Social media offers unprecedented opportunities to reach new audiences to market products or personal brands. Building a strong brand reputation has never been more accessible to creators, but with an ever-increasing number of social media features and networks, you’ll need to stay up to date to compete. Adjusting your social media marketing goals and strategy when necessary will propel your brand to the next level even as the landscape continues to evolve.
Signs your social media strategy needs to be refreshed
If you notice your online engagement dropping and your stream of new followers drying up, your social media strategy could likely use a lifeline. However, even brands with consistent engagement and growth benefit from strategy reevaluation. For sustained and long-lasting growth, consider signs indicating you need to refresh your marketing strategy.
You haven’t changed your strategy in a few years
The social media landscape changes rapidly, with platforms rising or declining in popularity and constant UX/UI and terms of service changes to once-familiar social networks. If your social strategy dates back to even a few years ago, you’re probably missing out on growth potential. Content that performed well a year ago might miss the mark after a new change to a platform’s algorithm or other settings. Depending on the size of your brand, expanding to new social media platforms or diversifying the format of your content will strengthen your marketing strategy.
You’re not generating enough leads
Generating leads is likely an important aspect of your social media marketing impact. Depending on the type of account you run, whether a small business account or a lifestyle influencer page, your goals for lead generation will differ greatly. Consider the performance and growth of engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and follows. For businesses or professional brands, keep track of website visits and customer conversions.
You haven’t expanded across platforms
For brands just starting out, focusing on one social media platform concentrates your efforts. However, only maintaining an active account on one platform means you’ll miss out on potential new audiences. Expanding to multiple platforms allows you to experiment with different formats, like video, and reach a new, distinct set of followers.
Your brand has changed
Major changes to your business or personal brand will likely require you to alter or update your social media strategy. If you manage accounts for a business, new products or services warrant shifting the types of content you’re publishing. Content creators who have switched up their main niche—like moving from fashion content to lifestyle content—may benefit from an updated strategy focused on their new brand.
How to set realistic social media goals
Setting actionable goals should be the first step in refreshing your overall social media strategy. Regardless of the social media platforms you’re using, these guidelines can help shape realistic goals that create material results.
Decide on important objectives
Before setting specific goals, decide on a broad objective or two to narrow your focus to what matters most. Effective objectives vary based on the type of brand you’re running—content creators or influencers may focus on follower growth and meaningful engagement, while small businesses may want to expand their local reach. If you run a large enterprise account, consider setting an objective to increase website traffic or create a more effective customer service pipeline.
Set SMART goals
Once you’ve figured out the big picture, it’s time to spell out your actionable goals. The SMART goal-setting framework helps determine realistic goals and how to make them a reality. As you decide on your new goals, consider the characteristics of a SMART goal.
- Specific. Your social media goals should be simple and clearly defined.
- Measurable. Effective goals should include measurable results that you’ll be able to track.
- Achievable. Ask yourself if your goals are possible, given your marketing budget and the reality of social media.
- Realistic. Not only should your goals be achievable, but they should also be sensible and relevant to your overall strategy.
- Time-sensitive. Remember to set a specific time frame for your goals, whether it’s a month or a year.
By defining each goal using this framework, you’ll have a better idea of the immediate steps necessary to achieve them.
Identify key metrics
When refreshing your social media strategy, each goal you set should be tied to metrics you’ll be able to track. The success of marketing goals and campaigns can often be challenging to quantify, but digital marketing makes it easier. Digital social media analytics tools help you track important metrics like impressions, reach, and outbound clicks. Some social media networks even include these tools within their platform for easier evaluation.
The metrics you track will depend on your goals and your overall brand. For brand awareness, watch out for overall impressions. If you’re hoping to increase sales conversions from your posts, you’ll likely focus on clicks.
Consider previous performance
Don’t throw away your old social media strategy yet—your past performance should guide your updated goals. Ground your strategy in reality by setting realistic goals in line with what your posts and accounts have achieved in the past. Setting unattainable performance goals, like gaining a large social media following in a short amount of time, takes the focus away from realistic growth.
Updating your social media marketing strategy helps keep your brand competitive and sustain your social media growth. Once you’ve decided it’s time for a refresh, you’ll be able to set realistic and actionable goals that lead to meaningful results.
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