Each new year brings a sense of “newness”, “New Year, New Me”, a clean new slate to get everything right and as small business operators (oftentimes leading a one-man show) it is very easy to get caught up in the societal pressure to have it all figured out. This is your gentle reminder that there’s no rush, if you haven’t finalized your business or personal goals for 2022 that’s perfectly fine. If leveraging social media to improve your business is on your list of goals for 2022 – I’m here to help you with that.
LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA
As small business owners, we are always looking for new ways to inject our brands onto the radars of potential customers. With over 4 billion global users, social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram offer the best opportunity (at the lowest cost) for us to do so. These platforms give us the possibility to interact with existing customers and also to attract potential clients. Whether you’re totally new to social media or have been struggling with establishing your brand’s social media presence, you too can leverage these platforms to grow your business. The key to doing so is by crafting a solid social media strategy.
As with any successful strategy, planning starts with your goals.
THE GOLDEN QUESTIONS (Don’t skip this part)
Let’s start by asking the most fundamental set of questions. Ready?… Don’t skip this part!
What are your overall business objectives? How do you see social media as helping to get you to these goals? What do you want to achieve?
Your social media strategy should always be based on the actual direction you want to take your business in order for the strategy to be effective and sustainable. Identifying your goals will define your social media strategy and the resources needed to reach them. Note that your goals are personal and not a “one size fits all”; they may vary depending on the stage of your business or on your industry. These are key factors to think about and guide your goal setting process.
Social media goals usually fall in one of these four categories :
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing engagement / interaction with audience
- Increasing lead generation
- Increasing sales
If you are a new business it may be best to initially focus on the first two categories to get more person’s aware of your brand and its products/services as well as building and growing a
To increase the likelihood of achieving your goals, ensure that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely – this provides clarity, focus and accountability. Instead of increasing brand awareness, an example of a smart goal would be – increasing your social media following by 10% at the end of the first quarter. This is specific, attainable and timely. If you are a new business or an existing business looking to increase market share then yes this is relevant. This can easily be measured by checking your followers count.
Goal setting is one thing but tracking your progress to ensure success is something else completely. Each goal should be based on metrics that will have a real impact on your business and not just based on vanity metrics that do not help to measure performance. If your goal is to reach a sales target of USD $10,000 at the end of the year, then tracking followers or likes would be a vanity metric. Instead, you would need to focus on conversions, website clicks, sign-ups and purchases made. These allow you to see if you are on track to reach your goal, what works best and should be boosted or what doesn’t and should be discarded.
Here are some examples of S.M.A.R.T goals and the metrics to track them:
When setting goals for social media in 2022 it’s easy to get overwhelmed especially with all the advice about what you need to be” or “must be ” doing in order to be successful. Start by focusing inward on what it is that you want to achieve. That should guide everything you do with social.
Also, remember you may change your goals during the course of the year as your business needs change or grows. For example, you may set goals to increase brand awareness at the beginning of year and then once achieved you might pivot to focus on setting goals to increase sales.
Have you honed in on what your 2022 social media goals might look like?