How to set results-driven social media goals

With all the time you invest into your social media marketing, wouldn’t you love to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your efforts are paying off? Before you can work out what’s working or not, you first need to set the right social media goals aligned to real business objectives.

In this blog post you’ll learn:

  • How to create attainable and S.M.A.R.T social media goals

  • How to find the data you need to measure your progress

  • How to organise and record the data to know what’s working and what needs changing


Know Which Channels You’re Going To Focus On

The first part of the goal-setting process involves working out which social media channels to focus your efforts on.

The spray-and-prey approach simply isn’t effective, nor is it the best use of your time. I recommend focusing on a maximum of three social media channels.

So how do you know what channels to choose? Here are some things to help you decide:

  • Where do you already have the most active social presence?

  • Where do you see the most potential for growth?

  • Where is your competition the most successful online?

  • Where do your customers like to hang out online?

Using those questions you should be able to prioritise which are most important. In the coming weeks we’ll dive deeper into developing a strong social media strategy which will cover this more.


Know Your Business Objectives

To set social media marketing goals that are aligned to your business (not that other business you keep looking at on Instagram), it’s ultra important to know what your end game is. Knowing which type of goal you should be focusing on can be broadly broken down into three categories: Brand Awareness, Traffic and Conversion. So what do I mean by this?

  • Brand Awareness: How many people are seeing and interacting with your brand on social media?

  • Traffic: How many of these people are going from your social channels to your website?

  • Conversions: How many of these people who then go to your website actually buy from you?

Often this is chronological. For example, when you’ve just launched, you may aim to get as many people interacting with you as possible, but as your business grows the focus shifts to conversions.

Let’s go into a bit more detail on this.

Grow Brand Awareness

Goals focused on growing brand awareness would be things like:

  • Grow my following on Instagram by 1,000 followers within three months

  • Grow my average monthly Facebook reach to 10,000 by 31 December

  • Grow my Pinterest re-pins to 500 per month by 31 December

Grow Website Traffic

Goals that drive traffic to your website could be things like:

  • 50% increase in traffic to my website coming from Instagram by 31 December

  • 250 people visit X landing page from Facebook in August

  • 25% of overall traffic to my website comes from my 3 main social media channels

Grow Conversions

If you’re focusing on conversions, your goals would be something like:

  • Get 30 signups from Facebook in August

  • Sell $7,000 of product from Instagram in September

  • Get 3 new clients from Pinterest in October

While these metrics may seem impossible to track, you can find the data you need, you may just need to set a few things up first.


Find Data and Set Your Baseline

Now that you know where you want to focus your efforts to achieve your business objectives, you need to know your starting point in order to have realistic expectations. For example, you might set the goal that 25% of your website traffic comes from Instagram, but this might already be happening!

Brand Awareness

Most brand awareness related data you can find through the channel analytics dashboard in the channel itself - or simply by looking at your profile.

Website Traffic

To understand website traffic from social media, you’ll need to login to Google Analytics and navigate to Acquisition in the left-hand column:

Google Analytics > Acquisition

Google Analytics > Acquisition

Then under Acquisition, click Social > Overview:

Google Analytics > Acquisition > Social > Overview

Google Analytics > Acquisition > Social > Overview

Make sure you’ve adjusted your date range in the top right:

Google Analytics > Adjust Date Range

Google Analytics > Adjust Date Range

You can also import a handy dashboard overview to see all your social media traffic in a nutshell here

Website Conversions

A conversion can be anything you want it to, but it must have an action. This could be signing up for your email list, filling out a form or buying a product.

To be able to start tracking this data, you’ll need to first setup Goals in Google Analytics. Once you’ve done this, go to your analytics home page and select Acquisition > Social > Conversions

You’ll now be able to see your conversion numbers per channel and how many conversions have been generated per channel:

Acquisition > Social > Conversions

Acquisition > Social > Conversions

Conversions by social channel

Conversions by social channel

Create Your S.M.A.R.T Goals

Still with me? Great!

You know your business objectives, what channels to focus on and what your baseline is. Now’s the fun part - setting your social media marketing goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The goals that you create need to be able to have a numerical value attached to them in some shape or form.

For example, let’s break down this example goal:

Get 1,000 new Facebook page likes within 3 months.

This goal statement is:

  • Specific: I want 1,000 new Facebook page likes. This goal is specific to Facebook page likes and nothing else.

  • Measurable: 1,000 followers is a measurable value.

  • Attainable: If my Facebook followers are at 0, gaining 1,000 new page likes within say, one week, is a bit of a stretch. However, within three months is attainable.

  • Relevant: This is of course assuming that Facebook is one of your chosen social media channels to focus on and therefore worth investing the time to achieve this.

  • Time-Bound: The goal of gaining 1,000 new page likes needs to be met within three months. Whatever this date is, this is now your deadline and you can then work backwards to chunk it down.

Got it?

Now go ahead and record each goal, and once you’ve done that, put them somewhere prominent to remind you what you’re aiming for.

Top Tip: To take it one step further, schedule a recurring weekly or monthly appointment in your calendar to track how you’re going.