Human nature is a funny thing isn’t it – we have dreams and ambition and desire…but too often we are not able to temper our behaviour around these things.
You see it every day in work and in yourself probably. People are either workaholic or lazy, they’re ambitious or satisfied, they are focussed or random, but one thing is for certain, they’re not balanced in all of these departments and, in the world of social media, this can cause big problems because we need to have clear goals and expectations, which we do through goal setting. We need to have an understanding of what we consider “good” or “acceptable” to be because without it we could be in a whole world of pain.
Well, because social media is simply so big…and we, by comparison are so small. Yes, it’s great to start off with high expectations of yourself “I will always personally answer every single direct message” for example. That’s easy when you have 500 followers and every week 1% of them send you a direct message because that’s 5 per week. But if like one of our co-founders, Tim, you have 185,000 followers this presents a fairly major problem because at the same rate that’s 1,850 DMs per week…or 270 every single day.
Another thing is that so often we don’t say what we actually want.
Q: How many leads do you want?
A: As many as I can get!
Really? Like Tim? You want 1,850 enquiries per week? I very much doubt that many small businesses could cope with that.
So, being prescriptive is important. Prescriptive about what you’re going to do and prescriptive about what you hope the result is going to be: “We will source, write and post 10 pieces of content every single week. For each piece of content we will write 5 Tweets/LinkedIn/Facebook posts and we will build time in to our diary of do this every single day. Within 12 months this will be gaining traction and we will be receiving one inbound enquiry every day.”
This is a reasonable goal setting objective and a reasonable timescale for most businesses (or individuals) just starting out in the world of social marketing. Perhaps you will achieve this, perhaps you won’t, but the important thing is that you have set an achievable target against which you can judge your performance.
The importance is to have the target. The goal that you have clearly stated against which you build an action plan of things your going to do in order to achieve this goal.
I know what you’re thinking…you’re thinking “this is hardly an earth shattering revelation”…and you’re right, it’s not. But, and here’s the painful bit, you’re probably not doing this. The reason that I can say this is that most businesses don’t do this or anything like this. They perhaps have social channels and perhaps they post things from time to time (or even regularly) and they may even engage their audience in conversations, but what they probably don’t have is a mid-term goal and the “permission” to be able to go and seek that goal.
We have worked with many organisations, some of whom are household names, and very few of them do this. Around 18 months ago I had a meeting with a large insurance company (everyone has heard of them) and they said that they weren’t getting the results that they wanted despite a sizeable investment in both an enterprise level social media scheduling and measurement tool and 95 (yes, that’s right) social media staff globally. During discussions it transpired that they “knew they needed social” but that didn’t know what that meant, the staff hadn’t been told i) why they were doing it (what the long term strategic objective was), ii) what they needed to do (post a new article every day or whatever), iii) what this should achieve either long-term (a piece of inbound every day) or short term (500 new followers and 10 new conversations every week) so they were like a rudderless ship and dissatisfied with their Return on Investment (not surprisingly).
Needless to say, once they had been through the goal setting process and everyone knew the deliverable and bought in to it they made great headway and subsequently won an award for their social media.
But they achieved this through doing simple things, with a clear purpose and by doing them well…and you can too.
We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.