The social media landscape is changing right before our eyes. If you haven’t noticed, the noise and volumes are escalating from the amount of content being posted to the number of accounts that are active in the space. As this is occurring, the very platforms we are using are making substantial changes, making it even more difficult to obtain results using traditional social media tactics we’ve all learned and become accustomed to.

It is clear that most medium and large marketers and brands have adopted social media and see it as a necessity, but where are most of them looking when it comes to objectives and metrics?

  • 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Aberdeen) twitter-bird-logo-blue
  • The majority of marketers (59%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week. (Social Media Examiner)
  • 83% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. (Social Media Examiner)
  • 53% of social media marketers don’t measure their success. (Awareness, Inc.)
  • 52% of marketers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social marketing. (Adobe)
  • 96% of social media managers measure number of fans and followers, 89% measure traffic, 84% measure mentions, 55% track share of voice, and 51% track sentiment. (Awareness, Inc.)

These should be metrics that marketers need to focus on in part, specific goals and measurement thereof should be a priority. A shift toward specifics and results are quickly becoming a must and not a luxury in social media marketing today. Those that make this shift and adjust both their focus AND tactics will reap big rewards. Those that continue doing what they’ve been doing are going to experience difficult times ahead.

So what should the goal of every social media strategy be? Last week I released a new YouTube video where I talked about just that.

Whether you’re a local brick and mortar retailer or a B2B brand, getting your social connections OUT of the social graph is a must. This goal can sound a bit daunting or even absurd at first, but I challenge you to think this through with some detail. It will look very different from industry to industry and business to business, so let’s look at it a little closer.

Two Required Social Media Goals:

 

Get Out Of Social

As I explain in the video above, it is crucial that you get your connections and relationships out of social media. I am going to cover a few main reasons why:

  1. For years many have been happy making connections with customers and prospects and allowing the social platforms to be the repository of those relationships. As these social platforms continue to evolve, it will become more important that marketers directly control those connections. Facebook becoming a pay to play advertising platform and no longer a social network with organic results for businesses is a great example why maintaining your relationships outside of social is important.
  2. In real life contact is required for digital relationships to become real relationships. It is important for marketers to have a strategic plan for getting their social connections into other forms. Where you move your social connections depends largely on the type of business you are in. Examples:

Retail: If you are a restaurant, getting your social connections off their mobile devices and into your restaurant should be a priority! Furthermore, you should probably focus on driving them to your online menu and enticing them to join your email newsletter as well. All three of these examples transitions your social relationships toward a more direct relationship with you and your brand and takes them OUT of a solely social realm.

B2B: If you are a B2B product organization with sales people, your social media marketing should be driving one-on-one personal connections with your sales team. This might include scheduled telephone calls, webinars and other non-social properties that enable out of social contact, conversation and relationship building.

Individual: individual marketers probably have the easiest opportunity to get their initial connections out of the social graph. Getting into conversations on social that lead to telephone calls, hangouts or Skype are rather common. Making this a focus will further your current results in dramatic ways.

Here’s a stat that will make you think…

“97% of business travelers think face time is the most important part of developing and maintaining strong client relationships.” (Embassy Suites Survey)

Revenue

Let’s be honest here. Without revenue and real results there is no sane business reason to do a specific marketing function. Unless you are a Fortune 500 that doesn’t actually care about their customers on a personal level and have been dragged kicking and screaming into the social age, revenue and directly attributed social media results are required.

What I am about to say may surprise some of you, but I cannot stress the importance of it enough…

Social media marketing is going to continue to get more difficult, costly and complex. The requirement for high level content, the changing platform environment and the social advertising growth is simply writing on the wall. Normal social networking as we knew over the past several years is coming to an end. It is being replaced with sophisticated digital, SEO, video and content marketing with social as one of the legs.

There has never been a more important time to sharpen your focus on goals for social media. The day has come for show me the money.

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