Stop posting in the dark. Learn how to set S.M.A.R.T social media goals to measure your progress and set yourself up for success.
Most businesses have come around to the idea that social media marketing can have immense value for their brand. Unfortunately, businesses aren’t always sure what that value is. That’s where social media goals come in.
If making compelling social media content is your specialty, it can be intimidating when you have to translate business speak into social marketing. But all is not lost.
With this guide to setting social media goals, you’ll be able to figure out what your company needs — even when your company isn’t sure what it needs.
Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.
A social media goal is a statement about what you want to achieve with your marketing activity. The goal can apply to anything from a single ad buy, or you can create social media campaign goals.
A social media goal isn’t the same thing as a social media strategy, although both are important. You can think of social media goals as the building blocks for your social media strategy.
The benefits of learning how to set social media goals are numerous. Well-made goals will help you:
- structure and streamline your workflow,
- manage your budget,
- demonstrate your marketing’s return on investment,
- align your social media activity with your organization’s wider business goals.
Hootsuite’s Social Marketing Certification course has a section about setting strategic goals. It’s a great choice if you want to become an expert in goal setting for social media marketing.
Setting a social media goal doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does help to have a structure to guide you.
Set goals that get you where you need to be by making them SMART. They are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
What exactly do you want to achieve? It’s fine to start with a general direction, but your ultimate goal should be as precise as possible.
How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? If you can’t find a few quantifiable indicators to define success, your goal might not be specific enough.
You’ll want to think about which social metrics you can use to measure your success.
Did you set a realistic social media goal? If your goal is to reach a million dollars in sales, and you just launched your business yesterday, you haven’t set a very good goal. Try starting that journey of a thousand miles with a really strong first step.
Does the goal fit into your overall plan? Each goal should be a focused piece of a larger picture.
Useful goals are relevant to a problem that needs solving. Consider conducting an audit of your current social media activity. This helps you better understand where you are and where you need to go.
Can you achieve the goal in a specific amount of time? If you can’t come up with a timeline for your goal, that might be a sign that the goal isn’t specific or attainable enough.
The social media goals you set should always reflect your organization’s specific needs. But many goals can be applied to almost any social media campaign.
The following examples will help you frame your work in concrete, actionable terms. All you have to do is make them SMART for your brand.
Build brand awareness
Building brand awareness means increasing the number of people who are aware of your brand.
This goal is best in situations like launching a new product or breaking into a new market. It never hurts to make people more aware of your brand. But brand awareness is usually the first step to bigger things.
You can measure brand awareness with specific metrics like
- Post reach: how many people have seen a post since it went live.
- Audience growth rate: the rate at which you are gaining followers over time.
- Potential reach: the number of people who could, realistically, see a post during a reporting period.
- Social share of voice: how many people are mentioning your brand on social media compared to your competitors.
Specialized social monitoring tools, like Hootsuite Analytics or Insights, can give you advanced tools that let you track what people are saying about you even when they’re not using your @handle or branded hashtags.
Video social media platforms are great choices for building brand awareness. These include YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Stories and Reels. These platforms allow you to take advantage of the increased attention video commands.
Manage brand reputation
Trust in your brand is one of the most precious commodities you can generate with your social media marketing. Goals to manage your brand reputation aim to influence your public’s attitudes about you.
The metrics for brand reputation are similar to those of brand awareness. You’ll want to track brand mentions and relevant hashtags on social media.
There are also tools for performing social media sentiment analysis. These tools measure what exactly those mentions are saying about you.
Hootsuite Insights provides a deep dive into your brand’s reputation. Its tools can extract relevant information from 1.3 trillion social media posts in real-time.
Social audio platforms can be very effective for influencing your brand’s reputation. These include Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Spotify. Users’ attention and engagement on these platforms give you the opportunity to express your brand’s identity in depth.
Increase traffic to your website
Sometimes you just want to get eyeballs on your website. Your website is a key element in your social media presence. It connects a click on an advertisement to the rest of your online presence.
Increasing website traffic is a good goal to use when you’ve got your online presence in place and all you need is people to use it.
Measuring website traffic is relatively simple. Unique visits to your website can be measured over the most relevant period of time. That can mean daily, weekly, or monthly, for example. You can also track where your visitors are coming from to find out which platforms are working for you best.
Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.Get the free template now!
Improve community engagement
Engagement refers to any form of visible interaction with your brand on social media. Likes, comments, and shares are all forms of engagement.
Improving engagement can target the quantity or quality of your audience’s interaction with you on social media.
Having an engaged audience is a huge asset for almost any brand. Engagement goals are useful when your company is preparing to launch a new product. They’re also useful when you’re simply aiming to maintain an existing offer.
There are a variety of ways to calculate social media engagement. Some look at your entire social media activity. Others focus on specific posts or types of engagement. The most important ones include
Hootsuite provides a free engagement calculator to give you the figures you need without any fuss.
Boost conversions or sales
A conversion is when a user takes some kind of action on your social media posts or website. This can mean signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, or making a purchase.
Say your brand has a strong social media presence that isn’t translating into a healthier bottom line. Conversion goals are especially useful in situations like these.
Depending on your specific objectives, you might measure conversion by
- Conversion rate: the number of visitors who, after clicking on a link in your post, take action on a page divided by that page’s total visitors.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): how often people click on the call-to-action link in your post.
- Social Media Conversion Rate: the percentage of conversions from social media.
- Bounce rate: No, not how often you listen to Big Freedia. Bounce rate measures the percentage of users that click on one of your links, only to leave without taking any action.
Social platforms that have integrated shopping tools are most effective for conversion goals. These include Pinterest Product Pins, Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, TikTok, and Shopify.
Not every interaction will result in a sale. To keep in touch with potential customers, you might want to set a goal to generate more social leads.
The leads that you generate can be any information that helps you follow up with a social media user. That includes names, email addresses, occupations, employers, or any other information they share.
Leads are a specific kind of conversion. Because of this, the two goals are useful in similar situations. They’re also measured in similar ways. But lead goals are even more targeted for situations. For example, when your company is looking to convert a strong social media presence into sales.
The best platform for generating leads is Facebook. This edge comes from its massive audience size and sophisticated analytics tools.
Be aware that many of Facebook’s lead-generating advantages come from tools that raise serious user privacy concerns. These technologies continue to be subject to a tug-of-war between privacy technology and surveillance technology. As a result, the quality of the data they provide may vary.
To learn more about generating high-quality leads, we’ve put together a guide dedicated to social media leads.
Deliver customer service
Your social presence isn’t just about attracting new customers. It’s also a place to keep the customers you already have. Goals to improve customer service on social media can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Establish a new customer support channel on social media
- Reduce wait times
- Increase customer satisfaction
The way to measure the success of your social customer service will depend on how you’ve formulated your goal. Usually, you’ll use data from customer testimonials and customer satisfaction surveys. Internal measurements like the number of service requests handled per customer service representative can also be useful.
Conversational social media platforms are the ideal place to focus on for your customer service-related goals. Twitter and Facebook are the two most popular.
Gain market insights with social listening
If your biggest need right now is to find out what you need to know, you might want to set a goal to improve your business’s social listening.
Social listening refers to a two-step process. First, you track social media activity relevant to your brand. Then you analyze that information for insights about your industry.
The main metrics to track in social listening include
- Brand mentions
- Relevant hashtags
- Competitor mentions
- Industry trends
- Social sentiment
Setting social listening goals can help you engage with your audience more effectively. They also help show the value of social marketing next time budgeting season rolls around.
Attract candidates for open positions
Using social media to fill open positions in your company is another kind of conversion. In this case, you’re targeting a particular kind of user interaction: submitting a resume.
You’ll want to attract quality conversions rather than quantity. Learn how to use your company’s LinkedIn account. This will help attract the best candidates for your positions.
If you follow the advice in these social media marketing goals, you’ll be well on your way to making SMART social media goals. Even if you don’t succeed, a SMART goal helps you learn from your mistakes. You’ll be putting yourself in a win-win scenario. Either you succeed or you gain valuable information.
Use Hootsuite to achieve your social media goals across all platforms. From one dashboard you can easily schedule and publish posts, interact with your audience, monitor conversations around your brand, and measure performance with real-time analytics.