Setup

Setting Goals

The first step to successful social media is setting goals that align with your business objectives. Use this guide to learn how to get started, set SMART goals, and explore a few examples.

Setting Goals
  • The basics
  • Setting social media goals
  • Common social media goals
  • Sample social media goals by network
  • Get Support

The basics

Like all marketing activities, social media strategy planning starts with setting goals. Your goals will help you define your content strategy, determine your budget, focus on data, and demonstrate success. The most basic question is: what do I want to do with social media? Do you want to raise brand awareness, boost loyalty, build relationships with customers, enhance your customer service, or all of the above? Whatever your objectives may be, you can’t measure success without goals.

Setting social media goals

Defining social media goals is no easy task. That’s because social media can be used to achieve many different objectives, some of which are interrelated. But you certainly don’t want to try to navigate the often turbulent social waters without a map to guide the way.

Goals will not only guide you, they will empower you and your teams to get down to business and determine what you need to be doing day-by-day.

Especially if you’re just getting started, it’s so important to set realistic goals. You might have big ideas, and that’s great. But consider tackling smaller objectives first and building from there.

Begin broad, then go granular

Speaking of big ideas, beginning with the big picture is an excellent way to start the goal-setting process. Say, for example, you want to launch a new customer service channel or engage a specific target audience. Then, with this broad objective in mind, you can begin setting granular goals – specific aims that will drive your day-to-day activities.

Set SMART goals

Now that you’ve painted the big picture, it’s time to dive into the details by setting SMART goals.

Here’s how you make a SMART goal:

  • Specific: Make it clear and straightforward. Use specific wording to define the objective, who is responsible, and what steps you will take to achieve it.

  • Measurable: Be sure you can track and quantify progress. Your goal should be associated with one or more metrics (KPIs)

  • Achievable: Make sure your goal is realistic and within reach. Ask yourself: can we accomplish that? Aiming for unattainable goals is counterproductive and ultimately discouraging.

  • Relevant: Your goal should matter to you and your business. It should deliver a real benefit. Incorporate this benefit into your goal and ensure your team fully understands it.

  • Time-bound: Set a deadline. Including a timeframe will motivate you to get things done and keep the entire project on schedule.

By setting SMART goals, you’ll avoid abstract objectives that are difficult to break down into specific steps. Vague goals that lack KPIs are a common mistake. For example, avoid setting goals like this:  “We will use TikTok to raise brand awareness.”

Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

“We want to drive more young adults to our website and increase sales by 5% within this demographic in the next six months. To do this, we will use TikTok to share light-hearted content that raises interest and brand awareness and then TikTok Ads to drive users to our website.”

Common social media goals

Here are some examples of the most common social media goals. Keep in mind that most social media marketing strategies include a combination of two or more of these objectives.

Boost brand awareness and reputation

Standing out on social media is arguably the top priority for any social media marketer. Are you making a lasting impression on your target audience? Are your followers regularly engaging with your content? How much are people talking about you compared to competitors? Raising brand awareness is a long-term goal that is part of every marketing strategy. On social media, it can lead to consistently high engagement.

Example KPIs: 

  • Followers
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Engagement

 

Generate leads and sales

The ultimate marketing goal of any business is to increase sales. In social media, this means creating content that converts. In addition to paid social advertising, achieving this goal might involve creative ways to call users to action and funnel them to specific websites and pay attention to how you are targeting specific audiences. 

Example KPIs: 

  • Conversion rate
  • Sales revenue
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Non-revenue conversions (sign-ups, downloads, etc.)

 

Increase user engagement

How many likes and shares your content receives is often considered a vanity metric, but increasing the number of users who engage with your content is an important goal that can provide insights into whether your content strategy and messaging are resonating. Also, engagement allows you to make meaningful connections with a community and build relationships that will encourage even more conversations. 

Example KPIs: 

 

  • Clicks
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Mentions

 

Expand your audience

Like engagement, growing your audience is another important goal. This involves understanding your audience, identifying your top-performing content, and figuring out best publishing times and frequencies along with creating campaigns to attract new followers. 

Example KPIs: 

 

  • Mentions
  • Followers
  • Engagement rate
  • Share of voice

 

Drive more traffic to your websites

Social media is a fabulous tool for funneling users to your websites. Whether you want people to visit a product page or download a white paper, one of your social media goals is likely higher traffic on your product and landing pages. Watching what these users do once they reach your page is critical to understanding which channels and content achieve the result you were hoping for. 

Example KPIs: 

 

  • Traffic
  • Link clicks
  • Conversions
  • Subscriptions
  • Inquiries

Sample social media goals by network

Every social media channel is different. This means your goals will vary from platform to platform. Here are some examples based on the specific strengths of a few selected social media networks.

Customer service on Twitter

Twitter is an ideal social platform for customer service. That’s because it’s easy to build relationships with your target audience and interact directly with individual customers.

 

Raise visibility on Instagram

Instagram is all about visuals, which makes it excellent for illustrating the human side of your business. You can take users behind the scenes with stories or collaborate with influencers to promote products or campaigns.

 

Become a thought leader on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become the go-to network for professionals. B2B brands can use it to demonstrate industry influence and expertise as well as network with others for new opportunities. LinkedIn is also the number one social network for recruiting and finding top talent.

 

Targeted advertising on Facebook

Facebook is often regarded as the gold standard for social media advertising. It not only has more users than any other network, it also provides the most sophisticated ad-targeting services. If you want to reach a specific target audience almost anywhere in the world, Facebook is likely your top choice.

Get Support

If you have any questions or feedback or require assistance, please write to the Digital Communications Team at Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Brand.