When it comes to social media, a world never standing still—and accelerating faster than ever—how do you establish what true success looks like? How do you begin to measure something that is, by nature, a moving target?
Is your goal to sell more products? Generate qualified leads? Drive website traffic? Increase brand awareness? Grow your audience? Or, all of the above? It’s simple. Focus on you.
To define social media success for your business, there must be a strategy to begin with—a road map tailored precisely to what your business’ aspirational desires are, as well as what the necessary goals you need to achieve to make your bottom line. You need to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) for yourself. The common adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” could not be more accurate when talking about social media.
Organize Your Time
Time is also valuable. Prioritize the channels and platforms that make the most sense to both your existing and aspirational audiences. All too often companies spread their bandwidth thin, attempting to cover everything, all the time, all at once. When, in reality, they’re simply not focusing as deeply (or as meaningfully) on the key areas they should be. As a business, you need to discover that—do the necessary legwork. Does your audience primarily engage on LinkedIn and Facebook? Prioritize those channels. Do they only engage on Instagram? Same thing. Each channel serves separate purposes, as well. Content crafted for LinkedIn doesn’t—and shouldn’t—necessarily need to mimic your strategy on Facebook or Twitter. Adjust and customize according to who you’re speaking to.
Patience is also essential. While on the consumer side social media can be an exercise in instant gratification, as a business, stay firm. When executing your strategy, holding to a long-term vision based on your goals remains paramount. The immediate rush of vanity metrics—or even lack thereof, initially—shouldn’t drive impulsive reactions to alter course too soon. A solid strategy often takes months to build momentum, requiring a consistent conversation with your audience, conditioning them as they build trust in your brand, being able to truly understand the value in everything you do, offer or sell.
The quality and consistency of your content also speaks directly to the strength of your strategy. From the style of your visuals, the tone of your copy and messaging, the frequency and timing of your execution, a great strategy is a perfect storm of what you need to say, communicated in the most effective way possible. Prioritize your content strategy and development so you’re telling your story the right way, having meaningful conversations with your audience. You want advocates, not onlookers.
True success in social media is also never an accident. It’s the managed reaction of a comprehensive, creative, data-driven, and thoughtful strategy. Success is a direct reflection of what your customers not only say about you but also how they feel about you, not to mention how they receive the experience of doing business with you. We all want to feel a connection with the businesses and people we interact with, and having a well-rounded social media strategy allows us to enable this.
Ultimately, whatever your goal is, social media can be an invaluable tool to elevate and reinforce your overall marketing efforts. You can use it to create relationships with potential customers, to further relationships with current customers, to educate current or future customers—the list goes on.
This is what “success” really means in regard to social media. It’s about you and what you need—it’s a recipe only you can write. It’s about strategy and identifying your KPIs, knowing your audience and where to find them, developing high-quality and compelling content that fits your brand, and prioritizing your time in a way that makes the most sense to you.
Follow this roadmap, connect those dots, and you’ll not only see results but also gain invaluable insights, data, and opportunities for analysis that you can continue to leverage to make informed, effective decisions that will directly affect your goals.