The accounts are set up, all the profiles are properly branded and the team has been taught how to be good social citizens. The bookings should start rolling in, right? Not necessarily. In order to see a positive ROI, every social media marketing campaign needs to have clearly defined goals.
There’s almost no limit to the amount of data that can be collected, given enough time. But more data does not equal more results. The key to good marketing goals is centering them around specific, actionable data. For a new campaign it’s best to focus on one or two metrics and build out the campaign to other networks as the social media accounts gain traction. Focussing on all social networks at the same time may not produce the best results.
When talking about goal setting it’s almost impossible not to mention George T. Doran and his SMART goals system, and with good reason. The SMART system has proven to be one of the most effective goal setting strategies on the planet. It is an excellent place to start when setting social media marketing goals.
SMART goals are:
- Relevant and
Goals that are designed the SMART way answer who, what, where, when, why and how of a marketing campaign. They are particularly useful when working with teams. SMART goals let the team know what to focus on while remaining realistic and trackable.
There are many types of data that can be collected from a social media marketing campaign. These include but are not limited to:
- Social engagement (comments, likes, shares and retweets)
- Audience demographics
- Audience size
- Use of #hashtags and @mentions
- Social traffic (how many people came to the website from social?)
- Video views, comments and likes
- Sales and conversions
It’s tempting to say that the goal of a marketing campaign is to “increase brand awareness” but this can be difficult to measure. Instead, make the goal clear and precise. Who is the campaign trying to reach? What action should these people to take? (Are you promoting a specific tour?) How many people will be reached and in what timeframe? Specific, measurable goals provide data that gives a clear view of whether or not things are working.
For example, imagine a boutique hotel that has a small social media presence that is not currently contributing much to the company’s bottom line. Some of their social media marketing goals might be:
- Increase bookings
- Increase newsletter mailing list size
- Increase audience engagement on Facebook and Instagram
- Increase website traffic from social media
To make these goals SMART they could be adjusted like this:
- Increase bookings from social by 10% in the next six months
- Add 350 emails addresses to the newsletter mailing list in the next three months
- Get 10 comments, 10 shares and 10 likes on Facebook each month for the next year
- Grow the Instagram audience by 150 followers in 2017
- Increase monthly website visitors from social media by 20% in 2017
Once the goals have been set it’s time to set up a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) chart. This chart holds the data from each month making it easy to compare and track progress and see when campaign adjustments are needed. If there is a goal that cannot be broken down to fit the KPI chart (ie it’s not clear where the data will come from) then it’s likely that the goal does not meet the SMART criteria. Some goals will be tracked through several pieces of data and this can all be organized through the KPI chart.
Here’s an example of a social media marketing KPI chart:
- Free Sample KPI Scorecard (PDF)
- Free Sample KPI Scorecard (Excel)
- Free Sample KPI Scorecard (Google Doc)
These templates are free to use and easy to customize to fit any needs.
Filling out the KPI chart may require the use of additional analytic and social listening tools depending on the specific goals set. Counting followers, for example, can easily be done by hand. and some social networks like Facebook and Twitter have free dashboards that provide a lot of insight. Tracking total comments, likes and shares takes a little longer depending on the scope of the campaign. There are several social listening tools available that will gather this data including Hootsuite, Meltwater, and Sproutsocial. With clearly defined goals and a KPI to track the results the campaign is set up for success.
For more insights on setting social media marketing goals for your travel business we recommend:
7 Popular Goal-Setting Strategies That Will Help You Achieve Great Things on Social Media
“Growth works best when everyone is aligned around the goal, but 35 percent of marketers don’t share testing or growth wins with their teams. Share everything to align and motivate everyone towards a common goal.”
How to Create Achievable Social Media Goals
“As a business, a lot of the decisions you make will be based on your ROI. Creating
goals and attaching metrics to them allows you to see your social media ROI so you can make better choices for your company.”
How To Set Measurable Goals for Your Social Media Marketing
“Use the data to determine your strengths and weaknesses and focus your efforts on what you know has worked in the past. If you plan on trying a new approach, be sure to track whether or not these changes drive more qualified leads into the funnel.”
If you’re ready to take your social media marketing campaign up a notch, Stir can help. Contact Stir Tourism’s social media experts for a free consultation or project proposal, no strings attached.