Goal Setting for Social Media Marketing – Defining SMART Goals

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social media marketing goals

Many social media marketers struggle to prove ROI due to a lack of clear goals. Without well-defined goals, social media becomes a whirlwind of activity without direction. This lack of focus not only wastes resources but makes it difficult to demonstrate the value of your social media efforts to your larger team.

Goal setting provides a roadmap for your social media strategy. It ensures your actions have purpose, simplifies measuring results, and leads to smarter decision-making. However, your social media strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The most effective social media goals align with your broader marketing objectives and ultimately contribute to your company’s overall success.

What are SMART Goals?

Goals that guide your social media strategy need to be more than just wishful thinking. The SMART framework ensures your goals are actionable and designed to deliver results. Here’s what SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve. Avoid vague statements like “improve our social presence.”
  • Measurable: Include metrics that quantify your goal, allowing you to track progress.
  • Attainable: Set realistic goals based on your resources, reach, and current benchmarks.
  • Relevant: Goals should align with your overall business objectives and contribute to key priorities.
  • Time-bound: Include deadlines to create urgency and a timeline for evaluation.

For example, “Get more followers.” is a vague goal but “Increase Instagram followers by 15% within the next three months.” is a SMART goal.

Common Social Media Marketing Goals

common social media marketing goals

Awareness & Branding Goals

  1. Increasing Brand Awareness: Expanding the reach of your brand and making it more recognizable to your target audience.
    SMART Version: Increase brand mentions on Instagram by 20% over the next quarter.
  2. Building Brand Reputation: Cultivating a positive image of your brand and fostering trust.
    SMART Version: Achieve an average social media sentiment score of 80% or higher within the next six months.
  3. Reaching a New Audience: Expanding your presence on platforms where your ideal customers are active.
    SMART Version: Establish a presence on TikTok and gain 500 followers within the first three months.

Lead Generation & Sales Goals

  1. Generating Leads: Collecting contact information from potential customers.
    SMART Version: Increase qualified leads from LinkedIn by 15% within the next month.
  2. Driving Website Traffic: Attracting social media users to your website to learn more about your products or services.
    SMART Version: Increase website traffic from social media referrals by 10% over the next quarter.
  3. Boosting Sales: Directly generating revenue through social media promotions or social commerce.
    SMART Version: Achieve a 5% increase in sales generated through X(Twitter) within the next six months.

Customer Engagement Goals

  1. Improving Customer Service: Using social platforms to promptly address customer questions, concerns, and feedback.
    SMART Version: Decrease average response time to customer inquiries on social media by 50% within the next month.
  2. Building a Community: Creating a space for loyal followers to interact with your brand and each other.
    SMART Version: Increase engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) on social media posts by 20% within the next quarter.

Example Scenario

A B2B software company specializing in project management tools wants to make more sales and build a larger community.
1. Lead Generation SMART Goal
Common Goal: Generating Leads
Specific to Business: Increase qualified leads from LinkedIn for our project management software by 15% within the next month.
Explanation: I specify LinkedIn because that’s where their target audience of professionals is likely most active. “Qualified leads” emphasizes a focus on quality over just quantity.
2. Community Building SMART Goal
Common Goal: Building a Community
Specific to Business: Increase active members within our exclusive Facebook group for project management professionals by 20% within the next quarter.
Explanation: I chose Facebook groups because of its community features. The goal focuses on active members, not just the total member count, to emphasize quality engagement.

Aligning Social Media Marketing Goals with Company Goals

aligning company goals with social media marketing goals

Remember, effective social media goal-setting often involves both marketing and sales teams working together. This ensures your social efforts support broader company objectives for customer acquisition, revenue, and brand growth.

In our example of the B2B software company specializing in project management tools, the social media marketing goals may look like this;


  • Lead Generation: Increase qualified leads from LinkedIn for our project management software by 15% within the next month. (Marketing execution and sales team provide input on lead quality)
  • Community Building: Increase active members within our exclusive Facebook group for project management professionals by 20% within the next quarter. (Marketing leads community growth and sales gain insights from group discussions)

By mapping social media goals back to broader company objectives, you demonstrate the strategic value of your social media marketing efforts.

Goals are a Journey, Not a Destination

Finally, think of your social media goals as a roadmap, not a final stop. As you gather data, industry trends shift, or your business priorities evolve, don’t be afraid to revisit and refine your goals.

Regularly evaluate your progress against the metrics you defined within your SMART goals. This analysis may indicate that you’re exceeding expectations and should increase targets, or that certain strategies aren’t yielding the desired results, requiring an adjustment in approach.

Recommend scheduling quarterly goal reviews to ensure your social media efforts stay nimble and aligned with current needs.


By setting SMART goals, you’ve taken the first vital step towards building a successful social media marketing strategy. The roadmap is in your hands!

But goals alone are just words. The next step is understanding who you’re trying to reach with your social media efforts. Ready to dive deeper? Our next post in this series, “Know Your Audience: Mastering Social Media Audience Research“, will equip you with the tools to truly understand your target customer, unlocking the secrets of impactful content and strategic platform choices.

Managing social media accounts for your business can be highly demanding. We have hundreds of experts to help you manage your social accounts

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