Years ago I was able to take a trip to Yosemite National Park and stand under the famous El Capitan rock formation. As I looked straight up its sheer face, the idea of climbing to the top was overwhelming. I often talk with companies or organizations who feel the same way with regards to social media marketing.

For the last 6 years prior to joining the Webconnex team, I worked for a global 3rd party Twitter application where I was able to consult and develop social strategies for marketing teams as big as Verizon Wireless and Cisco Systems down to the local one-person-team event organizer. The most consistent common denominator between all the individuals and teams I worked with was:

We know we need to be active on social media, we just don’t know what to do or where to start.

Over the next few months I will be sharing this series of Social Media related posts and my hope is that it will assist you in creating social goals, developing your social strategy, and implementing practical action steps to be successful with your social media marketing.

This first post will focus on creating your social media goals; it will be the foundation upon which all social media marketing efforts will be built. It is time to start achieving the social media success you are craving!

Step 1: Creating Your Social Media End Goals

There is no point in taking a road-trip if you do not have a final destination for where you want to end up. The same can be said regarding social media marketing.I have seen many hours and large marketing budgets wasted on social media due to a simple lack of defined end goals. The question everyone should be asking themselves is, “What does being successful with social media look like for me?”

The end goals you create will act like your social media map to success: it will shape the strategy you build to reach your end goals, allow you to set milestones to gauge your progress, and allow your accounts to find success along the way with small but significant social wins.Some examples of social media end goals to consider:

  • Growing your brand awareness by reaching a set level of followers.
  • Creating a social sales funnel to increase event registration or ticket sales.
  • Boosting website & blog related traffic through your social followers.

Step 2: Setting Achievable Mile Marker Goals

Sit down with a coffee or beer and think about the goals you want to reach in the next month, six months, year, and five years. Set a few specific markers you want to achieve for each stage in this process.Your goals are unique to you but there are techniques you can use to be successful.Set goals you can successfully achieve. This is especially crucial with the month and six-month goals. You want to start your journey with social media marketing with some early wins and build momentum off your success. These wins will energize you to continue going forward with your strategy.Some examples of good early goals to set:

  • Gain 100 new followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (pick any number of followers that is suitable for your account to grow based on where your starting numbers. Keep in mind accounts that are small <100 followers will grow slower than larger accounts)
  • Send 3 original content posts per week on each platform.
  • Organically engage one of your followers in conversation every day of the week.

Focus on goals that can be attained with your personal efforts. Setting a goal to be verified on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook is a stretch that requires influential connections. That is not to say it is an unrealistic goal, it would rather be best suited for the 5+ year goal.

Step 3: Write Your Goals Down

Comprehensive sociological studies have shown that 84% of people do not write out their goals. 14% have goals in their heads and only 3% write them out.

This data shows that the 3% who simply write out their goals are 10x more successful with reaching their set goals than those who think about them. Those who write out their goals are also 30x more successful than those who do not set goals in the first place!

Action Step: Put your goals somewhere you will see them on a semi-frequent basis. A few suggestions could be your office whiteboard, a sticky note on your computer monitor, or even weekly reminders on your phone. Ultimately, without setting goals, you will not know whether you are on track to end up where you want to be with your social media marketing.

There is no uniform model of what being successful on social media looks like. The point is to think through what success looks like to you and list out the ideas of what you want to achieve.The first step forward is the hardest one to take. Set your goals and you will be sure to climb the El Capitan of your social media marketing.