Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Today we’re talking about social media goal setting—how to set social media goals and what to pay attention to.

Setting Social Media Goals

Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Here’s the thing. We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? By reaching goals that move your business ahead. How do you reach those goals? First you need to set them.

The first step: When setting social media goals, you need to be realistic

Goal setting. You’re going to need goals. Let’s agree they’re integral to this process. However, while it’s fun dreaming and thinking big, the work of it is figuring out how to reach your goals. The best way to set goals you’ll actually work to achieve is following the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model. It’s quick, straightforward, and keeps you focused on action. If you’ve taken my free five-day marketing challenge you’ve gone through this process with me and I hope you’re still working towards them! Start with setting S.M.A.R.T. social media goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

The second step: Audit your current social media efforts

This is important to make sure your goals are based in reality and to ensure your profiles are on brand. You can audit your social media presence in any number of ways but I recommend creating a spreadsheet and collecting the following information.

  • Platform name
  • Whether or not your profile is on brand (Yes or No)
  • Whether or not your password is saved in a central place (like a password safe; Yes or No)
  • How many friends/followers your profile has
  • What your target/ideal number of friends/followers is

This is a simple document but it helps you stay organized. I also recommend looking at your follower number versus your follower goals and measuring them against the S.M.A.R.T. goals system. Are they achievable and relevant? Will they help you reach your social media goals? If not, adjust them as necessary. Need more? Here are five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

As part of your audit also look through your posts from the past couple weeks. Ask if your posts are on brand, interesting to your ideal customer/reader, and personable. If not, there are a few more social media goals to add to your list.

The third step: Create a social media strategy

You knew I’d go there

You know what you want, you know where you’re going, now you need to figure out how you’re getting there. That’s all a strategy is. It’s a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Don’t freak out! It’s not hard and it’s not restrictive. Having a strategy breaks down these huge, intimidating goals and makes them reachable. Go for it!

And don’t worry if you’re lost, I’ve done the heavy lifting—here’s how to create a social media strategy in five steps. You’re welcome.

The fourth step: Measure your impact by paying attention to the right metrics

When you’re setting social media goals it is easy to become obsessed with metrics and check them five times a day (or more). But this is not good for your mental health. You can’t ignore metrics but you also don’t need to focus on them every day. Check your metrics every week, month, quarter, or whenever makes sense to you and pay attention to the ones that will move the needle towards your social media goals. I can’t tell you the exact metrics you should watch but I will caution against vanity metrics that make you feel good but don’t mean anything. Once you start measuring you’ll understand what I mean.

Here are some suggestions of metrics to watch (also known as key performance indicators).

  • Follower growth
  • Frequency (how much are you posting?)
  • Content type (what are you posting?)
  • Engagement/Reach
  • Link clicks
  • Social media referrals (on your website)
  • Email signups

Setting social media goals helps you control how much time you spend on social media and keeps you focused on why you’re there. It can help you get to know your audience better, determine the type of content you produce, and see what’s working. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, doing a social media audit, creating a social media strategy, and measuring your platform growth you will find building your brand on social media not only makes sense but is fun and worth your valuable time.

Do you have more tips for setting social media goals? Please share!

We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? How do you reach your goals?

Extra Credit: 9 Social Media Goals You Can Set for Your Business (and How to Track Them). A helpful article from Buffer.


One more thing. If you’ve got these tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Rock Your Marketing (Even if You’re too Busy for Marketing)

What if you could rock your marketing while you’re busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I’ll tell you how.)

Rock Your Marketing

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. We’re so busy, we lack the time to work on our business because we’re always working in it for our clients.

Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money. But what about later? Do you go back to hustling when the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there’s no work for a while?

Before I get into how to rock your marketing, I have a little story for you.

I’m part of a bi-monthly marketing challenge in one of my professional networking groups and the most interesting parts of the challenge is how many people “sit this one out” citing they have a full client load so they don’t need marketing.

What? You’re too busy for marketing!?

This is difficult to hear. Because this tells me you’re not thinking about the long game, you’re focusing on the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, you should. But the present can’t be your sole focus on.

Here’s what no marketing plan gets you:

  • Scattered, inconsistent presentation in front of potential clients
  • Random posts and self-promotions on social media
  • Irregular networking (in person, virtual networking groups, bi-monthly marketing challenges…)
  • Unfamiliarity with competitors’ strategies

Oh, and no new clients. Unless you’re so busy month after month that you’re turning away new clients, you need marketing. Even when you’re too busy for marketing.

So, how do I rock my marketing even if I’m too busy for marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Since we’re at the beginning stages of this conversation I’m not going to ask you to do new things…yet. Right now let’s focus on what you’re already doing and sprinkle in some focused marketing. Getting it going is the first step.

Rock your marketing with these three tips

First, think about the content you put out on social media right now

Be honest. When you post something on social media, what is it about? Personal? Photos of your weekend? Political memes? Food? Is anything you post related to your business or how you serve your clients?

If you’re going to rock your marketing, I challenge you to consider your social media platforms places where you can attract new clients and brand yourself rather than something separate. Who is your ideal client? How can you help him/her today? How can what you post be useful in moving him/her ahead? Even better, how can you inspire someone?

Need help? Here’s your five-step social media strategy for freelance writers.

Second, carve out time to connect with your ideal clients or colleagues

And no, this does not mean sending out cold pitches by email. CONNECT!

Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything new…yet. So who are the people you speak to every day? Do you pass them on the street? In a store? In a restaurant? Look them in the eye and make a connection. Start with hi, hello, how are you. One or all of those will do. Next? Have a conversation. It doesn’t need to be deep or time-consuming, but make sure you mention something about how what you’re working on lights you up and you love your job. Make a connection, then continue on with what you were doing.

But what if you don’t go out because you’re chained to your computer desk all day? How about a nice email to a contact? A check in, a hey how’s your business going? Is there anything I can help you with today? Or how about an old client, why not send a nice note and see if there’s a project you can help out with. If not, no biggie. But you tried. You reached out. You connected.

Third, you don’t need to post new content every day

Hear me: you need to post content, but it doesn’t have to be new. Whoa.

This was a huge mental shift for me. When I let go of the idea that every blog post was a slam dunk and lived on in my readers’ minds I was free to re-use them as appropriate. (By the way, I wrote about my favourite tools to re-share content here.) I combed through my archives and pulled the articles I thought my idea clients would enjoy. Then I plugged them into a content library, created a schedule and let them go. I’m still amazed at the freedom I feel setting up this small automation. Because I can accept that not everyone will see my LIFE-CHANGING articles and freelance writing tips the moment I write them I’m free to keep sharing them on various platforms. All it takes is this careful balance of humility and pride.


See? That wasn’t so bad. Don’t you feel ready to rock your marketing? These three itty bitty marketing tweaks can help you ROCK your marketing! Visualize how stress-free your freelance marketing game could be. Dream big, my friend.

Now, a word of caution.

You can go down the marketing rabbit trail and end up overwhelmed and not sure which shiny object to focus on. Because there is always more you can do. All we’re talking about today is not doing nothing. Don’t do nothing.

Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re busy and have a full client roster. Continue networking, keep posting relevant, helpful content on social media, and putting your work out there even if you haven’t created anything new in a while. Keep going!

What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

One more thing. If you’ve got these three daily tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Extra credit: How to Weather Cash Flow Problems. Helpful advice from Ed Gandia.

How to Find a Digital Agency

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven’t already, come across a digital agency. Digital agencies are everywhere! In fact, it’s possible you’ve worked with one in the past and didn’t even realize it.

Digital Agency

How to find a digital agency

If you’re a freelance writer or content creator then you may be considering starting your own digital agency. Or maybe you want to take on agencies as clients. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you may be considering hiring an agency. They can be a huge help with your digital presence, online marketing and SEO.

Deciding to work with a digital agency in any capacity is a big decision to make. There are many different types with varying specialities and capacity. Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to get started working with agencies.

5 tips for getting started working with agencies

Tip 1: Do your homework

Since every agency is different it’s important to research the company. Before agreeing to work with them you want to make sure they’re a good fit for you. Starting from scratch? Look for local marketing agencies and make a shortlist based on their skills and services.

Tip 2: Make sure your industries are aligned

While the agency doesn’t have to be an expert in your field, they should have some experience in your area. For example, if you run a bakery but the digital agency specializes in landscaping it may not be a good fit. Alternatively, if you’re a tech writer and the agency has mostly fashion clients, you’ll be a mismatch and nothing will come easy.

Tip 3: Ask for case studies

Case studies are helpful whether you’re looking to work with an agency or hire one. If you haven’t heard of these before in essence they’re a study analysis where you overview a business problem, outline options for solving the problem and what happened in the end. It gives you a solid idea of the type of work the agency does and you’ll get a feel for how they work. For an agency example, check out Vine Digital.

Tip 4: Meet in person if possible

While this isn’t required, face-to-face meetings always help build rapport and relationship. For many freelancers, the idea of meeting clients in person is terrifying. However, it’s an important part of growing your business. By the way, in-person meetings are also a great way to test and refine your elevator pitches.

For business owners, meeting with an agency owner in person allows you to connect on a deeper level and give them a peek at the heart behind your professional exterior. This will help them craft campaigns and strategies that better-suit your needs than if they didn’t have that added insight.

Tip 5: Compare costs

If you’ve decided you want to hire a digital agency but still have a few options, it may come down to comparing the costs. Of course you want to base your decision on other factors as well but this should definitely be one of them.

Extra credit: For more information when it comes to weighing up agency costs, you can visit this guide here.

If you’ve decided you want to work with an agency this is also an important step! Make sure your pay is adequate and the scope of your responsibilities is clear. And get it in writing.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Content Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Prospect Funnel Full

If you’re a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing. Without solid systems in place keeping up with marketing it’s easy to let things slide. Because being creative and keeping your name top of your prospect’s mind can become a full-time job if you let it.

Content Marketing Ideas

4 Content Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Prospect Funnel Full

Even if your client roster is full, it’s a good idea to keep prospecting. Perhaps you’re not in sales mode but you want a system in place to keep warming people up to work with you in six, nine, 15 months down the road when your current projects are complete.

Consistent marketing is how you avoid the freelancer feast-and-famine cycle. It’s how you keep steady inquiries coming through the door. Marketing is how you’re able to choose projects rather than take what comes because you need the money. Marketing is no joke.

That said, there are different levels and intensities of marketing and you don’t need all systems firing on all cylinders if you’re in a busy time and cannot take on any new business. Break apart your different marketing approaches into categories and scale it up and down as necessary. But don’t stop marketing!

Here are some long-term content marketing ideas for things to work on when you don’t need clients right this second.

Video (Yes, and this is one of those Content marketing Ideas that’s Not Going Away)

South By Southwest is over and video is the big takeaway. You’ve got to do it (I’ve got to do it). This year, it’s projected that some 80% of internet traffic will be video based. Crazy. Even if you’re main way of consuming information isn’t by video this is where the digital infrastructure is building. The social networks are preparing for it. YouTube is back in the big-players game. Lean into video and figure out how you can use it to grow your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy but start warming up to it. And with the development of voice search it’s in your best interest on a few levels.

Podcasts

Like I just said, voice search. It’s a thing. The more options you can give your readers and prospects online, the better. If you can host a company podcast, you’re reaching a new audience as well as establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Yes there are a few steps to getting started but that’s what people like me are for. I wrote a guide for planning a podcast in nine steps and there are helpful guides like “how to record audio on Mac – Setapp.” It’s possible. You can do it.

Long-Form Content

This is one of the most-requested services I’m asked for these days. Long-form, thought-leadership pieces for company websites. Blogs are back! Well, maybe they’re not called blogs so much these days but showing up with consistent, authoritative pieces on your site isn’t just good for SEO, it’s good for business. And don’t worry about the time and energy you spend on creating these pieces, they become the foundation of other pieces of your marketing. Serious! Create videos, podcasts and ebooks or re-purpose it into smaller social media posts and even marketing copy. You won’t regret investing in long-form content.

Guest articles (As far as content marketing ideas go, this is one that was big, went out of fashion and is back again)

Another interesting way to market yourself is to produce helpful content for other people’s websites. Look for sites who serve a similar target market to yours and see if there’s something you can contribute. This not only helps you grow a relationship with the site owner (networking!) but it puts you in front of a new audience. If done well, guest posting can be a win-win-win.

Those are my top four content marketing ideas for ways you can keep your outreach consistent while continuing to serve your current clients with excellence.

If you're a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Here’s your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don’t have time to be social. Stop being overwhelmed and start marketing!

Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Let’s face it. Social media marketing can be overwhelming. The more experts and gurus you listen to, the more steps there seems to be to reach the social media success train. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve put together a quick and easy five step social media strategy for those times you don’t have time for marketing.

Because you’re busy and looking for help NOW we’re going to dive right in. Take what you need and do it NOW.

Pro Tip: Don’t do this all at once. Choose one thing you can do now and work on it first. Then come back and pick another to work on. Then another. Look at it like building blocks—do what you can, master it, then move on to the next step.

Here’s your five step social media strategy

Step One: Decide on your objectives

Your options are endless here, but the key is choosing a goal. What are your social media goals? Why are you posting? You need something to keep you focused on the big picture so you keep moving towards your writing/business targets.

Here are a few objectives ideas: build your online profile, build brand visibility, networking, reach new clients/readers, stay connected with current clients/readers, launch products/books/services.

Remember, choose one and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that objective move on to another, then another.

Step Two: Choose your social networks

I know you know. You don’t have to be everywhere. However. You do need to be online. It’s the modern marketplace. Since you can’t do it all, you must choose where to spend your social time/energy. There is a lot of advice out there for which networks have the biggest payoff but you will need to decide for yourself what works. A couple questions to consider when choosing your social networks: Where are you most comfortable online? Where are your clients/readers most comfortable online?

My two cents. If you’re a writer and trying to build your platform as a writer, I recommend Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as your networks of concentration.

Twitter

Yes people are saying Twitter is on its way out and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago. However. This is where you meet other writers. You know who else you meet on Twitter? People looking for writers. How you manage Twitter is an art in itself but once you have it set up, you will understand why I won’t let Twitter go.

Twitter is for quick interactions. It’s great for sharing helpful links, meeting new people, and getting ideas. However, it’s not a place to sell. You build relationships on Twitter, 140 characters at a time.

Facebook

This is where the largest concentration of people who are on social media are. Facebook. Join the conversation.

If you think of Facebook as a place to host/advertise events, join writers groups and share your blog posts and article clippings, it may start to make more sense.

However, this is not a place to vent your personal feelings about in-the-moment happenings. Yes you see people doing that all the time, but they’re not trying to build a professional brand and they’re using their personal profile to do that. If you think about your professional goals and aligning what you post on Facebook with them, you’ll know what you need to do.

Instagram

This is where your future fans and readers are. Trust me on this. It’s time to figure Instagram out.

Instagram is a wonderful place to connect with people as you build your brand. How? Consistency and engagement. That means YOU are consistent and YOU are engaging with others.

You can share your writing, post prompts or inspiration, and behind-the-scene peeks at your writer’s life. Images have a way of connecting people with you that words alone don’t. However, this is not a place to post your entire vacation photo album—not when you’re building your professional brand. This is also a place where you do need to engage and be active. If you don’t post and interact with other posts, you don’t grow.

Wondering how on earth to do this?

Read my post on how to build an Instagram strategy. This is one of my favourite social media services and I’ve seen this strategy work time and time again.

Remember: choose one social network and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that social network move on to another, then another.

Step Three: Complete your social media profiles

Smack in the middle of your five step social media strategy is optimizing your profiles. This comes after you choose your social media platforms because I don’t just want you to complete your profiles but optimize them. How? I’m glad you asked! Read my post with five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

But maybe you don’t have time to read another blog post. Here are the main points.

  • Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
  • Make it easy for people to know who you are/what you do
  • Link to your website
  • Include keywords about your services
  • Be clear on your location/contact info

My biggest tip for optimizing your social profiles is consistency across platforms.

Each network has its own rules for how long your bio can be, what sort of profile image works and where your website link goes, but if you can keep more or less consistent then you’re on the right track.

Step Four: Interact with your audience

We talked about this a bit in the Step Two of the five step social media strategy but it needs repeating. The point of social media is to be social.

I know, you don’t have time to be social. But do you have 15 minutes? Spend 15 minutes a day checking into your two or three chosen social networks and leave comments, reply to comments and lend your expertise whenever convenient. Trust me, this will expedite your brand building like nothing else will.

If you get nothing else from this five step social media strategy remember this: You’re not on social media to sell. You’re there to be social. Offer value, compliments and help. Sales will follow.

Step Five: Build your promotion strategy

All along we’ve been talking about how you DON’T sell on social media. But you do need promotion. There is a difference.

In most cases, clients/readers need to know, like and trust you before they’ll hire you/buy your book/work with you. In a virtual world, how do you make this happen? You need a strategy for converting warm leads into clients and retaining existing clients.

If you can stay in touch in a consistent, helpful, positive way, people who visit your website or connect with you on social will get to know you and will develop trust in you and your brand.

I know it as a “keep in touch strategy.”

I first heard about it when I read Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. He suggests building an automated strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) software. While that’s something you can build up to, there’s lots you can do before investing in a CRM.

You’ll need to figure out a few things you can do to make people feel special, noticed, and important. Here are some ideas.

Passive ways to stay in touch

  • Posting regular blog/website content
  • Posting regular social content
  • Share real-life tips and tricks from behind the scenes of your business
  • Commenting on/liking/sharing others’ posts on social media

Active ways to stay in touch

  • Build an engaged email list and connect consistently
  • Send handwritten notes or cards
  • Live streaming—doesn’t get much more personal than that!
  • Initiate communication
  • Send an article you think your contact would appreciate (personal touch)
  • Become a connector—in helping your connections cross-promote or develop business otherwise (even if it’s without you) you will build so much good will
  • Share gratitude and compliments—recognize others, say thank you, give sincere, public displays of affection

Remember, this is a five step social media strategy but work on one step at a time. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that strategy move on to another, then another.

There, of course, is more. But you don’t have to do it all today. If you’re feeling like you don’t have time to be on social media or you’re overwhelmed with where to start, then please implement this five step social media strategy. It WILL help you! And if you are just plain stuck then I can help. All you have to do is get in touch.

Feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing? Here's your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don't have time to be social.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required