6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Social Media Marketing Goals

In today’s digital landscape, chances are social media is a vital piece of your marketing mix. After all, people live on social platforms these days and projections show that worldwide social media users will surpass 3 billion by 2021.

But as brands and marketers fight for visibility in crowded, “algorithm-enhanced” news feeds, how many of you are actually reaching your strategic social media marketing objectives? Better yet, how many of you can say you have well-defined, relevant and measurable goals outlined within your social strategy?

As a marketer, you know there can be no strategy without goals. Goals are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next. But how do you define those goals?

The truth is there’s a lot to consider such as your industry, overall business objectives, budget and resources. With that said, whether you need to start from scratch or it’s time to give your goals a refresh, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself along the way:

#1 – How does social media map to my overall marketing objectives?

Your social media marketing efforts are an integral part of your entire marketing strategy. As such, the goals you set should absolutely support what you’re trying to achieve at a high level. It’s as simple as that.


Your #socialmedia goals should absolutely map to your overall #marketing objectives.
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#2 – Who is my social audience?

You know that the foundation of any marketing initiative is understanding your audience’s pain points, motivations, interests and needs. But those defining characteristics may manifest themselves a bit differently on social media. After all, social media is a personal outlet for many, so their motivations for engaging with a brand may be different than if they received an email from you or found you via search.

As a result, in order to define your social media objectives, you need to understand why your audience is on social media and what they care about most on those platforms.

#3 – How does my audience differ across social channels?

Every social media channel offers something a little unique, which means your audience may differ from channel to channel. As a result, your goals—as well as your strategy to reach those goals—should reflect that.

#4 – What does my audience expect from me?

Let’s face it. The goals you set are going to be rooted in some type of audience action. But to inspire that action, you need to think about what your audience’s expectations are and how you’ll meet them. Is it quick and empathetic customer service? Conversation? Entertainment? Helpful information and resources?

#5 – What do I really want from my social media efforts?

Brand awareness and audience engagement are typically the top goals of any social media marketing strategy. But challenge yourself to go deeper as you define your goals. For example, if community engagement is a top priority, what does that actually look like to you? Is it likes, shares, comments, reviews, website traffic or a combination of them all?


As your define your #socialmedia goals, challenge yourself to go deeper & deeper.
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#6 – Are my goals measurable?

At the end of the day, your goals have to be measurable. How else are you going to know if you’ve actually achieved what you set out to do?

In Need of More Social Media Marketing Inspiration?

Then check out these helpful resources:

  • Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media
  • 3 Important Ways Social Media Can Boost Your SEO
  • 7 Examples of eCommerce Brands Rocking Social Media Marketing

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3 Successful Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media

Looking for new ways to put your brand in front of social media users? Wondering what’s working for others? It’s possible to keep your social posts focused on your brand and avoid seeming self-centered and overly promotional. In this article, you’ll discover three ways to talk about your brand on social more often without turning […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

5 Social Sharing Tools for Teams

Do you want your employees to contribute to your social media marketing? Looking for tools to manage the content people share on social? In this article, you’ll discover five tools that will help you coordinate the content your team posts on social media. #1: Leverage Employee Advocacy With Smarp If you’re looking for ways to […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Social Customer Care Wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s

Behind the Marketing Curtain with Dan Gingiss Social media marketing has become an important part of any brand’s digital marketing mix, helping brands of all sizes foster customer connections and engagement. But as more consumers use social media to “ring the bell” and gain access to the person who can help solve their problems, many find the social bell is out of order when it comes to customer service. For social media wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, customer service is arguably one of the most important pieces of social media marketing. “Social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage,” Dan told me in a recent interview. With more than two decades building up his marketing wizardry, Dan knows a thing or two about ushering people through the emerald social media gates and providing great social care—and no ruby red slippers are required for entrance. With that said, as part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Gingiss arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help inspire better customer service within your social media strategy, and perhaps kick a wicked habit or two. Enjoy!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Dan Gingiss, Senior Director, Global Social Media, McDonald'sDan has spent most of his life and marketing career in the Chicago area—that’s his Kansas, he said. “[Well], it’s not quite Kansas, but still the Midwest!” he joked. And while Dan has been a marketer for more than 20 years, his numerous talents aren’t bound to any one industry. He also bills himself as a “pretty decent” pinball player and a grammar nerd—and he’s also a licensed bartender. “[I got my bartender’s license] after taking a two-week night course after college and placing first in the speed drink-making contest,” he explained while also noting that there’s no fire or bottle flipping in his repertoire. Dan is also a huge baseball fan—particularly when it comes to the Chicago Cubs club. But he’s arguably a pretty big Cleveland Indians fan, too; his all-time favorite movie is Major League. “[It’s the] perfect combo of humor, a little bit of romance, and baseball!” he said. As a marketer, he’s built his career as a marketing generalist. Borrowing a phrase from the John Fogerty song “Centerfield”—and keeping in line with his love of the game, Dan said: “I am a ‘put me in coach’ kind of guy. As a result, I’ve enjoyed domestic and global roles in B2C and B2B, product management, loyalty programs, and acquisition marketing.” Over the last two decades, Dan has held positions at Discover Card, Humana, Diner’s Club International, and Mesirow Financial. Earlier this year, Dan joined McDonald’s Corporation as Senior Director of Global Social Media. He’s also a podcaster and the author of Winning of Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experience on Social Media. So how did self-proclaimed marketing generalist land in a social media-specific role? We’ll cover that in the next section.

Following His Yellow Brick Road

As an undergrad student at the University of Pennsylvania, Dan was majoring in Psychology and Communications—meaning he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, he said. But, being the grammar nerd he is, he was the managing editor of the college newspaper. One evening, as he was pasting up the next day’s edition, he spotted an ad from MBI, Inc., a high-end collectibles company in Norwalk, CT that operates under The Danbury Mint brand. “The ad promised to teach me ‘everything you need to know about direct marketing,’” he recalled. “So, I applied and they did.” “On my first day of work, I was handed a bunch of product lines and told to create and execute marketing plans in direct mail, package inserts, and the Sunday coupons—that’s how I learned,” he said. Four years later, Dan went back to school for his MBA and took his “first” marketing class. At that point, he realized that his undergrad studies provided the perfect foundation for becoming a marketer. “Psychology and Communications are two perfect majors for a marketer because they are two skills that basically define what marketing entails—understanding your customer, and knowing how to speak to him or her,” he said. But his journey was certainly not over. While spreading his wings as a marketing generalist over the years, in 2012 Dan found his true marketing passion: social media. “[Mike Boush], the Chief Digital Officer at Discover Card, asked me to lead digital customer experience and social media even though I had no professional experience with either,” he recalled. “He recognized something in me even before I did: That I am most comfortable with my ‘customer hat’ on, thinking about every experience through the customer’s eyes. I also immediately fell in love with social media—especially Twitter—and never looked back.”

Dan’s Traveling Companions

Just as Dorothy found dear friends and encouragement in the Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion as she made her way to Emerald City, Dan’s yellow brick road was paved with a little help, too. The aforementioned Mike Boush was one such individual who made an impact. “He challenged me to become a “recognized leader” in social media,” Dan said. Another was Jeff Reid, who was Dan’s boss at Humana. “He asked me to create a personal goal (writing a book) and execute on it,” Dan explained. Another mentor that came to Dan’s mind was the late Robin Carey of Social Media Today. “She definitely had courage,” he said. “After meeting me once, she agreed to sponsor my brand-new podcast called ‘Focus on Customer Service.’ It was the first of its kind—dedicated solely to customer care in social media—and I had never recorded a podcast episode previously. Fifty-plus episodes later, that podcast spawned my book.” “Robin believed in me when she didn’t have to, and I’ll never forget her for that,” he added.

Meeting the Wizard

At TopRank Marketing we believe in taking a smart, creative and results-focused approach in everything we do for our clients, as well as our own personal growth. Dan is certainly someone who exemplifies these qualities in his work as a social media marketing wizard. So without further ado, let’s dive into Dan’s tips for better social media marketing. Good witch or bad witch? What’s one bad social media marketing habit marketers should drop? Thinking that customer service is someone else’s problem. When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage. [bctt tweet=”#SocialMedia is the only channel where customers can talk back, #marketers need to listen. @dgingiss” username=”toprank”] Dorothy’s ruby slippers were the key to achieving her end goal of returning home. What are a few tools you believe are key for social media marketing success? Always be listening. People will generally tell you everything you need to know about your business—what’s working, what needs fixing, and what could be your next big hit. Marketers need to embrace the feedback, including compliments, questions, and complaints. Knowing your customer will definitely help you become a better marketer. There are a number helpful social media marketing and listening tools out there—many of which I covered in the chapter on social customer care tools in my book—that can fit into any marketing budget and are worth the investment. [bctt tweet=”#Marketers need to embrace positive & negative feedback on #socialmedia. @dgingiss” username=”toprank”] Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep! What creative tactics can marketers use to keep their social audience engaged? Always be engaging, too. I know, so many rules! But consumers want to engage with brands on social media. That’s usually why they reach out in the first place. Companies that engage back can create loyal brand advocates that will tell their friends and followers on social media. We’ve all seen the studies—there’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. And I’ve personally seen 1:1 engagement rates even after a customer service inquiry that far surpass any marketer’s wildest dreams. Then scaling that becomes the challenge. [bctt tweet=”There’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. @dgingiss” username=”toprank”] What’s one thing you would ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? (More budget, more resources, better data?) An end to social media marketers thinking of social as a “special” channel that gets to play by different rules. Other than that consumers can talk back, social is just another marketing channel. It’s not unfair to ask for a return on that marketing investment. It’s not unfair to point out that likes, comments, and retweets don’t mean anything if more people aren’t buying your company’s products. Social marketers need to understand that corporate marketing budgets are finite, and social is competing against more mature marketing channels that have shown results for decades. [bctt tweet=”#Marketers need to stop thinking #socialmedia is “special” channel that has different rules. @dgingiss” username=”toprank”]

We’re Off to Meet More Wizards

I’d like to sincerely thank Dan for taking the time to open up about who he is, where he comes from and how he approaches content and comedy. Thanks, Dan! Of course, TopRank Marketing’s journey to Emerald City is still underway. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you more exclusive interviews and insights from industry wizards to add some smarts, heart and nerve to your marketing efforts. Stay tuned for our next installment, my pretty! What’s one thing you’d ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

24 Hot Tools and Apps for Social Media Marketers

Want to try some new social media marketing tools? Wondering which apps can enhance your social media audio, video, and images? In this article, you’ll discover 24 useful social media tools. #1: Narro Narro is an app that converts text articles into audio files so you can listen on the go. To convert a text article […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Digital Marketing News: VR is Growing, AI is Watching & 3 Billion are on Social Media

Global Social Media User Base Reaches 3 Billion
A new report compiled by HootSuite and We Are Social found that the total number of social media users has now exceeded 3 billion, accounting for about 40 percent of the global population. Truly an incredible number, and one that speaks to the contemporary ubiquity of these networks. Mashable

AI is Analyzing You on Social Media for Marketing Research
With so many people using social media, there are no shortage of habits and behaviors to monitor and aggregate. AI marketing solutions company Ayzenberg is using machine-learning algorithms to analyze social speech and create actionable data for segmenting and profiling customers. The Next Web

AR and VR Revenue Projected at $ 215 Billion by 2021
Although everyone is still trying to figure out the best ways to utilize augmented and virtual reality, there is no question these technologies are gaining serious traction. The latest forecast from IDC suggests that spending on AR and VR products and services will reach $ 11 billion this year, with revenues expected to surpass $ 215 billion by 2021. As Jamiroquai once told us: the future’s made of virtual insanity. Media Post

Snapchat Takes a Page from Facebook Ads’ Power Editor
Hoping to make itself a more attractive destination for advertisers, Snapchat is beefing up its Ads Manager functionality with a new “Advanced Mode” that brings in new targeting, testing, and tweaking features. We’ll see if it helps turn around the company’s sluggish stock performance. TechCrunch

LinkedIn Expands Marketing Program, with Eye on Targeting, Measurement
In efforts to help marketers better measure and increase ROI, LinkedIn is expanding and diversifying its Marketing Partners Program, which originally launched three years ago. The program helps business users connect with LinkedIn-approved third-party technology partners. The three new categories added are marketing analytics, audience management, and media buying. Newly introduced partners include HootSuite and Marketo. Marketing Dive

People Take More Time to Read Emails on Mobile Than Desktop
It probably doesn’t shock you that more people now read emails on their mobile devices than desktop. But this nugget may come as a surprise: recipients spend more time reading emails on mobile, and are more likely to go through the entire message instead of quickly exiting. This runs contrary to conventional thinking that smartphone users are apt to skim-and-skip emails. Marketers, take note. Marketing Charts

Brands Use Instagram Stories More Than Twice as Often as Snapchat
Snapchat is the most popular platform for taking a picture of yourself with a glittery unicorn filter, but its business utility remains dubious. This is evidenced by the fact that, per business intelligence firm L2, brands are using Instagram Stories far more often. “As Instagram becomes the mainstream choice for brand Stories, Snapchat risks being niche-ified,” L2 suggested in its report. AdWeek

Linqia Unveils ‘First’ Platform for Predicting Influencer Engagement
More interesting news out of Silicon Valley: Linqia is releasing an updated version of its flagship platform, which the company is dubbing as the first to predictively analyze influencer performance. The company claims its tool will deliver better than 90 percent accuracy in forecasting influencer campaign engagement metrics. MarTech Today

40 Facts About How the Psychology of Color Can Boost Your Website Conversions [Infographic]
How can you boost website conversions? By changing up your color pallette, according to this infographic via the review site Skilled. Dig into the data for some intriguing insights on the psychology of color and how it affects decision-making. MarketingProfs

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! As always, if you need more in the meantime follow @toprank on Twitter or subscribe to the TopRank Marketing blog for daily insights to your inbox.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: VR is Growing, AI is Watching & 3 Billion are on Social Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Growing Social Media Examiner: The Bumpy Road of Pursuit

Ever wonder how Social Media Examiner started? Are you curious about the obstacles we faced in building a sizable media entity? Sit back and learn the story that led millions of people to us. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Taming the Wild Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation #DSMPLS

In the Wild, Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation, employees create social accounts without governance. But, are they on brand?

At the Digital Summit Minneapolis, #DSMPLS, Casey Hall,Thomson Reuters, shared a process for taming the horses and adding governance to the stable.

The Audit

Start by searching your company name and all variations of it, says Hall. You can use a simple spreadsheet or a database to keep track of the channel name, followers, last activity, link and log if there were any brand issues.

Once you have found all the rogue channels, you need to determine if it is a relevant channel or if it needs to move to the takedown.

The Takedown

If possible, find the employee and ask them to take down the account. If that is not possible, try messaging the account. Hall found many times the person who owned the channel would take down the channel before they had any more correspondence.

If needed, you can try to recover the password by submitting a ticket to the platform, and if the account was started with an official corporate email, it is often recoverable. Hall recommended contacting their representative at the channel helped expedite the takedown.

Best Practices

Give people training and they be open to following the rules says Hall. Thomson Reuters created a Digital Oversight Committee to review best practices and provide training.  The oversight committee included representatives from –

  • Social leads
  • Creative
  • Brand
  • Legal/Privacy
  • Digital Leads
  • Communications

Get the Tools

Find a tool to allow the enterprise organization to manage their social channels. They now have creative services department create and allow access to others. Rogue accounts will still happen, but less often.

Governance

The key providing governance to employees. Hall says you need to empower your oversight committee to provide guidance and governance to the organization. At Thomson Reuters, anyone who wants to start a new channel needs to fill-out an application on why and what KPIs they will report. Sometimes, the committee will recommend partnering with a channel that is already in place, which provides new content for that channel.

The oversight committee monitors the use of the channels, and if there is inactivity, they will cull the channel.

Finally, Hall reminds us to continue monitoring. New accounts and channels will continue to appear. But, if you continue to be diligent and monitor, the horses will not get out of stable, again.

Want More From #DSMPLS?

You can follow us on @toprank for live tweets from the conference and visit toprankblog.com for additional coverage.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Taming the Wild Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation #DSMPLS | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Social Video, Google Consumer Confidence & Content’s Influence

Everything You Need to Know About Using Video in Social Marketing [Infographic] We often hear how engaging videos are on social media – but there’s certainly a trick to getting it right for your audience. This infographic shows highlights from a recent study from Animoto, where 1,000 consumers sounded off on what they wanted to see. MarketingProfs 2017 Google Consumer Confidence Report Digital Examiner recently conducted a survey to determine how much consumers trust the information they are served in Google search results. The trust for Google remains high despite recent commentary surrounding alleged biases, with 72% of consumers saying they trust search results. Digital Examiner How Content Influences the Purchasing Process: Tips for Content Marketers [Research] CMI and SmartBrief teamed up to create new research that reveals how content influences the purchasing process. The research found that 81% of buyers say they conduct their own research before bringing in a vendor, and 62% wanted content that speaks to their needs and pain points. You can read more analysis of the study on the TopRank Marketing blog. Content Marketing Institute The Remarkable Rise of Influencer Marketing [Infographic] In an effort to understand the current state of influencer marketing, Influencer Marketing Hub conducted an online survey. They report: “The results are definitely optimistic, indicating that influencer marketing is truly mainstream, on an upwards trajectory as a preferred method of marketing.” Influencer Marketing Hub Coming Soon: Website Demographics LinkedIn has announced that they’ll soon release Website Demographics to allow brands to better understand their audience, create tailored content based on resonance, and reach ideal prospects. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Google Said to Offer Publishers A New YouTube Deal AdAge reports: “[YouTube] is offering major publishers who choose its backend video player the ability to control ad sales both on their sites and on YouTube, according to people familiar with the new offering.” AdAge Twitter Is Testing a Feature That Lets Brands Automate Their Promoted Tweets Twitter is beta testing a program for brands that will allow them to automatically promote their Tweets. The targeting options are limited, and the platform will choose which Tweets to sponsor on behalf of the brand. This new program costs $ 99 per month for those interested. AdWeek Facebook will Rank Links to Slow-loading Pages Lower in People’s News Feeds For brands with a slow website, the past few years have been pretty tough. Now, Facebook joins in on the movement toward better UX by tweaking its news feed algorithm to penalize links to slow-loading websites. Marketing Land What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! As always, if you need more in the meantime follow @toprank on Twitter or subscribe to the TopRank Marketing blog for daily insights to your inbox.

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show

Have you noticed the social networks seem to change every week? How can anyone possibly keep up, right? We have a great new (and free) solution for you–the busy marketer. I’m excited to announce the new Social Media Marketing Talk Show audio podcast. Each week your friends at Social Media Examiner bring you: #1 News: […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle