6 Social Media Marketing Goals You May Be Over-Looking

Posted on September 9th 2010

During a recent re-evaluation of the social media strategy of our car dealerships I had an a-ha moment. Maybe I already knew it, but it did not come to me in the same scope as it has at this moment.

Business is Business is Social

All businesses have a business goal in mind when using social media. They are putting time (money) into it, and need to get some form of business growth (money) out of it. Social Media Marketing firms encourage these goals - maybe due to pressures by business owners. We encourage goals for sales, lead generation, promotions, branding, buzz, product launches,...the list goes on. I get it. I really do. But isn’t this kind of backwards?

Maybe your goals should be things like:

  • Increase customer feedback
  • Reputation Management (to be fair, this is a common objective that I do agree with)
  • Increase customer awareness of your community involvement (w/out bragging)
  • Increase community involvement in your events & causes
  • Increase your knowledge of the behavior & demographics of your customers
  • Increase customer satisfaction through customer relations

Know Better. Do Better.

To grow (make more money) dealerships need to evolve the way they do business based on these invaluable bits of information. Companies used to pay loads of money for this by conducting focus groups, sending out surveys, and investing in third party market research. This expense encouraged businesses to take action as a result. But now, very few take action when they receive the same information -- just because it is affordable does not make it less valuable. This is a prime opportunity to do better!

How To Tackle These Goals

I am a firm believer in the fact that you get what you give. (You will hear me say it many more times if you are an avid reader of this blog) If you consistently use social media to sell your latest sale, you will attract the sale seeking customers (great! if that is what you really want). If you join the community and discuss important topics that affect the groups of people who you want as long term customers - then you will attract those customers (and more importantly, keep them). Especially if you show a propensity towards responding and making change based off your conversations.

Sincerity is Key

You cannot pretend to give something and expect to get the same results as you would if you ACTUALLY give that something. Put yourself out there, genuinely be you and attract the customers that will naturally like what you do. And please, do it with grace, good attitude, and willingness. If you do it half-heartedly or with spite and resistance - then your results will be half-hearted with spite and resistance.

So I say: Choose the results you want! Give what you expect to get! Be patient -- it will take people some time to trust that what you are giving is genuine and without a sales pitch. Especially if you previously have only given them sales pitches.

And, by the way, those goals we promote and talk about so often (leads, sales, profit) will come naturally if you focus your efforts on the immediate goals of gaining knowledge, using knowledge to make adjustments, and sharing knowledge.

Photo Credit: Jos Dielis

Katie Urbain

Katie Urbain

In the words of the Imagination Movers. "There's not a bad idea, when your brainstorming." Every idea that does not get used has the potential to spark the greatest next best thing. So speak up! The only rule is: Don't hold back! Connect w/ me @kurbain.

I am a social media/digital marketing consultant & a writer. I take on clients of all sizes and all stages of business. I can get your digital strategy off the ground or take over where someone else has left off. 

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"those goals we promote and talk about so often (leads, sales, profit) will come naturally if you focus your efforts on the immediate goals of gaining knowledge, using knowledge to make adjustments, and sharing knowledge"

This the part I liked the most and I agree totally. It's like being out on a meeting with people you don't know, you start talking and getting to know them, engaging and sharing your view on their talk, and they do the same. Noone is (or rather should) actually trying to sell you anything, still they see what you do, you see what they do, and business opportunities will eventually arise.

It's just something that you can't expect to happen in one month, or two, or three. Well you might get lucky, sure, but I think, as in everyday life, relationships take a while to foster and taking shortcuts is just a bad way to deal with social media. Just my two cents.

Nice, refreshing post. I have read too many articles now with the question of ROI in social media. Everytime I read them I say the same as your comment in this post:

"those goals we promote and talk about so often (leads, sales, profit) will come naturally if you focus your efforts on the immediate goals of gaining knowledge, using knowledge to make adjustments, and sharing knowledge."

It is important to understand that social media is not quantifiable. The only real investment is time, and if you and your company put enough of it in (like contributing, engaging, providing relevant info and feedback etc) then like you say, your goals will be achieved naturally. 

And your belief is true, especially with social media, that what you give is what you get.

Katie, Great article!  It's true that we need to look at the Social Media spectrum through a new kaleidescope than we have in the past.  This is truly thinking outside the box!

Thanks for helping keep the "Social" in Social Marketing!

Thanks for this Katie. Good read.




 Katie,  Thanks for this great article you sharing with us.

Great post! It's definitely very easy to get caught up in the objectives like leads and sales. We've definitely overlooked a few of your suggestions, so thank you for sharing your "a-ha" moment with the rest of us!

Agreed!  It's all about SHARING knowledge.  Good Social Media communities are built on communication and sharing ideas.  Too many companies out there expect instant engagement and return visitors but don't do their part to engage people or give them any reason to return.  I always revisit the comment section on blogs and articles that I read to see if what I wrote engaged the author enough to comment back!  If a conversation is started, I know that I did my part by providing either food for thought or feedback that is useful.  After all, isn't that what puts the "Social" aspect in Social Media?!


Hi Katie ! - good point, and a clever reframing of the perspective of social media - perhaps the goals even could be taken one step further, ie. made at an operational level also. Because that will remove a lot of the ´hot air´ often associated when people are talking about setting up strategies for use of social media. Thus making it understandable for the people working with it and thereby quicker, faster, easier reaching the ´real-world´ goals, instead of fuzzy buzz-words goals :-)



Nice article Katie and good comments everybody!

As i have been meeting a lot of people looking for social media solutions or those who are trying to understand what social media can do for their brand or corporate reputations and all of them have the same question in the lines of ROI. as in how to measure what is happening and how to decide how much to budget for such initiatives.

Brand managers and PR professionals get confused ad there are such industry bench marks or matrix which helps them to measure the buzz and understand how that can relate to good reputation or even sales.

I guess the market needs some more time to mature and understand how to use social media and the tools to measure social media buzz.

Well said. I try to enlighten business owners to these concepts constantly. I'm not interested in working, as a social media consultant, for someone (or some company) who does not understand the fundamental truth behind your post. Maybe that's why I'm not currently working as a social media consultant. :-)

"Sincerity is Key" the best and most important words of your blog in my way of thinking!!!! People like that!!!! You are sincere and they will be back!!!!!


Kathy Dowsett



This article really goes to the crux of the social media issue:  the most valuable use of social media is a open, honest, and direct engagement with your community.  And, of course, that's always been the core of conducting business with integrity.