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Only 9% of the population feels they had success with their New Year Resolutions. The reason why most resolutions never see the day of the light is that they are too broad to be achieved. And social media goals work similarly. Social media marketing expenditure is expected to see a rise of more than double touching $17.34 billion in 2019 as compared to $7.52 billion in 2014. Shooting in the dark without any data to guide you will not land you anywhere. A proper social media plan should have measurable goals to show your performance in the digital world. Here is a guide detailing how to set up and follow social media goals:

Social Media Goals – But Why?

The most precious investment in any project is time. If you are spending your time, putting heart and soul into maintaining social media presence for the company, it only makes sense to track your performance. You will need goals to measure your performance and show your client the headway you are making on social media. The goals should be in line with the company’s vision. Without metrics and goals, you won’t know the best time to post or whether the posts are garnering any attention or not.

Setting Social Media Goals

They should be specific yet tough. Tough, doesn’t mean impossible. Rather, it means something not so easy that it can't be achieved without putting in any effort! According to psychologist Edwin A. Locke’s research study, commitment to goals is achieved when:

  • the goal has some significance
  • goals are achievable for the individual


A popular goal-setting technique goes by the name of SMART. It’s an acronym for:

  • Specific: The goals should be clear and defined.
  • Measurable: You should have one or two metrics to measure your goal.
  • Achievable: It shouldn’t be an impossible goal.
  • Realistic: It should be achievable within available time and money resources.
  • Time Sensitive: It should have a time frame, within which it should be realizable.

Social media goals can be set such that they can be achieved in over a year. Some common social media goals are:

  • Increasing brand awareness.
  • Improving ROI
  • Creating an enthusiastic fan base
  • Increasing in-person sales

For different social networks, you can set different goals. In addition, you can have the primary goal of ‘increasing brand awareness’ and a secondary goal of ‘increasing sales.


Identify metrics

This should be done for each goal. Let’s take the example of increasing brand awareness. To do this on Facebook, the metric should be:

  • Number of fans/likes
  • Post Reach
  • Page and Post Impressions
  • Link clicks (if you link to the company blog, for example)
  • Analytics for Facebook referrals

Review Social Media Profiles

Social media profiles should be audited at the beginning of the goal-measuring period. This will give you a baseline and you will know how much progress you have made since measuring the goal.

Analyze Your Efforts

  • Have a feedback loop in place.
  • Check analytics once or twice a month to see progress.
  • See if your advertising spend per post is enough or needs boosting.
  • Measure efforts

While goals can be daunting, the key is to break the goals into smaller, traceable ones.

Social Media Goals – Which Ones Work the Best?

Let’s discuss the common social media goals in detail:

Increasing Social Media ROI

Your marketing efforts can be measured in many ways, one of which is ROI (return on investment). For measuring, add up all the costs for social media marketing including social media marketing tools, advertising spend, and employee hours.

Some metrics are:

  • Trials of your product
  • Conversions from social networks
  • Email signups
  • Affiliate marketing with social media influencers

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Increasing In-Person Sales

For retails outlets, linking social media efforts to outlet sales can be a bit tricky. Social media should be incorporated at every touch point.

Some examples can be given an incentive on social media check-ins at the store, posting updates online about the retail outlet, and having in-store signs telling people to follow you Instagram. You can also take emails of customers and target them with promotions.

Some common metrics for measuring this goal are:

  • Number of posts tagged or checked in at your location
  • Number of reviews on Facebook
  • Number of emails collected from social media posts

Creating An Enthusiastic Fan Base

A loyal and dedicated fan base needs no reason to post about their favorite brand. Every marketer strives to have such a fan base.

This goal can be measured via common metrics such as:

  • Photos tagged of the brand
  • Branded hashtags used on social media
  • Stories that tag the brand
  • Number of engagements per post
  • Engagements per follower


Social Media Goals Are Not Impossible

Many times, social media goals have a common metric. For instance, by increasing online brand awareness, you are also increasing the sales of your product. The more you engage with your audience, the more they will be interested in talking about your product. Be mindful of this when designing your social media marketing strategy.

To sum it up, we learned:

  • Goal setting should be done the SMART way.
  • Goals should be important, yet tough.
  • Break goals into smaller chunks.
  • Keep reviewing goals within the time limit allotted so you can adjust your strategy if it doesn’t seem to be working.
  • Have 2 to 3 goals for each social media network.

So, which ones have you found to give you the most mileage in social media goal setting? Which goals have you achieved and what were the metrics you used?