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When a business or organization is planning its internet marketing campaign, the first step (as with any other plan) should be establishing goals. What do you want to get out of each of your efforts? What are your metrics for tracking these goals? Additionally, your goals should be specific to each component of internet marketing. A goal for your AdWords campaign might be to increase conversions or actual form submits on your website. The purpose of link building may be to increase the organic positioning of a keyword in Google. Some goals may seem more straightforward than others, and it is sometimes most difficult to establish a clear goal for social media.

Over the last few years when social media exploded, many companies jumped on the bandwagon to engage in social media so they wouldn't be left behind. If this is still why you are using social media, you probably have not seen many results from your efforts. There is certainly value in brand awareness. When people see your name, URL, or logo popping up in more places, it does help create more of an awareness of who you are and your level of activity online. Additionally, creating profiles on sites such as Facebook and Linkedin, result in links back to your website, so at the bare minimal you are helping to increase your inbound links. However, links posted to Twitter or Flickr are "nofollow" links, which means that search engines do not recognize these links as inbound links that will affect the importance of your site.

It is best to set weekly or even monthly goals for your social media that give you tangible, traceable results. Here are a few examples to get you started:

1. Grow your email list through Twitter and Facebook. Use incentives such as 10% off your first order or a free consultation for those that sign-up.

2. Post an article to your website that demonstrates your knowledge in your industry. Track how many visits to your website come in via social media. You want to get potential customers off the social media platform and onto your site.

3. Create an event on facebook to create awareness about a certain promotion or offer at your company. Events on facebook do not have to be actual, real-life events. It can be a month-long event to gain awareness for something-related to your company. For example, a food co-op created an event to encourage people to visit the co-op that month, bring a friend, and share knowledge about the benefits of supporting local farmers. See how many people are attending and track if any of those individuals become your customers.

By creating realistic, measurable goals for your social media, you will find- within a short period of time- you are getting more out of it. Although most social media is of no cost, it still occupies your time. Centering your efforts on specific goals is a method that will not only make more effective use of your time, but also increase your results.

Jennifer Brant
Marketing Manager

Pittsburgh Internet Marketing
Pittsburgh SEO

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