Social Media Goals: How to Set SMART Goals and Actually Achieve Them

By: Mark Quadros

Imagine sitting down at your computer and heading over to Instagram to create a new account for your business. With no plan in place, you start going to town showing off your iPhone photography skills like none other.

To your surprise, you gain precisely… zero new followers, comments, or likes despite posting three times a day and commenting on every post you come across.

You’re following all the rules of engagement, so what gives!?

Unlike your personal social media profiles, your business profile needs a foundational strategy that acts as a beacon for everything you do. The basis of this strategy is a robust set of social media goals to pave the way.

However, setting smart social media goals isn’t as easy as it seems. But don’t worry. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about setting smart goals that align with your business objectives.

Goals Aren’t Actually THAT Important… Are They?

Harvard conducted a study in which they asked 3% of their MBA students to write down their goals. Those students earned up to 10x as much as the remaining 97% of students ten years after graduation.

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Image via Finances Online

It’s no secret that people who set achievable goals are more likely to be successful.

You also know the devastating pain of failing to meet your goals. At times, it can feel like your world is crashing down around you. So, why is it that 92% of people never actually achieve the goals they set?

It’s because they’re setting the wrong goals.

So, How Do You Make Sure You’re Setting the Right Goals?

Failing to meet your goals has nothing to do with who you are. Instead, it has everything to do with the goals you set for yourself. The key to setting the right social KPIs is following a SMART quality check before dedicating your time and effort.

The easiest way to do this is by starting with a broad business goal; you can then run through the SMART goal-setting process. By the end, your goal will morph into something valuable you can use for positive growth.

On the psychological front, setting smart goals will not only help with work efficiency but also ensure peace of mind.

Instead of overworking, you’ll be achieving more without much effort. And this will lead to several benefits like better mental health, happiness at work and research shows even better sleep.

On a similar note, goal setting will result in more consistent workweeks which means you’ll be maintaining a healthy work-life balance, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule that’ll help you maintain a more productive mind.

Basically, happiness at work = better goals.

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Image via The Balance Small Business

Let’s run through a quick example.

Pretend your goal is to get more eyes on a new product you’re launching. While that’s an excellent idea, it isn’t a SMART goal. But, you can turn it into one by following the process:

  1. Specific — You can narrow this down by deciding you want to increase the traffic this particular product landing page gets.
  2. Measurable — Now, you need to add a quantifiable metric with which to compare your progress. You want to triple the current traffic level to this landing page.
  3. Attainable — Next, you have to decide if this is a realistic goal. If it is, there’s no action required. If it isn’t, rethink the measurable metric you defined in the last step to something attainable.
  4. Relevant — Think about your mission, vision, and business objectives. Does this goal get you one step closer to achieving these high-level objectives? If so, you’re right to move on. If not, go back to step one.
  5. Time-based — What does your timeline look like for this goal? Setting a deadline gives you something to work towards and a defined schedule. You decide on two months.

Circling back, you started with something broad and turned it into an actionable, metric-based goal. In two months, you’re going to triple the traffic level on your product-specific landing page.

From there, you can put your business plan and strategy in motion to help you get there.

How does this apply to Social Media?

Many companies find it challenging to develop a strong social media strategy that aligns with their business goals. Going further, 67% of marketers have a hard time measuring and tracking their social media efforts.

Setting SMART social media goals can help solve both of these problems for you and your business. They can also help transform the customer experience into an enjoyable one, every step of the way.

When you start with a rock-solid set of social media metrics, you’ll have the power to develop a strategy that actually gets results. Take a look at the most common social media goals among marketers.

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Image via Smart Insights

Now, imagine applying the SMART goal-setting process to identify actionable goals that work for you. From there, you can use these metrics to create a social media plan and strategy that you can then break down into specific tasks.

Setting Social Media Goals that Align with Your Business Objectives

There is an infinite number of social media metrics you can use to measure progress towards your goals. But, trying to track them all is a colossal waste of time. So, how do you decide which ones are important?

You can do this by:

  1. Understanding and defining your business goals
  2. Using these to set SMART social media goals
  3. Tying the right social media metrics to the goals you set in step 2

Now that you know the process let’s walk through some examples.

Goal 1: Increasing Brand Awareness

As you saw, increasing brand awareness is a top priority for brand managers. It’s no secret you want people to recognize your brand, talk about your brand, and feel an emotional connection to your brand.

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Image via MBA Skool

Social media is a common avenue to make steps towards achieving this goal.

  1. Business goal: increase brand awareness
  2. SMART social media goals:
    1. Achieve 100+ social shares on Facebook per post within two months
    2. Post 3x a week on Instagram and Facebook starting this month
    3. Double Instagram followers within two months
    4. Get 50+ repins/pin on Pinterest within two months
  3. Social media metrics to track:
    1. Shares, mentions, repins, comments, and likes
    2. Number of posts per week
    3. New/lost followers

Goal 2: Generating More Leads/Sales

Increasing the number of leads and sales you gain means generating more revenue for your business. For most, a lead will provide you with a way to contact them, for example their email address or phone number. So, it’s no surprise a lot of companies (including yours) are interested in using social media to make it happen.

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Image via Sprout Social

  1. Business goal: generate more sales
  2. SMART social media goals:
    1. Improve click-through-rate on Facebook CTAs by 15% within two months
    2. Increase traffic referred via social media to landing pages by 9% this year
    3. Improve conversion rate on Instagram product pages by 4% this quarter
  3. Social media metrics to track:
    1. Click-through-rate on Facebook CTAs
    2. Page-specific web traffic via social media
    3. Revenue generation/conversion rate from Instagram product pages

Goal 3: Improving Community Engagement

The internet is a place of short attention spans and instant gratification. Think of how many times you scroll by things without actually taking the time to engage with it.

With that said, social media engagement is a great way to gauge your audience’s perception of your brand and gain valuable insight into how you can help them. It may also help introduce your brand to new audiences you may not actively target.

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Image via Statista

Community engagement may look different depending on your industry. But, the social media engagement metrics you should measure work the same way regardless of your vertical.

  1. Business goal: improve community engagement
  2. SMART social media goals:
    1. Increase social shares across all channels by 35% this year
    2. Achieve 25+ comments per Facebook post within three months
    3. Improve social media click-through-rates by 12% this quarter
  3. Social media metrics to track:
    1. Number of shares, likes, and comments
    2. Social media click-through-rates
    3. Web traffic referred via social media

Goal 4: Growing Your Audience

The number of people around the world using social media continues to increase every year. By 2021, over 3 billion people worldwide will use some sort of social media.

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Image via Oberlo

As social media continues to expand, it’s no surprise that marketers turn to it for help when working to find new audiences.

  1. Business goal: growing your audience count
  2. SMART social media goals:
    1. Increase the number of post impressions by 25% this quarter
    2. Achieve 100+ social shares per blog article within six months
    3. Improve the number of brand mentions on Twitter by 5% this quarter
  3. Social media metrics to track:
    1. Post/social media ad impressions
    2. Social shares per blog post/social post
    3. Brand mentions, tags, and comments

Goal 5: Increasing Website Traffic

The click-through-rate for social media is significantly lower than other sources of web traffic. Social media platforms don’t have much to gain by directing traffic away from their site.

But, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Many marketers still use social media to drive traffic to their websites.

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Image via eCommerce Fuel

Additionally, a top-notch social media strategy plays a role in boosting your SEO efforts and ROI. And as you can see, organic search traffic is the highest source (47.8%) of traffic across the web.

  1. Business goal: Increasing web traffic
  2. SMART social media goals:
    1. Improve social ad click-through-rates by 3% this quarter
    2. Increase average social media click-through-rate by 5% this year
    3. Increase social media traffic share to 13% this year
  3. Social media metrics to track:
    1. Social ad click-through-rates
    2. Organic social click-through-rates
    3. Average traffic share by traffic source

Ready to Conquer Your Business and Social Media Goals?

Developing a strong social media strategy and presence depends on your ability to set the right social media goals. And, the right social media goals help lead the way for positive growth in all areas of your business.

To make this process easier, the Bulk.ly team has developed a comprehensive social media tool to make strategizing, automating, scheduling, and conquering your goals more accessible than ever.

Click here to get started for free today!

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