Earlier this month, I shared 5 social media goals that can boost your business in the coming year. But after you set these goals, how do you know you’re on track to meeting them?
Setting goals is only the first step in a successful social business plan. You’ll also have to measure throughout the year. Not to worry! Here are five steps to ensure your social goals are met.
1) Know Your Baseline
The new year offers a perfect opportunity to start fresh. I’m not suggesting you close down all your social platforms and start over. Rather, take account of where each of channel stands at the end of 2013. Here are just a few baseline numbers you should record:
- How large, or small, each community is. Be specific when doing this by recording the date and exact number of community members (Likes, Followers, etc.)
- Average engagement on each platform. This doesn’t need to be precise but should be an accurate reflect of engagement over the past six months.
2) Select Measurement Tool(s)
There are free and paid measurement tools, both of which will be hugely helpful when it comes to measuring your social efforts. After you’ve taken the time to get your baselines, you can start measuring all sorts of important social data.
Measurement efforts should reflect more than how your community has grown. Understand how you’ve improved engagement and why, what types of content evoke engagement and what days and times are best to post on each platform. The findings can be very revealing.
Check out a few of these free tools to get started:
3) Have a Plan
Without a solid plan it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure and reach goals. As with business plans, you must always keep a close eye on progress and have a system in place for ensuring success.
Begin with your baselines but be sure to set reasonable benchmarks throughout the year. Decide how often you’ll be measuring each data point and what type. Know how you’re doing, and if you think a benchmark will not be reached, make changes and adjustments.
4) Put Someone in Charge of Your Plan
After you’ve created a solid plan for the year, put someone in charge of managing that plan. Who will be doing the measuring and reporting? Who will analyze data collected? And, who will s/he be reporting to?
By putting at least one person in charge who has both time and experience, your measurements will actually mean something, getting you closer to reaching the goals you set.
5) Make Adjustments
Measurement is meant to help you better understand what works and what doesn’t. But if you fail to take advantage of the information gleaned, then your efforts have been wasted.
Be sure to track on a consistent basis and be prepared to make any necessary changes. Give yourself time to succeed, but also be willing to shift if it’s clear your efforts aren’t working.
Originally published Dec 27, 2013, updated Sep 20, 2021