The only way to make sure that you have a successful and relevant presence on social media isn’t easy but setting goals can help. Social media goals and how you define them will ultimately determine the direction, content, and channels you use. They will also determine the time you will need to invest, the money you will need to spend, and the amount of effort you will need to ensure success.

Not only should the goals you set for your social media presence be realistic but they should contribute to your overall business goals. Setting flawed goals can lead to wasting time and money or deteriorating your brand through a poor online presence.

How to set good social media goals:

  1. Determine your objective
    • An objective, which comes before goals, represent what social media will help your organization achieve. Brand awareness, customer experience, online reputation, and business conversions all fall into this category.
    • Once you have an established objective, you will have the skeleton of your social media goals and they will give you a better road map of how to achieve them.
  2. Use the S.M.A.R.T goal framework 
    • Specific
      • Increasing your reach or following on social media is an amazing goal to set but you should get specific with it. Do you want to increase your following by 100? 200? 2,000? Get as specific as outlining your following goal for each social media outlet you’re using. It is easier to reach a goal when you have the specifics of it mapped out in front of you.
    • Measurable
      • If you can’t measure what it is you’re trying to achieve, the goal isn’t specific enough. Measuring your goal includes being able to see your progress concretely and see if the effort you’re putting is producing results. Measurable goals include increasing tweets, increase the number of people you are following, interacting with more customers from your business account, etc.
    • Attainable
      • All goals must be realistic and within reach. If you don’t have a big following you cannot expect to go from 15 followers to 1500 in a few days. That takes time, effort and planning. For a goal to be attainable this requires you to sit back and analyze your current online presence and capabilities. This doesn’t mean don’t be ambitious, however, setting goals that are far out of reach can take more time to get to, can be unsuccessful, and can be a huge discouragement if in the end, it fails. Keep in mind, If you have previously been able to reach a goal on another social media platform, you know it can be done again.
    • Relevant
      • Relevancy is key, especially in today’s social media climate. You need to be able to keep up with the trends in which platforms are the most popular and will offer you or your business the ultimate exposure to the people you want to have become your customers. You also need to make sure that the social media platform you chose matches well with you and your brand. If it doesn’t fit or pair well together, it could become an issue down the road.
    • Timely
      • Timing is key when it comes to setting goals. You want to set a time limit on your goals and even if you don’t reach it, you can try again after that time limit runs out. Setting a time frame on a goal allows you to concentrate your efforts rather than just waiting for something to happen. Not setting a time frame can lead to procrastination which will be detrimental to you and your brand.
  3. Choose the right metrics to measure your progress
    • Metrics are units that measure your progress throughout your social media campaign and can determine whether you are achieving the goals you have set. Metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and follower count are often referred to as vanity metrics but still play a key role in the success of your goals. You need to focus more on metrics that clearly demonstrate your success and progress. These include: reach, audience engagement, site traffic, leads generated, sign-ups and revenue generated. It is also important that your metrics align with your objects, help you make good decisions on how to tweak your goals, and that they have the capacity to be measured effectively.
  4. Conduct a social media audit
    • The goals and objectives you set are obviously one of the most important steps in creating a successful and efficient social media marketing plan. The next step is conducting an audit of your existing channels. It is always important to look at what you already have before determining how to move forward. This audit will help you establish baseline targets and then setting goals to improve on them.
  5. Have fun!
    • The most important step in setting social media goals for a successful marketing plan is to have fun. No, it won’t be easy and it will take a lot of effort to meet your goals and objectives but it can be a lot of fun and rewarding in the long run. Once you start to meet your objectives and cross the goals you made off your list, you will be able to see the success and the results from your social media marketing plan will begin to show.


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Antonio Pitocco
ANTONIO graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a focus on public relations and social media marketing. During his time at SU he was elected President of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon and was offered opportunities to expand his social media knowledge by doing work for various offices on campus, his fraternity, and the National Folk Festival. Now, residing on the Eastern Shore, his passion for social media content creation and marketing management is expanded as he freelances for various people and businesses on the East Coast like Annapolis, Ocean City, and Salisbury but also on the West Coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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