13 Critical Social Media Goals & How To Hit Them

Social Media Goals

All good marketing strategies start with clear objectives. And social media is no exception.

There’s no point in launching a social media marketing campaign if you don’t know what it is that you’re aiming for. Because all the views and engagements in the world mean nothing if they don’t translate to value for your business.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this detailed guide to the most important social media goals for businesses and content creators. 

First, we’ll talk about what social media marketing goals are, why they’re important, and how to set personalized goals that make sense for your business.

Then, we’ll look at some examples of common social media goals that you might want to shoot for. Plus, we’ll share some tips on how to achieve each goal and show you the KPIs you should be tracking to measure your performance towards them.

What are social media goals?

Social media goals are simple statements that tell you what you want to achieve with your social marketing efforts. 

They’re the first thing to think about when planning your social media marketing strategy. Once you know your goals, you can put together a roadmap of how you’re going to reach them.

Later, we’ll look at some of the most common social media goals. But remember that the ideas in this post are just there to get your cogs whirring. Ultimately, your goals should be personalized for you and align with your broader business and marketing objectives. 

You can frame your goals in any way you want—there are no strict rules—but generally speaking, good social media goals tend to follow the SMART principles. That means they should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

It’s fine to start with a broad objective like those we’ve included in this roundup.

But from there, you should try to pin it down and make it even more precise by applying the SMART structure. 

For example, broad objectives like “increase your followers” could be reworked into SMART social media goals like “Gain 2,000 more followers on Instagram in the next 3 months”. You get the idea.

The importance of social media goals

I can’t stress just how important it is to have clear social media goals in place before you launch your social media strategy. 

Not only do they provide a much-needed sense of direction to help you structure your actions and plan your social media marketing strategy, but they also help you to:

  • Prioritize efforts and manage your time and budget effectively
  • Understand how to measure your performance and what metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) you should be tracking
  • Prove return on investment (ROI)
  • Communicate with your team and make sure everyone is on the same page about what they’re trying to achieve
  • Get buy-in from stakeholders, managers, etc.

13 social media goals examples (& how to exceed them)

Next, we’ll look at examples of critical social media goals that you might want to focus on, how to exceed them, and how to measure your progress towards them with KPIs (key performance indicators).

Quick note before we get started: There are lots of social media management tools that can help you to reach your social media goals. We’d definitely recommend investing in one before you get started. And I’ll be using several tools as examples as we work through this post.

#1 – Boost brand awareness

Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes how familiar consumers are with your brand or products. 

In other words, boosting brand awareness through social media is all about getting more people to recognize who you are and what you have to offer.

Because it’s so broadly applicable to all types of businesses and content creators, it’s the number one social media marketing goal by a wide margin.

In fact, 69% of marketers say their primary goal for social media is to increase brand awareness.

Sprout Social - marketers primary goals for social media
Source: Sprout Social

How to do it:

Reach and recall is key to boosting brand awareness. Prioritize getting your brand or product name in front of as many social users as possible, and make sure they remember you by creating awesome, engaging social content.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful social strategy when it comes to boosting brand awareness. Try partnering with a popular creator in your niche to tap into their audience.

You might also consider leveraging social media ads to get your brand in front of users you wouldn’t be able to reach organically.

You can track brand awareness by using a social media analytics tool. The most relevant metrics include:

  • Post reach
  • Brand mentions
  • Follower count
  • Social share of voice

#2 – Improve brand sentiment

Brand sentiment is different from brand awareness. It doesn’t describe how widely recognized your brand is, but how consumers feel about your brand.

Improving brand sentiment means using social media to manage your reputation and ensure more of your target audience feels positive about your brand than negative.

How to do it:

To improve brand sentiment, focus on having positive interactions with your audience on social. Use a social media monitoring tool to get notified whenever someone mentions your brand on any social media platform. And if it’s a complaint or negative comment, respond quickly to mitigate the damage to your reputation.

You should of course also focus on creating great products and offering stellar customer experiences across the board.

To measure your brand sentiment, you’ll need a social media monitoring tool. We’d recommend Brand24 (you can read our full Brand24 review here).

Social media monitoring tools ‘listen in’ whenever someone talks about your brand on social media. They can usually identify brand mentions and then analyze the context of the conversation to determine whether or not they’re mentioning your brand in a positive, negative, or neutral light.

Your tool may give you an overall sentiment score which you can look at to keep track of your performance toward your goal.

This is exactly what I do with the data out of my Brand24 account:

Brand24 - brand sentiment data

It’s also worth looking at other metrics like aggregate review scores and qualitative data points like customer feedback and survey responses.

#3 – Drive website traffic

Driving traffic to a website is the second most popular social media marketing goal, with 52% of marketers in a recent survey saying it’s their primary focus.

This is what we call a Direct Response goal—one in which the objective is to get the audience to take a specific action. In this case, that’s clicking a link and visiting your website.

How to do it:

You can drive website traffic through social media by posting engaging content that encourages your audience to visit your site.

Include a CTA in your posts or social bio with a link back to your landing pages and try to give them an incentive to click it, like a freebie or useful content.

If you’re focusing on Instagram, it might be worth investing in a bio link tool like Shorby.

Here’s the bio link page I created for Blogging Wizard in a couple of minutes:

Blogging Wizard - Shorby link in bio

Usually, you can’t include links in posts and are limited to one link in your description. Bio link tools provide a neat workaround to this by enabling you to add a custom shortlink in your bio that points to a landing page that houses all your links so that you can drive traffic to multiple website pages. 

Obviously, the most important metric to track here is website traffic. 

You can use a web analytics tool to measure traffic from different sources. Keep a close eye on the traffic that comes through social media referrals and how it changes over time to see if your efforts are paying off.

#4 – Generate leads

Many marketers use social media primarily for lead generation. The goal here is to get people interested in your business and into your sales funnel, so that you can cultivate that interest over time until they’re ready to convert.

Usually, this involves getting social media users to sign up for your business mailing list so you can continue to communicate with them.

How to do it:

Use a landing page builder to create a high-converting landing page that’s designed to get visitors to complete an email opt-in form.

Then, use social media to drive traffic to that landing page by including a link in your bio and key posts.

I’d also highly recommend running giveaways. I’ve had some great results with these. Use a social media contest app to set up a giveaway in which users have to opt-in to your mailing list to enter for a chance to win the prize.

You don’t have to buy a prize to offer. You could partner with a brand that will put up the prize.

Then, you just need to decide on the entry methods for your giveaway. If you’re using a tool like SweepWidget, you’ll be able to use all sorts of entry methods. Entry methods for popular social media platforms are supported as you might expect, a long with those for the likes of Soundcloud, Patreon, Twitch, and more.

And there’s entry methods beyond social platforms such as joining your email list, etc.

SweepWidget - types of entry methods

Once your giveaway is ready, share it across all of your social media channels. You might also want to offer bonus entries for users who share the post with their friends to maximize its reach.

The main metrics you’ll want to track here are:

  • Email subscribes (& unsubscribes)
  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate (CTR)

You might also want to track additional metrics to see how well those leads are converting or responding to your marketing messages, like email open rates, bounce rates, etc.

#5 – Drive sales or conversions

Ultimately, the goal of most businesses is to increase revenues and improve their bottom line. And that usually means making more sales, which is why driving sales is one of the most important social media goals.

Sales are a type of conversion (i.e. when a user takes the action you’re aiming for), but there are also other conversions you might be aiming for. For example, the goal might be to get users to join a community, make a donation, register for a webinar, etc.

How to do it:

Use social media to showcase your products to drum up interest. Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great for this. You can also look into social shopping to sell directly through your social media posts.

You can measure conversions by looking at metrics and KPIs like:

  • Conversion rate
  • Sales over time
  • CTR
  • Bounce rate

Bear in mind also that social media can also indirectly boost sales by improving brand awareness. The more people that know about your brand, the more potential customers you’ll have.

But someone who first sees your brand on social media might not buy a product until many months later, which can make it tough to figure out which sales and conversions are a result of social media and get a true ROI.

#6 – Improve engagement rates

Engagement rate tells you the percentage of people who see your post that also interact with it. It’s an incredibly important metric to track, especially for content creators. 

Depending on what social platform you’re focusing on, higher engagement on your posts can encourage the algorithm to make it more visible, thus increasing your organic reach.

How to do it:

Improving engagement is all about creating awesome social media content. Focus on quality and entertainment value, and give your audience a reason to like, comment, and share it with their friends.

Another easy way to boost engagement is to make sure you’re posting social content at the right time.

Use social media management software like Sendible to work out the best time to post for maximum engagement (i.e. when your audience is most active) and schedule your content to be published at that exact time.

Note: Tools like this rely on data from the content you publish. To get some good data in, I’d recommend scheduling posts to go out at a variety of times to ensure you get as much actionable data as possible.

There are a few different ways to measure engagement, such as:

  • Engagement by reach
  • Engagement by post
  • Daily engagement rates

Individual engagement metrics to track include:

  • Likes / Reactions
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Saves / Pins

#7 – Grow your audience

Another common social media goal is to grow your audience. This typically means gaining more followers on your social accounts. The more followers you have, the greater your organic reach will be.

How to do it:

Use hashtags in your posts and bio to aid with discovery and help users to find you. Give people a reason to follow you by creating entertaining or useful content consistently, and offer something new that audiences can’t find elsewhere.

This one’s pretty simple. Just keep track of your follower count across social media channels. Look at changes over time to identify which of your efforts have had the biggest impact and use that to inform your strategy.

#8 – Enhance customer service

Social media isn’t just a marketing channel—many businesses use it as a customer service channel too.

If you’re one of them, your primary goal might be to use social media to improve customer service and deliver better experiences for your customers.

How to do it:

Set up brand pages on all the major social platforms your customers are active on, then use a social media inbox tool like Pallyy to manage all your interactions from one unified inbox. That way, your team can respond to messages and provide support from a single dashboard.

To measure customer service, you can look at metrics, such as:

  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  • Brand sentiment score
  • Aggregate review ratings

You can also look at qualitative sources like customer testimonials, surveys, complaints, etc.

#9 – Recruit job applicants

You can also use social media to fill your open job positions. This is another kind of conversion goal, but rather than trying to get audiences to make a purchase or sign up for your mailing list, you’re trying to get them to submit a resume.

How to do it:

If your goal is to recruit job applicants, LinkedIn is usually the best social network for the job—so that’s where you’ll probably want to share your job ad in most cases. But you might also want to open it up to applicants on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook too.

Quality is also more important than quantity here. You don’t want to have to sort through tons of unqualified applicants, so focus on getting your posts in front of talented professionals that meet the job description.

To track your recruitment efforts, keep an eye on social metrics like leads per platform and hires per platform.

#10 – Collect user-generated content (UGC)

Few people realize it, but social media can be a great source of marketing content. You can set up UGC campaigns and encourage social media users to submit images of them using your products, then use this content in your own social media campaigns.

How to do it:

Again, giveaway tools like SweepWidget can help here. You can set up a social media contest with a prize for the best user submission, and invite your followers to submit their own pictures to enter.

Other tools like ShortStack and Woorise are capable of this as well.

Inside SweepWidget, you’ll need to look for the entry method called ‘Upload A File’.

SweepWidget - upload a file

Some of the most important metrics to keep an eye on here are:

  • Contest entries
  • Reach
  • Engagement

#11 – Improve SEO rankings

Yep, you read that right. You might have thought social media and SEO were two completely separate marketing channels, but actually, they both work hand in hand.

By sharing links to your website content on social media, you can send some initial traffic towards it even if it isn’t ranking in the SERPs yet.

Then, as people visit your site and engage with the content, it sends positive user signals to search engines like Google that can improve your search ranking positions.

Not only that, but sharing content on social media increases your opportunities to earn backlinks. And backlinks are one of the biggest ranking factors.

How to do it:

Set up automations to automatically share new blog posts to your social media platforms. Make sure you’re writing great content so that the traffic you drive through social translates to positive on-page signals.

The main metric to track here is organic ranking positions. Look at your ranking positions before and after you launch your social SEO campaign and see if they improve. 

Other metrics to track include clicks, CTR, and on-page engagement metrics like dwell time and bounce rates.

#12 – Increase productivity

One of your social media goals might be to increase your productivity. That might mean publishing engaging social content more often while reducing the time you spend doing so by streamlining your processes.

It might also mean getting more out of your current social media marketing efforts, such as by decreasing the CPC and CPM of your social ads and improving your ROIs.

How to do it:

You can leverage social media automation tools to streamline your business processes. Let your automation tool handle repetitive tasks like sourcing content and publishing posts for you, so you can free up your team’s time to focus on other areas.

For example, Missinglettr can turn blog posts into a 12 month evergreen social media campaign.

Missinglettr - social media campaign

This makes it easy to promote your content, and drive traffic from social media over the long-term.

You can measure productivity by tracking the time spent on social media efforts by your team, as well as your output by looking at things like posting frequency.

#13 – Go viral

Another social media goal might be to increase the number of your posts that take off and ‘go viral’. A post is said to have ‘gone viral’ if it spreads more quickly and widely than would usually be expected and receives an unusually large number of shares and views.

Having a post go viral can increase your social media presence dramatically in a short frame of time.

How to do it:

Look at influencers on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram that have really taken off thanks to a viral post. Ask yourself what made these posts go viral and use these insights to inform your own content strategy. 

Virality rate is the most important KPI here. It measures how much your content is shared as a percentage of total impressions. You can calculate it by dividing the number of shares by impressions on a given post, then multiplying it by 100 to get the percentage figure.

Final thoughts

That concludes our roundup of the most critical social media goals for businesses and content creators.

Hopefully, this has given you some food for thought. But remember: set realistic social media goals that are personalized to you based on your broader business objectives. 

Don’t just use these goals as-is. Turn them into SMART social media objectives that are more precise and personal to you. And don’t forget that you don’t have to just stick with one goal.

In fact, it’s more common to be working towards multiple social media goals in tandem.

Most importantly – remember that your social media goals need to be designed around your core business goals & objectives.

Want social media success? Start setting your goals today!

Want to learn more about how to get more from your social media marketing efforts? Check out our posts on 20+ top social media statistics and 11 essential skills for social media managers.

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