And while starting any new marketing endeavor can seem intimidating, I’d argue that you’d lose more by staying off social media rather than starting small.
Want more tips to be successful on social? Check out our blog for more.