The first step in a successful social media strategy is to set your goals.

The goals we decide upon now will underpin a successful campaign and not only allow us to stay focused but also allow us to measure our success. Goal setting can be a daunting task but with a little process it can be a lot less.

We like to follow what’s called the SMART framework for goal setting. SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear, simple and defined.
  • Measurable: Give your goal a number, so you can measure your progress. For example, it could be get 30 more followers or leads or 50 many more website visits
  • Achievable: Can you achieve this goal? It’s no good setting the bar too high on your first run out.
  • Realistic: It might be possible to get 30 more followers in a month but do you have the time or resources to achieve that goal?
  • Time sensitive: Goals should have a time frame. But you want to make sure that the pressure stays on to achieve them otherwise it will all be to easy and your loose focus. A good idea is to start with short term goals of around 4 months perhaps. Then you have flexibility to adjust as business changes occur.

The purpose of the SMART framework is to help you achieve these goals, we also have a handy template you can download here to get your started.

Let’s walk through the process of actually creating some goals.

What are you trying to achieve?

We all have different reasons for using social media. It might you want to get more customers through the door, or maybe you’d like to strengthen your brand’s image. You might also have different objectives for each type of social media. Maybe you want to use instagram to communicate your brand and twitter to promote specific events or promotions.

Let’s start by working out what our objective is and then we can create some goals that will help us reach them. Our objectives can be a little vague, that’s completely fine. We can then nail these down with specific goals.

The process might look a little like this:

  • Define the objective you’re trying to achieve with social media marketing. “Grow awareness of my business in the local area on Twitter”
  • Create goals to help you achieve your objective. “Increase total engagement (replies, retweets and likes) by 15% in 4 months”
  • Write down the steps you need to take to accomplish each goal. “Participate in at least four Twitter conversations per month”

What we want to do is avoid taking stabs in the dark, and don’t make the mistake of using social media just because all the experts say you should.

Choosing your goals

So now we have our objective, let’s set the goals which will help us achieve it. I’d suspect you aren’t completely new to social media. You’ve probably been using either twitter, instagram or facebook for a little while but just feel you need a bit more strategy and guidance? Well we can use what we understand from your previous efforts to get us started.

What did you do that worked well in the past? What got your those new followers or those extra likes? Maybe you have lots of followers but just very little engagement on posts?

If you have a lots of followers, but you’re not getting the engagement, let’s focus on generating more activity around your posts. By understanding your current position or performing a social media audit will help you set goals to get better results in the future.

A few tips for setting your goals based on some objectives


If your objective is to raise your brand’s awareness, then your goals may revolve around:

  • Content
  • Outreach
  • Followers

Lead generation:

Social media is a great way for your business to generate new leads. Setting goals involving these metrics can help you create better goals:

  • Website traffic
  • ROI
  • Interactions

Goal setting isn’t a science it’s just about fitting them to your business, by using the SMART framework we can achieve this a little easier.

Choosing your metrics

Measuring your goals will be probably be one of the most important aspects of your campaigns. It’s not enough to say “we want more likes” As technically once you get one more like you’ve ticked that goal off! We need to give our goals a metric by which we measure them.

The metrics you use will depend on our goals. What metric we choose must be trackable though.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Let’s take stock, we know what it is we wish to achieve and we know by which metrics we will measure our progress by so let’s now create a plan to ensure we reach our goals.

Your plan should include:

  • The daily, weekly and monthly tasks you need to complete.
  • Milestones you want to meet while trying to achieve your goals.
  • Whose responsibility it is for each step.

As you know wanting to climb that hill 2 mins quicker is useless unless you have a suitable plan to get fitter/faster in order to get your there. These tasks outline the work that needs to be done in order to reach your goal. If your goal is to increase your number of followers by 10%, your plan should detail how you’re going to get these followers.

It’s important we note down the steps we are going to take in order to achieve reach our goals and that we understand them.
Creating milestones which we can achieve along the way to reaching our goals will help make the process seem more realistic, just like when you knock a minute of that hill.

For instance, if your goal is to get 100 new Instagram followers within 4 months, that breaks down to an average of 25 new followers each month. You could set milestones to have 50 new followers by the second month and 100 by the fourth month. If the second month comes around and you only have 30 new followers, you can reassess your goal and make the necessary adjustments.

Tracking your Goals

Just like when you’re measuring your improvements on the bike, I bet you look at how many PR’s your gathered on that last ride or how much you increased you FTP on your last test. Well we can do the same with our social media goals.

Most social media goals can be tracked using the individual sites like Twitter or Facebook, but Google Analytics however can often fill in the gaps. By setting up campaigns we can figure out how we are progressing towards our goals and also track metrics for social media sites that don’t give great amounts of data like Instagram.

Are You Reaching Your Goals?

Setting goals for your social media will help you become more efficient, save you time and allow you to cut out anything that’s not giving you results. By using the right tools to track your goals and not being afraid to adjust your plan you can be sure to reach them and achieve those marginal gains..

If you haven’t downloaded the free social media audit template already, grab it here.