social media how toAre you wondering how you’ll achieve your social media goals this year?

Do you feel as if you’re spending lots of time on social media with little direction and few results?

In this article, I’ll show you how to streamline your social media marketing to achieve your goals.

#1: Set Realistic Goals for Your Business

When you set goals for your business, set one realistic goal that’s measurable.

For example, if you own a local flower shop and you sell 20-25 flower arrangements per day, try starting off with a goal of selling 30 per day.

Adding an extra 5-10 sales a day is certainly more realistic than adding 30.


Your strategy starts with goals. Image source: iStockPhoto.

When you use a realistic number as your goal, you can track the increase or decrease in sales at the end of the month. This makes the goal measurable.

#2: Learn How You Can Help Your Customer

Once you set your goal, determine how you’re going to use social media to help you achieve it.

In his book, Launch, author Michael Stelzner talks about the Elevation Principle. Put simply, the Elevation Principle is: “great content” plus “other people” minus “marketing messages” equals “growth.”


How can you help your customers with the content you produce?

Stelzner goes on to talk about how using this principle will help change your mindset from “What can we sell you?” to “How can we help you?”

To help your customer, do the following things:

Amy Porterfield uses her signup form to let visitors tell her about their biggest business frustration when they join her list.

This helps her tailor content that solves her target audience’s challenges.


Amy Porterfield helps her clients choose to receive her best content when they subscribe to her list.

The more you learn about the challenges your customers face, the easier it is to create content that solves their problems.

#3: Determine Your Traffic Sources

As you work toward your social media goals, it’s important to know where your traffic comes from so you can maximize the time you spend using social media.

If you aren’t sure which social media networks drive the most traffic to your site, use this opportunity to analyze your web traffic using Google Analytics. If you want to put your analytic process on autopilot, you can even set up multiple advanced segments.

After you execute your social media strategy for 30 days or so, compare the results and you’ll know which social networks drive your website traffic and where you should focus your efforts.

Because James Wedmore is a video marketing expert, he uses YouTube as his main traffic source to build his businesses online.


James Wedmore generates a majority of his web traffic from YouTube videos.

When food blogger and TV personality Kristin Porter from Iowa Girl Eats started using Pinterest for her food blog in July 2011, she got 200-500 page views per day from Pinterest. Fast-forward to October 2012, and Pinterest generated 20,000+ page views per day.

As Rick Mulready said, “If social media makes sense for your business, be where your customers are.”

Find out where your traffic comes from so you can spend more time where your target audience spends theirs.

#4: Build Your Content Strategy

So far, you have taken steps to:

  • Set a realistic, measurable goal for your business.
  • Decide which audience you’re targeting and identify the challenges they face.
  • Determine where your traffic comes from.

Now, it’s time to pull it all together.

First you’ll need to generate helpful content that’s useful to your audience.

Use what you learned in previous steps to align your content development with your social media follower demographics and your business objectives.

The ladies who work at the upscale boutique Aimee often post photos on their Facebook page of themselves wearing the clothes they sell. This helps their ideal target keep up with new and different trends coming in style.


“Meagan and Amy from Aimee show off some of their new fall clothes on a Friday afternoon.”

Make a list of helpful posts you will create, and then share the posts with your community manager. Use a content calendar to let everyone see what’s publishing on which social media networks and when.

If you have a larger brand and/or social media team managing your presence on multiple platforms, take some notes from Jimmy Fallon.


Jimmy Fallon creates a buzz on social media.

He posts show previews from YouTube on Twitter and tweets during live events.

As you develop content, remember to include the call to action.

Give your online followers a place to go. Whatever your ideal end result is, use calls to action that will help your audience get there.

On my Facebook page, I use a call to action in the About section to direct my fans to a free guide that gets them started with a marketing plan.


You can link to a specific program or page on your website in the About section of your Facebook fan page.

I solve their problem with content as a free gift, and I achieve my goal of collecting their email address.

As you execute your strategy, the content you publish should help your customers and help you reach your goals.

Now, It’s Your Turn

If you feel you are doing too much on social media with few results, try streamlining your marketing by following these four steps. When you go where your customers are and determine your business goals, it’s surprisingly easy to find the right social media marketing tactics you need for your business.

Give yourself a goal to achieve and a plan to pursue it, but don’t let the execution take up your entire day. Monitor the amount of time it takes you and pay attention to where you can further streamline the process.

What do you think? What tips do you have for streamlining your social media activities? Have you set and met goals by using social media? I’d love to hear your questions and comments below.

Images from iStockPhoto.
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  • Wow Melissa!!! This is some great information. While reading I came up with, “no goals, no glory!” What do you think?

    By far the best advice you gave was to, ” Learn How You Can Help Your Customer.”

    What can you do with excellence that provides the ultimate value for your customer?

    I personally think this embraces a hidden principle: when you know where you add the most value, you also know when to refer to other great sources. Still keeping with your principle “learn how you can help”, even if it’s by referring.

  • Great summary! I especially like making referral sources a priority.

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thank you for your feedback Allison! Tracking referral sources is a great trick for testing what works and doesn’t. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Wow, Patrick! Thank you so much for your kind words. “No goals, no glory” is gold! You are spot on when it comes to knowing where you add value. Appreciate your feedback!

  • Managing expectations is the surest way to exceed them! This is a good start.

  • Sarah Bauer

    Love the sales example for setting realistic social media goals. It’s easy to say your goal is to “increase brand awareness” or “build customer loyalty”, but for small businesses just starting out with social strategy, that’s not so easy to track. Sales, even in small increases, is a great place to start.

  • Caleb Wygal

    I liked in this article how Step 4 was like the climax to a movie. Steps 1-3 set everything up, and then 4 bundled all of the scattered (but pertinent) pieces together. Great article.

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    That is so true Philip. Thanks for your comment!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Sarah, you are absolutely right. (And I’m glad you liked the sales example!) Are you setting any sales goals this year?

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Wow, Caleb! You’re too kind. I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  • Evan Ware

    Thanks for the great tips. I wanted to comment on your second step and helping the customer. In addition to a shift in focus from sales to helpfulness, at engajer we think that increased differentiation and interaction will be necessary to really give customers what they want as content grows exponentially. Content that requires interaction and puts the customer in control of the content will help increase social media success, because interaction is the heart of social media’s popularity.

  • Great post. Setting and sticking to goals is probably one of the best ways to achieve it.

  • Great tips Melissa! I agree: Higher Goals are harder to
    achieve, and so I’ve also found it better to set a do-able one, and once you’re
    done with that, create a new one. There are a lot of great opportunities for
    your business via social media, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Taking it
    one small step at a time will help you achieve more. Thanks!

  • Floyd Rudolph

    smile and be polite to all people.

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Wow, thanks so much John! I’m honored that you liked the post. PS – Love your podcast!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Floyd – I couldn’t have said it better! Thanks for reading!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thank you for your feedback Harry! Setting goals is hard, but so necessary.

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    So glad you liked it Evan and you are so right, interaction is a big part of it!

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing Melissa.. I really had a great read..

  • Awesome article Melissa! I use action plans to set my goals and organize my social media activities. It helps to streamline the process by focusing on priorities. Thanks!

  • Lorna

    Melissa these are such good reminders. Even though we may “know” this stuff, more often than not we let it slip. Thanks for refocusing me!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Wow – thank you. So glad you found it helpful. 😉

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    You’re very welcome Lorna! Thank you for your comment!

  • treb072410

    Yes, it is.. Cant wait to read more from you…

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  • Great article on four steps to achieving social media goals.

    When it comes to social media management and content strategy, there’s really two parts: (1)Thinking and (2)Doing.

    The first two steps — setting realistic goals and learning about customers — require “thinking” while the third and fourth steps — analyzing traffic sources and developing content — requires more energy and actual work.

    A good social media management strategy involves a healthy balance of both thinking as well as doing. Thanks for sharing this article.

  • Melissa, I’m just going to reiterate what everyone said below. GREAT POST! Yes, we know all this but do we really do it? This post takes what can easily get overwhelming and lost and keeps it simple. Thanks so much!

  • Thank you so much for sharing the tips Melissa.
    I particularly liked Amy Porterfield’s way of using the sign up form to
    make visitors speak out about their biggest business frustration. The idea is
    unique and bound to be effective.

  • Great post! I’ve got to get that analytics part nailed this year… That’s my goal!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thank you for your comment Lacy!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    You’re very welome Sova! Amy is a genius. 🙂

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thank you so much Silvia! You are very right – it’s super easy to get overwhelmed. Glad you found it helpful!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thanks for the tip Brenda! Glad you liked the post.

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Great points Sophie!

  • Nathalie

    This is an incredibly helpful article, Melissa! I’ll even print it out and use it as a checklist. Thanks a lot!

  • Yes, she
    is absolutely a genius!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Thank you Nathalie!

  • Thanks so much, @melissa_burkheimer:disqus. I really appreciate you reading my comment!