Defining Your B2B Social Media Goals
Before laying down your social media strategy, take time to define — what are you trying to achieve?
Pro tip: All business goals relate to making and saving money. Don’t complicate it 😊
Your social media program impacts marketing metrics across the customer lifecycle. Break down the steps you track before, during, and after becoming a customer.
Awareness: More people know who you are.
Consideration: Generating marketing qualified leads through education and nurturing.
Conversions: Driving sign-ups and sales from new and existing customers.
Advocacy: Gaining reviews and referrals from customers.
Should you have one goal or many?
In reality, most brands have multiple social media goals. Having specific goals is what drives purpose behind your social media campaigns.
Here’s a rundown on the common types of B2B social media goals and how they can be measured:
1) Brand Awareness
You can’t build a business if your customers don’t know who you are, what you do, and how you help. Agree?
Done effectively, brand awareness creates excitement around your people and products, which will help you grow a loyal community and funnel in new leads. It’s an essential, if not obvious, part of your social media strategy.
Brand awareness can be broken down into:
Increasing awareness of new products
Increasing knowledge of new products
Increasing purchasing frequency
Increasing attractiveness of products
Metrics Used to Measure Brand Awareness on Social Media:
Direct Traffic: When users access your website by typing in your URL directly to their browser. Although direct traffic can indicate ‘dark social’ channels are at work too, it also means users had to recall your domain name in order to find you.
Mentions: The number of times your brand or product has been mentioned directly on social channels. You can count tagged mentions, where your handle was referenced, and on some platforms like Twitter, mentions without tags.
Brand Search Volume: The number of times that people have typed your brand name on search engines as a keyword. Brand keyword search volume and clicks are measured through Google Search Console and can show you if an active social media campaign is driving curious prospects to search for more information.
Reach: The total number of people that were exposed to a social media post. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all give the possibility to track your reach. Twitter will report impressions.
There are also more advanced brand awareness measurements, like unaided recall and brand lift (favorability, preference, intent). These require third-party verification and high ad spends. We recommend crawling before you run.
Algorithms on social media reward engagement and interactions, which as a result boosts the visibility of your content towards a larger audience. Solid engagement is one of the keys to a successful digital marketing strategy.
In content marketing terms, engagement is often associated with the consideration and interest building stage of the funnel.
This has become a priority for B2B companies over the years, as 71% of B2B companies say that high engagement is the main goal of their content marketing efforts (2017).
Engagement does not precisely translate into business growth. It does, however, signal if your content resonates with your audience. That’s why measuring engagement is key.
Metrics Used to Measure Social Media Engagement
Conversation / Comment Rate: The (average) number of comments and responses on each post. With social feed algorithms rewarding posts with comments with organic reach, this is more important than ever. According to Avinash Kaushik, a high conversation rate signals that you are having meaningful conversations with your audience, and requires brands to add value to your followers.
Applause Rate: The number of reactions or likes per post. While likes are often referred to as a vanity metric, they do give you some insight into the value of your content. Are you interesting or not?
Amplification / Share Rate: The number of ‘shares’ per post. This metric is powerful because it tell us the content contained a message worth sharing, resulting in earned (aka viral) reach.
Video Views & Duration: The number of plays of your video, and the level to which viewers stuck around. Was your video interesting or not? For instance, a high number of 2 or 10-second views with a minuscule 100% completion rate tells us we got their attention—but couldn’t keep it.
Clicks Per Post: Measuring the number of times users have clicked on your link helps determine if your headline or article was effective.
Advanced: All of these metrics can be broken down and compared by the social media channel, month, content format or theme for deeper analysis.
3) Lead Generation & Conversions
Demand & lead generation is arguably the most important aspect of a successful digital marketing program. It defines the first stage of intent in a prospect’s path to becoming a customer.
There’s a good chance your B2B marketing team is measured internally on demand and lead generation metrics, so social media needs to be held accountable.
Metrics Used To Measure Social Media Lead Generation Efforts
Cost Per Lead (CPL): Calculate how much it approximately costs you to acquire one lead. This metric can be aggregated for all social networks, but works best as a comparison metric across paid campaigns and channels. If your CPL is higher than your benchmark, then you need to reconsider channels and approaches.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): It’s great to have loads of leads, but if none of them match your lead qualification criteria, then all of your efforts will have been in vain. Measuring your MQLs will ensure that you are targeting the right audience. Companies have their own definition for MQL vs. SQL. In general, an MQL has not signaled intent and readiness to purchase.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or LTV): Predicting the net profit a prospect will generate over a period of time and assigning that value to each new customer is integral to measuring social media ROI.
Close Rate Per Channel: A careful examination of which channel generates the best leads for your brand is a good way to determine which platforms are worth pursuing and which aren’t.
Average Close Rate: Keep track of the quality of your leads to help you determine if you’re attracting leads with high conversion potential.
Setting social media goals not linked to sales?
B2B social media adds value to other departments in an organization. After all, social is a customer-facing channel. It is best practice to break out those goals, budgets, and resources separate from marketing/sales.
Commonly those include:
Hiring: Acquiring new candidates and employees better/faster. KPIs come from the Talent Acquisition or HR team and measure social media’s role in the application pipeline.
Experience/Service: Solving customer problems on social media better/faster. KPIs are set by the Customer Success or Customer Service team and measure social media’s role in closing tickets and retaining customers.