Social media can feel a lot like throwing things at a wall and waiting to see what sticks. That’s where goals come in. They give you structure and something to work toward, making your efforts more intentional, and ideally, more effective.
However, simply tracking your follower count or post likes won’t get your far. While this tells you if you’re growing, that data won’t provide insight into how effective social media is for growing your business. Use the following social media goals to make sure social media is driving value, allowing you to grow your following and your business.
As your follower count increases, your engagement should as well. That’s why it’s important to track this metric. Start by calculating engagement rate as part of your monthly social media reporting. I use this simple calculation:
Engagement Rate = Total Engagement / Total Followers x 100
To get the total number of engagements for Instagram, for example, I use Planoly, which is my scheduling tool. This gives me the total number of engagements for whatever time frame is specified, as you can see in the screenshot below.
If you don’t use this tool, or one that provides similar data, you may need to manually count total likes, comments and shares, depending on which social platform you’re calculating for.
Once you have your engagement rate calculated for each platform, check against two things: your own benchmarks—how did you do last month and the month before?—and industry benchmarks. For the latter, turn to RivalIQ, who shared overall averages for each platform, along with the average for a variety of industries. For example, the average engagement rate, per post, per platform, is as follows:
- Facebook: .16%
- Instagram: 1.73%
- Twitter: .046%
If you’re comparing to RivalIQ’s data, be sure to calculate engagement rate per post, rather than as an average for the whole month. If you notice that your engagement rate isn’t increasing, you need to ask yourself: Are we posting the things our followers care about? Are we staying on message? To figure this out, head to the branding drawing board.
Clicks to your website
Ultimately, you need to make sales or drive leads to see ROI from your social media efforts. That’s why it’s important to set a goal for driving clicks to your website. To keep your small business on track, set goals for driving clicks to specific landing pages each month. For example, you may set a goal of driving 100 clicks to your new service page and 200 clicks to your blog.
If you fell short of this goal at the end of the month, it’s time to assess why—and whether that particular social media platform is actually driving value for your business. When assessing why, ask yourself a few questions:
- How often did I promote my website this month?
- Did I include a direct call to action (CTA) to click through each time?
- Was the post as engaging as it could be (image, text, voice, etc.)?
If the answer to #1 is “very little,” then step one for next month is increasing that. Plan to post at least 3 to 5 links back to your site each week. Remember: you can share the same link multiple times, just change the format. For example, one post might include a graph image, one might be a basic link share, and the other might be a quote pulled from the content. These are all different posts that drive traffic to the same place.
If the answer to #2 is no, change that to a yes next month. Remember that your CTA can be as simple as: “Click the link to learn more!”
Finally, play with different post types to discover what gets your audience to click. Analyze your top most engaging posts each month to see what elements you can repeat. For example, have you used carousel images to promote your products on Instagram? Check out 9 Killer Carousel and Multi-Image Ideas to Tell Your Story from MavSocial to learn how they can be effective. Don’t forget about using other features and engagement methods, like posting on Instagram stories, doing a Facebook Live, or participating in Twitter chats.
Clicks to your website is only step one. Step two is to determine how many conversions came from those clicks. If people aren’t converting, the traffic doesn’t help you much. In this case, there are two potential issues:
- You’re not reaching your target audience.
- Your landing pages aren’t effective.
You can likely rule out number one if your engagement rate is consistently high, and growing, month over month—assuming your posts are on brand and on message. For example, if you’re a CPA, posting financial tips and consistently seeing high engagement rates, your social media audience likely matches up with the profile of your ideal customer.
In this case, the issue may be your landing pages. You’re getting followers to click through, but you’re missing something once they get there. In this case, you may want to consider a few potential issues:
- How hard is your ask? Driving social media followers to a freebie may be more beneficial than driving them to a direct landing page. They need to trust you and your brand before making a big purchase or signing up for an expensive service. A freebie allows you to prove you can do what you say, not to mention, once they’re in your email funnel, you can start selling to them more effectively.
- Does your page layout or design need to be updated? Check out these reasons for low conversion rates on landing pages—you may just need to make a few small tweaks.
- Is your messaging consistent from social media through to your landing page? If you’re talking about personal finance goals in your post, but then you drive them to a page about 401Ks, the disconnect may be causing visitors to leave.
Spruce up your social media goals
It’s easy to track vanity metrics like total followers or total likes on your post—but these data points don’t tell you much. While they help answer the question of whether your social media following is growing, they don’t tell you whether social media is benefiting your business, if you’re staying on message, or if your audience is staying engaged as you grow.
Use the goals discussed here to keep your small business on track. Social media can be a great platform for driving brand awareness, making sales, and building an engaged community, but without the right data, you won’t know if you’re doing that.
The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.