“Is my social media working?”

There’s no single answer to this seemingly easy question even though as marketers we hear it every time people are looking for reasons why their numbers aren’t quite where they should be.

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Our answer is always the same: “What was the goal?”

With our clients, the goals are always obsessively specific – because how can you measure what you don’t define? But in general, companies who go online to get brand awareness, website traffic, sales…none of them have any idea when they’ve won.

Brand awareness seems to be the biggest reason people do social media – which is great if you’re a new or rebranded business, but it doesn’t let you off the measuring hook. Brand awareness comes with its own set of numbers and it has real value.

How aware is aware enough? How many people need to be made aware to make the campaign a success? What should they be made aware of in the first place? How does one measure awareness?

The one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that brand awareness cannot be measured by vanity metrics.

Vanity metrics are likes, views, shares, and things that give you a dopamine rush without impacting your bottom line. They make you feel good. We want you to make $$.

Here are the steps to setting your goals. And remember, you spend time, money, or both on your social media – so you need it working for you.

1. Set a target.

That target could be new account follows, likes, etc, since those make it more likely that people will have your content end up on their screen organically (without paying.)

Better targets are website hits per month, conversions per week/month, event attendees per dollar spent, clicks on the call now button – whatever will make you the dollars.

2. Align your campaign or posting strategy with that target. If you’re looking to get website traffic but you’re not sending people to your site via blogs or other tactics, then your strategy and your target aren’t aligned. Stop whatever you’re doing until you get this part on track. You’re welcome.

3. Once your target and your tactics are working together, start measuring weekly. Daily will give you a headache, weekly will show trends. But remember, trends are not signposts. Don’t throw the baby and the bathwater out every week or you will spend a wasteful amount of time changing out what might just take a bit of time to work. Measure weekly, respond monthly, change quarterly

4. If you have your target and your tactics working consistently and yet you’re consistently missing your goal, then it’s time to look hard at your tactics, your assets (mainly of time, talent, and money) and your liabilities (also mainly of time, talent, and money!)

And if you still need help putting it all together, reach out. A two hour consultation is likely all you’ll need to get you back on the right track and making those dollah-dollah bills!