Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying Off.

Are your Social Media efforts paying off?  Yes or No?  How do you know?  Define paying off? If you're a small business, a marketing professional, or trying to sell your services in Social Media you must to be able to provide simple answers to this direct, but complex question.  So, the answer to the question, "What are the results of our Facebook spend"  better not be, "We got a lot of likes." And it can't be, "things are going good."  You need to specifically illustrate how your Social Media Marketing efforts are supporting business goals and paying off.

Every business needs to know the results from activities and use of resources.  Nothing frustrates upper management and business owners more than guesses, hunches or evasive answers.  The challenge becomes quantifying and qualifying your efforts and defining success.  If you can do this you will win more business, or will become an indispensable superstar with a valued opinion well on your way to reaching your career goals.

Example in Action

Let's say you are responsible for the Marketing for a restaurant and you want to generate $260,000 more annually which equals $5000 more dollars in sales per week.  $5000 dollars may be huge or small for your particular situation or venue so please replace this figure with something more relevant but let's use $5000 for this example.

You know or should know what each customer generates on average for revenue.  In our example for nice round numbers lets say that each customer equals $25 in sales.  How many new customers do you need in your restaurant to reach your goal?  That's easy, $5000 (sales) / $25 (ave per customer) = 200 new customers. This is 200 more customers coming in each week.  Is 200 new customers attainable and realistic?  How much of an increase over existing customers is this?  For example, if you're currently serving 2000 customers per week then a 10% increase seems attainable.

For the sake of this example let's assume you have the capacity and resources to serve 200 more customers and do it well.  You have seating space is available, staffing is available, and the other intangibles that are required.  Your first step to attaining 200 more weekly customers is to map out a plan starting with creating a Smart Goal.

Smart Goals

The first steps towards determining if Social Media efforts are successful is to define success.  The most effective way to do this is with Smart Goals.  (If you are not familiar with the Smart Goal concept, Google it.  It's one of the basic fundamental tools used in successful business.)  Follow the Smart Goal framework to create your Social Media Marketing goal.

Specific | Measurable | Attainable | Relevant | Time Bound

Smart Goals
Specific - To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five "W" questions:
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
 Measurable - The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion.  A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable - While an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless.  An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant - The fourth term stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter.  Relevant goals (when met) drive the team, department, and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.  A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
  • Are you the right person?
Time Bound - This is a target date or set of dates and creates urgency.  A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
  • When?
  • What can I do 6 months from now?
  • What can I do 6 weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?
Complete step 1 by creating your Smart Goal.

Step 2, Once your goal is created... begin Step 2, Tools for Measuring Social Media Marketing Results.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To
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  1. Hi James-- popped over from Empire Avenue to see what you had to say about social media results. I like the SMART goals example you have, and I'm glad you made it 60 days-- there are still WAY too many people that do not understand how social media works and that it takes a little longer than traditional marketing to see some solid results. I recently wrote this article on Social Media Success Proof for Social Media Today...http://socialmediatoday.com/node/507094. I am sharing your very thorough thoughts on this as well. Thanks!

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