A few weeks ago I wrote a handful of articles on how to develop a proper social media strategy by developing goals, breaking those goals into supportive goals and matching goals to appropriate tactics. Those three articles outline the foundation that needs to be laid for any good social media plan, but your job doesn’t stop there. In fact, if you want to do things properly, your job is just getting started.
First, let’s quickly recap what your process would look like if you were to map it out based solely on those three articles. For each of your primary goals, the process might look a little something like this:
You would have started with your primary goal, broken it down into supportive goals, matched those goals to appropriate tactics and determined which social media outlets best allowed you to implement those tactics. After a few weeks or months, you’d sit down and ask yourself if you’d met your primary goal.
There’s really nothing wrong with going about the process this way, but there is a better way. What you need to do is understand the area between the outlets and success…that grey area where things can go right or wrong and you can be completely oblivious.
Understanding Micro Goals
Within that grey area is where our micro goals are going to live. These goals will sound familiar to most of you, because they’re actually the types of “goals” that get kicked around by people who know very little about social media strategy. Things like number of Facebook followers or number of RSS subscribers. Things that on the surface are almost worthless, but when combined with a solid strategy actually become crucial to the long term success of your campaigns.
Micro-goals are basically the various numbers you can tally up from your involvement in different social media outlets. They can easily be tracked and tallied over time and they give you a concrete gauge of your interactions with consumers and how those interactions are changing over time.
Establishing Micro Goals
You’ll need to have worked your way through your strategy to the point of selecting your social media tools before you’ll be ready to establish your micro goals. For the most part, there are universal micro goals that will need to be tracked across the board for all companies. These will serve as the starting points to help you realize what you should be tracking.
You’ll also need to have a solid understanding of your goals and supportive goals so you can fine tune your micro goals to your specific needs. For example, everyone will want to track the number of RSS and Email subscribers to their blog, but only some companies will need to track the number of PDF downloads or the number of leads generated from the blog.
Here are a few examples of specialized micro goals that might be tied to specific campaign goals:
If you are using Facebook to drive people to events or sales, RSVPs will become an important part of you campaign and an essential micro goal to track. If you’re using Flickr to build up press relations with bloggers and mainstream media, tracking the number of times your Creative Commons licensed photos are used will be important to track.
Sit down with your team, talk through your strategy and examine the list of actions consumers can take on each of the social media platforms you plan to utilize. Then add these to your list. Your finished product should give you quite a hefty list of things to track over the course of your campaign.
The Next Steps
Now that you understand what micro-goals are and how to establish them, you’re ready to learn how to put them to work to improve the performance of your campaigns. In my next post, I’ll talk about how to use these newly defined micro-goals to fine tune your social media efforts as you’re moving forward with your campaigns.