Being active on a multitude of social media channels can be an excellent tactic when building your brand, monitoring your online presence, and influencing sales; however, many companies still have a social presence for the sole purpose of just “being there” and fail to use these channels to generate measurable results that align with their business goals.

Achieving success through social media doesn’t simply happen by accident, and you’re likely to generate little traction without first defining a purpose and documenting a comprehensive content strategy to guide your efforts. Although the social landscape evolves quickly, your brand should have strong objective reasons that are driven by data when possible—prior to becoming active on a social platform.

Learn the correct approach to integrating social media across your marketing channels and how to better align your business goals by developing a strategy to help your social marketing efforts remain purpose driven.

Clarify Your Social Media Objectives—Then Think Tactics

According to Social Media Examiner, 96% of marketers surveyed indicated that they were actively using social media to promote their business, but 92% didn’t know what tactics were most important to use. But it’s impossible to know which are the right tactics if you haven’t defined your social media objectives.

If you’re one of the many businesses struggling to understand which social media tactics should be applied to your campaigns and how they can be best integrated with your other marketing channels, you should first develop clear targets for your campaigns to accomplish. Establishing these goals can make it more obvious just what you should be doing on social.

Some of your goals could include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Building sales leads
  • Driving more traffic to your website or landing pages
  • Generating sales revenue
  • Demonstrating industry expertise
  • Customer service
  • Educating your audience about your product or services etc.

If it’s your first time applying purpose to your social campaigns, you should start by focusing on only one or two goals. This can help your first campaigns become more manageable and reduce complexity when measuring for effectiveness.

For example, when Taco Bell launched its mobile app, its message was not overly complicated by trying to teach their customers how or why they should use the app; one of their focuses was on driving consumer adoption through downloads.

To accomplish this, the brand turned to its social media channels and “blacked out” all social activity, claiming that “The New Way To Taco Bell… was #OnlyInTheApp”. This simple message turned consumer attention to their new application and within 24 hours of the campaign, Taco Bell reported that 75% of their stores had processed a mobile order.

By integrating the needs of their business into their social campaigns, Taco Bell effectively distributed a very focused message to it’s social media followers to generate results for their mobile campaign.

Finding the Correct Social Platforms to Drive Your Content Strategy

One of the most important steps to the success of your social media efforts is understanding exactly which networks are right for connecting your brand to your audience. You should focus on publishing to networks that can add value to your organization to avoid potentially wasting time and resources on a platform that doesn’t align with your business objectives.

Facebook may seem like an ideal social channel due to its number of users. But remember: while it’s often commonplace to become active on the more popular social networks first, audience size and activity does not necessarily translate into a successful social platform for your business. You should conduct thorough market research on your target audience to have a better understanding of their online social behaviors and where they are most likely to interact with your content.

Check to see if your brand should be on a particular network by asking yourself one simple question—why? Why are we active on Facebook? Why are we using Google+? Why aren’t we using Instagram? If you don’t have a data-driven answer that suggests your customers are frequently active or you haven’t developed objective goals to increase your influence on a particular network, you may have not done enough market research.

After outlining a few of your business objectives and identifying the appropriate social channels for your brand, you should start developing your social media content strategy. This strategy creates a roadmap of goals for your marketing department and provides written purpose for your social media campaigns.

As you become more accustomed to how your audience responds to your content, you can begin to experiment and add creativity through additional campaigns, test new social markets, and prove the effectiveness of driving results for your business through social media.