Marketing is about achieving goals, and that goes for social media marketing as well. In fact, you might say it's about "micro goals". At least that's what Jennifer Evans Laycock, President of SugarSpun Marketing says.
"The concept of micro goals is really about looking at all of the little things that can happen with your social media campaigns," she told WebProNews in an interview at PubCon in Las Vegas. "So we think about it in terms of, how many followers do I have on Twitter [or] how many fans do I have on Facebook? But a lot of times people don't look at the other small level goals that happen, so like how many times has this specific article been retweeted or how many times does the discount code off of Twitter get used?"
"When we look at all of those as individual goals (micro goals), they just are what they are, and we put them together, we can get a lot of insight into an overall campaign," says Laycock. "We may see a lot of links and a lot of traffic coming into some of our articles, but then if we go and look at the engagement level or the conversion rate off of some of those articles, it's next to nothing. Well, that's easy to say this is just link bait, and if we wanted to accomplish something, we need to re-write it. We need to come up with something different."
"So, it's having those micro goals in play to give you the way to see sort of the overall picture," she adds.
By getting a better view of that picture, you should be able to fine tune your efforts in order to increase traffic and conversions. "The nice thing about micro goals is that if you're looking at it on that level, you can kind of change directions a little more quickly with your campaign, because you're not just looking at that end goal of did my conversions go up or did I get more traffic?" she says. "You're actually seeing it as it's happening. So you have a lot better opportunity to change directions mid-stream, and fix something that's not going the way you want it to."
Having goals means knowing why you are doing certain things in social media (as opposed to just jumping on the social media "brand" wagon). "What I'm seeing a lot happening now as companies call, is I'll get that call that says, 'We need you to build a Facebook Page for us.' And I'll say, 'why?' And there's just dead silence. And I get, 'Well, I don't know.'...because everyone's doing it," says Laycock.
"You don't want to do just what everyone else is doing," she adds. "Don't jump off the bridge because everyone else is...People spend the money on the Facebook Page. They have fun making friends, talking to people, and then at the end of the day, when the CEO comes in and says, 'Well what did this do to our bottom line?' they go, 'I don't know.' That's problematic."
"If you want to impact the bottom line of your business, set a goal and figure out which social media outlets are actually going to help you reach it," she continues. "Not just which ones are most popular."
You may think that you have to be on Facebook or you have to be on Twitter, and there are certainly plenty of good reasons to be, but if these reasons aren't practical to your own business, you can probably do without them, although it's hard to imagine not having a goal of reaching as many people as possible with your message.
"I, much like most of the other people in the industry, used to spend a lot of time on Twitter, and I find myself spending less and less, because it was taking away from what I needed to do, which is work with clients," says Laycock. "So, invest the time to get the understanding, but once you have that understanding, ask yourself honestly: is this working for me? And if it's not, start investing some time into learning something else."
It doesn't hurt to keep your eyes open for new technologies, like New York Times tech columnist David Pogue was saying in an interview with WebProNews. There are so many technologies coming out so frequently, you're not going to be able to jump right into all of them, but you can keep an eye on the industry and look for practical ways to use different services. As he said, it may be dangerous to wait too long. That said, don't forget about your goals.