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Looking to establish goals for your social media marketing? We’ll discuss a few ways you can set goals for social media.

Why Goals Matter

Goals matter because without a goal, all action is simply waste. Goals help bring alignment in teams and groups, they give direction to organizations, build momentum in disciplines. Frankly, goals make the world go ’round.

Yet even more narrowly, goals are what you need to set to project growth and allow for the disciplined pursuit of return on your investment. Goals help you articulate what resources you have to complete the goal and time that you have to complete it. They help articulate the constraints that will force you to choose what will help you get to the goal the best way.

Without goals, you might not stop doing the wrong thing. You won’t be forced to make a decision to move away from the comfort zone. With goals, you’ll kill complacency.

On a more personal note, goals will help you get where you want to go. Want a raise? Creating and hitting a goal is a surefire way to demonstrate the excellence and drive that are needed in today’s organizations.

Types of Social Media Goals

So now that we’ve waxed on about goals, let’s get specific around goals in social media. The first thing you’ll need to do is understand what you are trying to accomplish and the purpose of social media in your organization. Let’s call this the “lay of the land” in your domain. What is social used for? In what context does it serve to your customer? How do they use it?

This will be the basis of your insight into what your goals should be with your social media.

Next, we’ll talk about what you can measure on social media.

Reach – How many users see your posts

Impressions – this is how many physical impressions your post made on screens/devices

Followers – this is your connected audience

Interactions – This is a larger set of interactions with your posts that may include “liking,” clicking on a URL, sharing a post with someone, or adding a comment.

Clicks – this is the amount of clicks your post received that led to your destination. For example, if you post your blog articles, this is how many people were taken to your blog.

These metrics can guide you on the impact and effectiveness of your posts.

Once you know how your customer uses the platform and where you can interact with them, you can formulate a plan. If your customer, for example, does not use the platform for purchase or engagement, you might focus your efforts more on reach and less on comments or likes.

All the metics have value; you need to decode what that value is for yourself. This is the most critical part of setting goals. To know the right goal is key.

Measuring your Goals

So, now that you know what goals you want to achieve and what you will measure to get there, you can start the process.

Each platform has its own way of displaying data and its own method to how things are accomplished and completed. In some contexts, it’s nice to use an aggregate planning tool like Hubspot to help keep your metrics consistent and under one roof. This can make reporting easier, as well.

As a general rule, we measure analytics monthly. Yet if you can create automation in your reporting, social media moves fast enough that’s it’s worth a review each week to hone in on what’s working and what’s not working. Social media moves so quickly that a strong news post might have 2-4 days of life at the most. Consequently, you want to evaluate the success so that you can repost or complement the post as soon as possible. All of that is another way of saying that a month is too large a window for social media success.

We like to create spreadsheets over time to track results as well. You can create charts, etc, and use them in your own presentations. Some platforms don’t offer a great depth of analytics, and it might be hard to go back and get specific data on timeframes. For example, you might not be able to find a follower count or metrics on your growth in a given week a year ago, so it’s best to capture your data as you go to keep moving forward.

Crossing the Finish Line

With your goals in place and tracking in action, you are on your way to the finish line of your goals. You’ll need to develop skills, get creative, and grow in your use of the platforms to reach them.

What happens if you don’t hit your goals?

Take a deep breath and debrief. What happened? Were you aggressive enough in your tactics? Did you move quickly enough? Where did you see gaps in your strategy? Take a good hard look and get some outside advice. Then plan your next goals with equal verve, but incorporate where you need to grow and learn.

What if you hit the goal, but it didn’t impact the bottom line?

Not all sales are final. Not all impressions count now. If you have sown good seeds, good things will come. The thing to watch out for is wasted or off-target impressions and reach that don’t impact bottom line. This is an opportunity to dig in and see if you are in the right context and reaching the right people. Bad news is, you are probably not.

If you’ve avoided those scenarios – congrats! You’ve done it, and done it well. Continue your path to social media marketing success! Remember to set good goals, and execute on them with excellence!