In the book (Groundswell), Charlene Li and Josh Bernhoff explains that there are five objectives that companies can pursue with their social media marketing campaign. Objectives are the key (glue) to a successful social media strategy. It is very important that you identify your social media objectives before you start with your campaign. The clarity of your social media objectives will make or break your campaign.

If there is no specific objective on why you are using social media marketing for your business, you will spend quite a lot of effort and time enjoying all the engagement online, but it will not produce any positive ROI. In plain English; you will not have many successful results that you will be able to show with your social media campaign and no justification for the time and budget you have spent on it.

Five social media objectives

Social media has a wide range of goals that can help you achieve success online and even though there are many such as research, marketing, increased sales, brand support, insight, and client relations to name but a few, all of these can be achieved by breaking them up in the five objectives explained in the Groundswell.

  • Listening (research): Use social media for research and to understand your customers better. With this objective you can also determine what questions your customers are asking, and what interests them. If you are looking for insights, this is the objective you should be targeting.
  • Talking (marketing): This objective focuses on spreading your marketing message via social media. Pursue this objective if you are after more interactivity with your business. This objective can also support your other digital marketing initiatives.
  • Energizing (sales): Find and energize your best brand enthusiasts to use their influence with word of mouth marketing. This works well if you already have brand enthusiasts talking about your business.
  • Supporting (support): You can use social media to set up a support system for your business. This objective can greatly reduce your current support costs.
  • Embracing (development): Integrate your customers into the way your business works. Using this objective, you can get your customers for new business ideas, etc.

If you are running a social media marketing campaign, which of the five social media objectives explained above are you using as your primary objective? Your strategy should always be designed from the start to only focus on a primary objective, and it is the progress towards that objective that you can use to measure the ROI of your investment.

What is your primary social media objective?

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