More Than a Hashtag: Inspiration, Goals, and Success in 2016

The last week of the year we are flooded with social media images that offer inspiration for an even better New Year. As a marketer, I look closely at these memes, quotes, and aspirational images. I try to identify what resonates with me, what might be considered a universal truth, and what ideas are aimed at specific demographic groups. Here’s what I’ve learned in 2015: Social media marketing that matches brand values with a target audience can build a stronger relationship, faster.

Make a resolution to get the most out of your marketing plan in 2016.

  1. Get inspired for more creative and targeted marketing messages, 
  2. Set goals consistent with your brand story, and
  3. Measure success, see the effort was worth it. 


Many brands suffer from trying to be all things to all people. They do not want to narrow their target audience by talking to a specific market segment. This thinking is based on the model of the Sales Funnel in which you cast a broad net and gradually qualify prospects and build a relationship over time. Imagine starting the conversation with those fully qualified, engaged people instead. Social media marketing can be that shortcut, but only if you dare to show what is unique to your brand.

Every Nike and Under Armour advertisement makes me feel good for about 10 seconds of borrowed glory. I don’t consider myself an athlete and I don't hang out with any professional athletes. I do run half marathons though. And, I’ve watched this Saucony running shoe YouTube video from beginning to end many times and shared it with everyone I know. They were brave enough to show that people have different reasons for running. It’s inspirational for me, and so they gained a fan. I own Saucony running shoes (and Brooks, and some others). Does this inspire you to craft more targeted messages?

Dollar Shave Club does not show a ruggedly handsome half naked man shaving in front of a mirror like traditional men’s razor companies do. They show an average Joe at the drug store to buy a pack of razors and compare the experience to getting punched in the nuts. I immediately signed my husband up for their service. I was hooked by the feeling they conveyed in 20 seconds. Does this inspire you to tell your brand story in a different way?


You will see hashtag goals (#Goals) posted on aspirational pictures all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Many times this hashtag is a comment regarding fitness goals, but you will also see it posted for travel goals, relationship goals, materialistic goals, professional goals...

It’s just as important for your brand to have these kinds of goals. We all know you are in business to sell your product or service. That is not a goal, that is reality.Let your brand story guide you to new marketing goals. 

Use storytelling to differentiate your brand and engage your audience in an authentic way. Commit to a candid photoshoot behind the scenes that shows the brand personality you have crafted. Commit to showing more User Generated Content that highlights real people who are happy and engaged with your product or service after the purchase. Commit to being authentic to your brand voice and more interactive with your fans rather than promoting another scheduled, generic message in a crowded stream of scheduled, generic messages.



You got inspired. You set goals. Now, measure your brand’s success. The number of followers is only part of a bigger picture. People who share and comment on your messages across your chosen social media platforms -- that is the real story. Fans amplify your message. People within their circles are likely to also be interested in your message and more likely to trust the message coming from a friend.

Native data, Google Analytics and social media dashboards (like Sprout Social or HootSuite) will show engagement, reach, and progress towards your goals over time. How will you define social media marketing success for your brand in 2016?

At Thin Pig Media, we share your brand story through traditional, digital, and social media channels. Share your marketing #Goals with us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @ThinPigMedia.