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How to Set Social Media Goals and Why It Matters

Sticky notes showing social media strategy steps set goals

One of the most crucial things for marketers to do is to prove the effectiveness of their social media activities, however only 42% of marketers say they are able to do so. You have to set goals in order to measure ROI, and it’s important to set social media goals that align with your overall business and marketing strategy and visions for the future. 

Tweet: "Only 42% of marketers can prove the effectiveness of their social media."

It's not enough for your business to simply be present on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You need to be active and engage with your followers in a way that will best help you meet your goals.  

So How Exactly Do You Set Social Media Goals?

Like any good strategy, you must start with a plan. List out the business goals that your social media strategy can impact, then define how your social media efforts can help meet those goals. We’ve listed some examples here:

Example 1

  • If your business goal is to increase sales revenue by 8% by the end of the year;
  • Then consider setting a goal to increase web traffic from social channels by 20% by the end of the year.

Example 2

  • If your business goal is to improve customer retention rates by 5% in 6 months;
  • Then consider setting a goal to increase and maintain customer resolution rates to 80% in 3 months.

Example 3

  • If your business goal is to increase audience engagement rates;
  • Then consider setting a goal to increase social media reach by 50% by the end of the year.

Be SMART About Your Social Media GoalsSMART Goals on a Napkin.jpg

Before you consider your goals final, be sure they’re SMART. Using the SMART goal framework, you can define the metrics which will represent that success. Documenting goals in this way helps make each goal very clear about its intent. There’s no room for uncertainty, especially when you’re working with a team. Make sure each goal includes these attributes:


This is where you set out what you want to accomplish. Create specific goals using hard numbers and hard deadlines. For instance, "improve ROI" is vague. Opt for a more specific goal like "increase ROI by 20%."


Unless you can measure it, a goal is useless. Make each goal measurable so you can track and analyze its success rates and overall performance. For instance, "grow Twitter followers" isn't measurable. "Grow Twitter followers by 150%" is measurable.  


Set social media goals that are challenging, yet achievable. Setting unachievable goals can be frustrating for a team, leaving them feeling defeated. If your Twitter account currently has 450 followers, hitting 5,000 next month might not be attainable. It helps to have benchmarks in place so that you know what is achievable. You can use industry benchmarks if you don’t have any specific to your business.


Make sure your goal is relevant to your plan. If your main goal is driving traffic to your website, the number of followers you have on social media might not be a relevant goal. The total number of click throughs to your website might be what you want to measure instead.


Deadlines encourage motivation. Having a tangible end date allows you to measure whether or not the goals have been achieved. For instance, “Get 20 new qualified leads from social media channels by the end of Q2.”

Measure the Right Numbers

Here are some more detailed examples:

Example 1

  • If your social media goal is to increase web traffic from social channels by 20% by the end of the year; 
  • Then measure web traffic from social media referrals using HubSpot, Google Analytics, or other social monitoring tools.
  • To make sure your efforts are directly impacting the business goal, check your CRM for the number of contacts with an original source listed as social media. (Your system might need customizing to track this).
HubSpot Social Media Sources Dashboard.png
Example 2
  • If your social media goal is to increase and maintain customer resolution rates to 80% in 3 months; 
  • Then measure the number of resolved issues divided by the number of problems. You might also want to track the length of time it takes you or your team to resolve the issues so you can compare averages.
  • To make sure your efforts are directly impacting the business goal, check on customers with resolved issues in your CRM to see if they’re returning/current customers. You can learn an awful lot about your audience by integrating your social and CRM.

Example 3
  • If your social media goal is to increase social media reach by 50% by the end of the year;
  • Then measure reach - this is typically one of the metrics available directly on standard reports from any social channel.
  • To make sure your efforts are directly impacting the business goal, check virality in addition to reach (“reach” doesn’t mean much these days because your followers aren’t always engaged, so they aren’t necessarily ‘reached’). Virality signifies what your audience does with your posts, taking into account the number of shares, etc.

Review the Metrics Regularly

After your goals have been defined and your campaigns are running on course, success rates must be analyzed regularly to make sure progress is being made toward those goals. Are you going to be a social media powerhouse on your first try? Probably not and that’s ok (no one is regardless of what they tell you). Keep an eye on these numbers (where you started and where you want to be) so you can see what is and isn’t working.

Why it Matters

I know… goal setting really isn’t that much fun. I’d rather just tweet too. But doing the work to set, track, and achieve each objective helps your business grow in many ways you might not realize.

Increase Brand Awareness

To increase business, the public needs to know your brand exists! It's important to track your follower counts, the amount of post sharing activity, and how many people are seeing your company's content. Acquiring an ever-expanding audience is crucial to increasing brand awareness.

Improve Website Traffic

Social media posts and ads can generate a lot of website traffic. Keep posting relevant, engaging, and valuable content and the traffic will keep building.

Build Loyalty

Customers reach out over social platforms to voice their concerns, complaints, or praise. If you respond to them effectively and offer troubleshooting support, it will show the company is invested in taking care of its customers.

Grow Revenue

As you drive more web traffic, increase brand awareness, and build customer loyalty, the company revenue will continue to grow.

There are close to 3 billion users across the globe who spend an average of 2 hours daily on social media platforms. It’s a lot to digest, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Learn how to stay on top of your social media goals and monitor your channels by downloading our free eBook, "How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day."

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