When it comes to marketing platforms, few are as versatile as social media.
Brands and businesses use social media to achieve a variety of goals – just check out this data:
However, just because your business has an active presence on social media doesn’t mean you’ll automatically gain brand awareness, community engagement, improved sales and all those other perks.
Okay, but how do you crack the secret code and achieve social media success, I hear you ask impatiently. Well, the answer may sound boring at first, but hear me out.
You set goals. That’s right – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals. It’s no accident that if you turn these words into an acronym, they spell SMART.
The first-known use of this nifty acronym was in 1981, long before social media sailed onto our horizons. But its criterion for judging objectives is spot-on. Academic research has shown that people who write down their goals, create a plan and solicit support from a friend are 76% more likely to achieve them.
By setting social media goals, you increase the likelihood of achieving them by giving your team a specific direction or target to work towards. It means you’re not just blindly hoping for heaps of likes or shares on your social media content – that would be silly and a little bit naïve. Instead, you’re identifying precisely how you will measure success or failure before you launch a campaign.
Oh, and setting social media goals doesn’t just mean randomly pulling an aspirational number out of the air and telling your team to go for it. It means nutting out rational, achievable goals that are easy to understand, act on, and follow up with.
Give me some examples, I hear you cry, of these perfect social media goals. Hey, I’m so glad you asked! I’d love to.
In this post, I’m going to give you some examples of smart social media goals that can make your social media strategy succeed. I’ve come up with 12 different objectives that you are most likely trying to achieve, and example goals for each of them.
So buckle up, grab yourself a drink or a snack, and let’s get cracking.
1. If you want to increase… brand awareness
Social media is the perfect playground in which to increase brand awareness. You can put a ‘face’ to the name, crack a few jokes, engage with clients or customers in an informal manner, and promote your best content.
The best way to build brand awareness is, obviously, by sharing content that interests your audience. However, you should also develop a style guide to ensure your tone is consistent and distinctive. Additionally, you’ll need to develop a strategy for who you follow and actively engage in conversation with those who follow you.
Here are some examples of brand awareness goals:
- Increase Twitter followers by 25% quarterly
- Achieve a minimum of 5 shares for each social post
Here are some brand awareness analytics to track:
- New followers
2. If you want to increase… brand loyalty
Social media isn’t just a place to find new customers; it’s also a place to keep your current and previous customers engaged.
There are a lot of different ways to encourage your current followers to stick with you… for example, you could create a running campaign offering discounts to followers who share your products.
Check out this pristine example of a Facebook post that encourages brand loyalty:
Here are some examples of brand loyalty goals:
- Increase mentions on Twitter by 10%
- Get 1,000 followers to share user-generated content during your next promotional campaign
Here are some brand loyalty analytics to track:
- New followers
3. If you want to increase… your authority and influence
Becoming influential on social media has a number of benefits, and a big one is that it helps you build authority with search engines. That’s because when you create content that sparks conversation and gets shared, you gain a lot of backlinks in the process.
Try using a tool like BuzzSumo to monitor your most shared content and the backlinks it has gained:
Here are some examples of authority and influence goals:
- Create and promote 8 blog posts per month
- Get at least 300 social shares per post
Here are some authority and influence analytics to track:
- Number of shares
- Number of likes
- Number of comments
- New links to content
4. If you want to increase… your social proof
If the movie Jerry Maguire was made today, Tom Cruise’s character would probably be shouting ‘Show me the social proof!’
Social media is an ideal place to get testimonials and referrals to use for social proof, i.e., to show potential customers that people really, really like what you do. The value of third-party endorsements given on social media cannot be overestimated. If you happen to use widgets on your site that show your number of social followers or page shares, encouraging social proof is a must.
Here are some examples of social proof goals:
- Get at least 100 shares per blog post
- Increase Instagram followers by 50% this year
Here are some social proof analytics to track:
- Page shares
- Number of followers
5. If you want to conduct… market research
Market research is an in-depth, lengthy process… and trends on social media change so quickly that insights can become outdated fast. So why not use social media research to get real-time insights into your target audience?
Do this by engaging in social listening, and regularly conducting social media polls to engage with and suss out your audience.
Here are some examples of market research goals:
- Develop a quarterly content creation plan based on trending online topics
- Poll your audience quarterly to gain new insights
Here are some market research analytics to track:
- Trending topics and hashtags related to your industry or niche
- Poll results and engagement
6. If you want to conduct… customer research
Social media gives you a prime opportunity to build a close relationship with your audience. Your business can be like a fly on the wall, listening to people’s thoughts, feelings and problems. Use the information you ‘overhear’ to create targeted content and pose your business as the solution.
In a sneakier vein, you can track your competitors and see how your audience interacts with them. This will help you develop calculated marketing strategies that set your business apart.
Here are some examples of customer research goals:
- Engage in social listening monthly
- Analyze changes or shifts in audience sentiment
Here are some customer research analytics to track:
- Your competitors’ engagement and retention metrics
- Qualitative themes in your audience’s conversations
Of course, this social media goal is easiest to scale if you use a social listening tool like Sprout Social or Synthesio. These tools automatically monitor online conversations across different platforms and analyze the trends for you.
7. If you want to increase… website traffic
Social media is great and all… but sometimes it can be difficult to get people off your social media page and onto your website. That’s why increasing website traffic should always be a key goal of your social strategy.
Examples of website traffic goals:
- Increase the share of overall site traffic from social media by 10% this year
- Improve social media click-through rate by 5% each quarter
Some website traffic analytics to track:
- Traffic from social media
- Bounce rate of social media traffic
- Social call-to-action click-through rate
8. If you want to increase… lead generation
No matter how great your social media engagement is, it doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t help improve your bottom line. Ultimately, social media needs to help you generate leads and drive sales.
Lead generation involves attracting and converting prospects using what I’m going to (jokingly) refer to as a bribe: it usually takes shape in sign-up forms or gated content. In social media terms, lead generation means attracting prospects from social media back to your website so they can become customers or clients through your lead magnets.
Check out this example of how online learning platform Udemy speaks to their audience’s interests with this promoted tweet:
Here are some examples of lead generation goals:
- Increase web traffic from social media by 40% this quarter
- Improve click-through rate on social calls-to-actions by 5% this month
- Improve landing page conversions from social media by 10% this year
Here are some lead generation analytics to track:
- Social traffic
- Call-to-action performance
- Landing page performance
9. If you want to increase… customer acquisition
Once upon a time, you needed to attract social media users to your website before they could become customers. But thanks to the arrival of social selling, it’s become possible to use social media to drive sales directly.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offer options to help you sell products directly on their platforms.
Here are some examples of customer acquisition goals:
- Increase click-through rate for product pages on Instagram by 10% this month
- Increase revenue from social ads by 20% this quarter
Here are some customer acquisition analytics to track:
- Click-through rates from social ads
- Sign-ups from social ads
- Revenue from social ads
10. If you want to increase… customer retention
There are a lot of different ways you can try to improve customer retention on social media. The most obvious one is to keep your current customers engaged and provide world-class support whenever your followers have questions or concerns about your products.
You can also encourage customer retention simply by promoting VIP access options to your current customers, as below:
Here are some examples of customer retention goals:
- Improve customer service response rate by 2 hours this month
- Get at least 10 comments per post this month
Here are some customer retention analytics to track:
- Engagement metrics (likes, shares, etc)
- Social response time
- VIP signups
11. If you want to boost… customer service
People talk about brands they like or dislike on social media all the time and often take to a brands’ page to air complaints or grievances. That might sound like bad news, but it’s actually an opportunity for you to improve public relations.
When businesses respond to customer service complaints publicly, stats show that customers actually end up spending 20% to 40% more time with the company. So trying to mitigate issues with disgruntled customers can help you turn a negative review into a positive one.
Here are some examples of customer service goals:
- Improve your brand or business’s Google rating from 3 to 4 stars
- Increase social media response rate to 3 hours on average
Here are some customer service analytics to track:
- Number of mentions
- Social media response time
- Average ratings on review platforms
12. If you want to boost… customer referrals
You can easily use your social media campaigns to boost customer referrals as well. For example, you could run a sweepstake on social media, and in order to win, your social followers have to share the post.
You could also put together an internal system to encourage social sharing of your products like Dropbox did:
Here are some examples of customer referrals goals:
- Get at least 100 social shares of product-related posts this month
- Improve social media sign-ups and referrals by 10% this quarter
Here are some customer referral analytics to track:
- Social shares
- Traffic, sign-ups and referrals from social media
Social media is incredibly versatile. It can easily make your business flourish in many different areas – from generating leads to retaining customers, increasing brand awareness to improving customer relations, the sky’s the limit!
But like any good system, there are multiple steps involved, and a lot of groundwork to be done.
Take time to work on your social media goals and always remember to make them SMART. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
It’s the best and (dare I say it) smartest way to go about things.
Let me know what you think of this post and share some examples of your own social media goals below.