At Percolate, we’ve developed a set of ideas we call the building blocks of marketing. They’re essentially things that marketers need to consider whenever they create and publish a new piece of marketing content. One of these ideas that we often see overlooked, especially when it comes to marketing on social platforms, is Business Objective

Marketing, ultimately, is a business discipline and each piece of marketing communication should be attached to an objective or set of objectives established by the brand. While a brand might measure metrics such as followers, likes, retweets and mentions, those numbers are essentially raw data. Unfortunately, we often see brand marketers treat these numbers as the final outcome of their effort. To really understand the full picture of their marketing content’s impact on audiences, brands need to tie that social engagement with more fundamental objectives.

— For marketers at e-commerce companies, that might be the average order size.
— For those at consumer brands, it might be sales volume for a particular product.
— For those at enterprise companies, that might be new leads from webinar and white paper landing pages.
— And for marketers focused on Masterbrands, it might be measuring brand sentiment over time.

Nichole Kelly of Social Media Explorer recently did a tear down of the math of Social ROI. Using an estimate of that a company could reach 16% reach of it’s total following on a social account with a single post/update, a 1% click-through rate on the post and a 2% conversion rate from visits to lead, she argued that a brand would need 1,250,000 followers to generate 250 leads.

That seems like a really steep funnel in our view, but even if we recognize that this analysis is conservative, her point is well taken: simply measuring activity can offer a false sense of progress. Only by measuring real goals can marketers be sure that their efforts are paying off.

While each brand has different objectives, understanding what you’re trying to accomplish with a piece of content, and how you plan to measure that, is crucial for determining whether your marketing is achieving progress for your brand.

Do you keep your business objectives in mind when you develop marketing content? For more thinking from Percolate on the building blocks of marketing, check out our free white paper.