A new year means a fresh start and for many out there, new goals. But as we all know, goals are meaningless without actionable items.

In the new year, I want to…
“Be better at social media.”

This statement covers so much ground that it will leave you overwhelmed. What does being “better” at social media mean to you? I recommend first figuring out the goals you want to reach for social media and then creating the plan to get there.

social-media-goals-pinterestBusinesses will often want to pick one of the below as a goal for social media:

  1. Increase sales of product or services
  2. Increase brand awareness
  3. Increase business newsletter signups

Notice that all three of the above goals are worded in a way that make it easy to define metrics.

Let’s take each of these goals and create a simple, actionable plan for them.


1) Increase sales of product or services

The metric for this goal is pretty simple: track your weekly or monthly sales. But how can you tie this in with social media marketing? Facebook Ads, where you pay to play, offers robust analytics for almost every kind of ad imaginable.

Do you see customers leaving your website without purchasing an item? Find these customers on Facebook through a remarketing ad.

espresso-parts-facebook-adUse bit.ly or another URL shortening site to track link clicks to a certain item. Depending on which e-commerce platform and web analytics program you’re using, track referrals to the item. Did this item sell more this month and does it correlate with an increase in social media referral?

Here, you see Espresso Parts advertising for a sale they’re having. Each of these photos in the carousel leads to a web page. Facebook will track the number of clicks and their website will track the number of entries into the site from Facebook (and subsequently, their purchases).


In short:

  • Track your sales if you’re not already doing so
  • Track where your sales are coming from
  • Set up a Facebook ad to retarget your website visitors and remind them of your products

2) Increase brand awareness

Increasing brand awareness is a popular goal to have. It can be easily defined with a measure of follower count, percentage of engagement on posts, and any press articles about your company.

But how do you get there?

Begin by tracking your follower count and engagement rate. Facebook and Twitter offer free analytics within their own app. For basic reporting, I use SumAll for a birds-eye view of how my networks are performing. Subscribe for weekly reports that will give you week-over-week comparisons.

As for press articles or blogger features, begin by researching local bloggers with interests that match your product. Thankfully, as a coffee company, you are selling one of the most popular drinks in the world. If you’re stuck, check up on your competitors, direct or indirect.

For example, a local clothing store that you love recently posted about a blogger who wrote about their clothing. You click the link and realize that the blogger also enjoys a well-crafted cup of coffee. The next steps here would be contacting the blogger and offering them a product in exchange for an unbiased review.

Note that reviews are not the only way to work with bloggers! You can run dual contests, in-house events, an Instagram takeover … the possibilities are endless.

This example shows coffee roaster Temple Coffee pairing up with several local Instagrammers for a meetup. In addition to the meetup, they are offering a contest. The event not only shows Temple’s support for the local community, but it also gives the attendees more reason to attend (the contest).


To sum up:

  • Track your follower count and engagement rate
  • Identify key bloggers or press in your area
  • Aim for one blog / press feature per quarter

3) Increase business newsletter signups

Do you already communicate with your customers via a newsletter? How do your customers find out that you have a newsletter? Where do you put your sign up form?

In the social media world, you can use a Facebook call-to-action button to direct traffic to your newsletter. You can also use Facebook to find any of your current newsletter subscribers. Twitter also offers email generation cards as part of their ad program.


Do your social media followers know that you have a newsletter? Activate the auto-post feature. Whenever your newsletter sends, a tweet will be sent out with newsletter link. Make sure you schedule a second or third similar tweet at different hours, just in case your followers didn’t see the first ones.

In short:

  • Track the number of subscribers you have and where they are originating from
  • Find the same subscribers on the social networks you are already on
  • Make it easy for any of your social media followers to find out about your newsletter

Remember, identify the goals you want to target for 2016. Start small for social media. Pick one goal and execute the plan well. You can always add on more goals later!


This article was written and originally published on the National Coffee Association’s blog.