Your Social Media Goals are Unrealistic - Here's How to Reset Them
For some reason, many people think that just by creating a social media account and posting a few times a week, they can suddenly grow their following and engagement overnight. Even more so, they think if they do this for a few months, they can hit absurd goals, like 100,000 followers in a month. They will post once in a blue moon, follow and unfollow others, and post one-word comments on other accounts to try to engage and bring that back to their own accounts, and then cry about how they haven't grown by thousands in just a few weeks.
I'm going to be very real with you right now... those goals are super unrealistic, and especially so if you are doing the bare minimum on your social outreach.
And it's 10x harder to grow when you are a brand new company. There's an assumption that having a presence on every platform will suddenly cause consumers to suddenly know your name. You have to face something from the get go... no one cares about your new clothing line. Why? Because you haven't given them a reason to care. In fact, you probably haven't reached your ideal buyer just yet and doing so takes a lot more than just pushing "publish" on a Twitter account.
Once you can accept that:
- No one knows who you are yet
- There's always going to be a LOT of competition on social
- Social takes dedication and time
you can start planning your more realistic goals.
"So, Christine, what the heck IS a more realistic goal?"
Well first, you need more KPIs than just follower count. You'll want to track:
- Follower Growth
- Engagement Rate
- Clickthrough Rate (if pushing to a site)
All of the above need to be tracked, to get a full scope of what growth really is on your channels. Followers are great, but they won't get you far if they aren't engaging. Engagement rate should be a bigger focus because you'd rather have a small audience that is incredibly engaged than a large one that doesn't actually care about what you are posting. At that point, why even have those followers at all if they aren't helping you grow, or aren't a potential client/customer?
Your reach growth is also important. You want to be continuously growing how many people you are potentially reaching, month over month, which can in turn increase followers and increase engagement.
and of course, if you are trying to sell a product, service, push to an email list, or whatever the end result is, your click-through rate is really important. Just because you are tweeting about that new workshop, doesn't mean people are clicking through to see it. Studying that rate can help you tweak your imagery, copy and calls to action to better attract the right people.
So you probably want exact numbers now, right?
It's not that simple because everyone's goals and plans are a bit different, but I can give you a rough guide on how to work them out for yourself.
- Make your goals very specific: I find working with percentages is better than arbitrary numbers, because instead of saying "In March I want 1,000 Instagram followers and in April I want 3,000" you can better compare to past results with percentages. So maybe it's "in month 1 I want to increase 100% of my followership, and in month 2 I want to increase by 150%" and so on.
- Include the steps to get there within the goal: i.e.: "I'm going to get 10 comments per Facebook post this month by writing a call to action or question in each of them and by boosting each post $5 for a week."
- Aim to grow exponentially: Steady growth is great, but exponential growth is even better. Don't settle for "I want 500 new Twitter followers a month" because ideally, once you start growing, there will be forward momentum. Increase your goal exponentially, rather than settling on the same exact goal each month.
Realistic goals are best based on what came before. If you know you've been growing at a certain pace, you can't expect to, overnight, 100x that growth. But you can foresee a certain trajectory and add in some engaging strategy to double or triple last month's numbers. And if you have literally just published that Instagram page, then great! Start posting and collecting the early data on your growth, so you can base future goals off of those analytics.
I'm not saying that lofty goals like 1 million views on your YouTube videos are bad to have; aiming high is what gets a lot of people to do great things. The importance is to not put all of your eggs into that one goal so that if you don't reach it, you've suddenly failed in your own eyes. Because growth, in general, is a true win in and of itself, even if it isn't astronomical. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint, for most people. For those who do seem to just explode? Well, you don't know how much time they actually put in before that was the case, or if this is social venture number four after three failed attempts. And sometimes, it is honest-to-goodness luck.
I say, make your own luck. Just try to be level headed about it.