5 Goals of Social Growth

Posted on August 31, 2008
Filed Under social media marketing, social viral, Social Web, Strategy | Leave a Comment

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For a social network, community, or website you may be trying to grow, sometimes it helps to determine your goals for growth, and the reasons behind these goals.  This analysis may help in better planning for social media marketing campaigns & engagements. 

The objectives may include one or more of the following:

  1. Participation – If your site has social features, having more visitors and/or members generates the multiplier effect: more people, ideas, and conversations pollinating for increased social participation.
  2. Sales – in addition to promoting a product or service, a site that sells what it is bringing awareness & engagement to has a built-in goal.
  3. Competitive advantage – sometime competition is fighting on other levels, and by claiming the online social audience, or mindshare, you get leverage that may be hard to unseat.  Just as the top social network platform in a particular country has an advantage due to its many members, your online social community can provide a balance of social power if you’re either first, or best, in growing the community in your niche.
  4. Customer Interaction – beyond customer service, you want to interact with your customers and alongside them as they interact together.  A natural for this goal is to also provide standard reference information via social media so the interactions can link to the common questions and issues.
  5. Attention / Traffic / Visitors – Do you want more people to visit your site?  Common reasons for more usage includes to promote a product, service, idea, or brand.  The side-effects can include:
  • Online reputation impact – more attention and knowledge about your image, brand, or reputation (linkbait tactics included).
  • Organic search traffic increase – from content alone, or adding in the benefit of many links to your content
  • Viral information spread – your message is spread by others for you.  (and sometimes a different or negative-seeming message is spread… and that is another story).

There are many ways to present goals such as shown above, including tying social media marketing to long-term growth.  But there is still confusion among those who would be using social campaigns.  Chalk some of that up to ambiguous “buzz-speak” for a new technology.

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