How to Set Measurable Social Media Goals

Sarah Shoemaker Sarah Shoemaker

(This blog post is a brief summary of our more detailed eBook, 5 Tips for Setting Measurable Social Media Goals)

A robust social media strategy is now fundamental for an effective business strategy and marketing efforts. A report released by Zenith Media estimates that social media marketing spending will increase by $28 Bn USD by 2020, over 67% of adspend growth. However, almost 50% of these marketers struggle to show the impact of social on their business. With all this focus on spending, setting measurable goals and executing on them becomes a vital part of a marketing organization’s function.  

Today’s monitoring and analytics tools make it possible to demonstrate success through social channels. Defining success in social media participation begins with appropriate goal-setting, backed by benchmarking, tracking, analysis and reporting. 

But not all results generated through social media can or should be measured in monetary terms. Improvements to qualitative metrics such as awareness, reach, and sentiment are equally valid outcomes. We’ve pulled together five practical tips which will guide you in creating and executing on measurable, actionable, and meaningful social media goals that define success in your own organization. 

 Define Your Scope 

Blindly jumping into social media is a great way to bury your brand in an ocean of competitors and data, wasting money and manpower in the process. Identifying clear, and ideally measurable, goals will help keep your strategy focused and give your social conversation a clear voice centered on your brand. Social media goals generally fall into one of these four buckets:  

  •  Brand Awareness 
  •  New Sales 
  •  Customer Retention 
  •  Reducing Costs  

 Be S.M.A.R.T. 

The scenery may be different on social media, but the time-tested marketing practices that make social effective are not. Goals need to be well defined with a Specific result in mind. I.e. instead of saying “attract more web traffic” say “attract 20% more visitors to our company home page”. Be sure to also make your result Measurable; using a benchmark metric to establish what 20% traffic increase to your homepage actually looks like. Knowing both of these things means you’re able to establish Achievable and Realistic growth.  

Make sure 20% of your existing web traffic is not just a reachable figure, but is that 20% traffic increase something your sales can reasonably follow up on? And finally, make your goals Timed. Set a beginning and ending date. This will allow you to make comparisons with previous and subsequent efforts and will also allow you to set milestones during your campaign to monitor progress.  

Include a Call To Action 

Participation in social media may very well lead to increased sales, more satisfied customers and decreased costs, but without a specific call-to-action (CTA) you won’t be able to track which social activity or channel contributed to which business or marketing goal.  

CTAs generally urge people to respond to your content in a certain way, either but downloading, sharing, or clicking through links, all of which should provide value to the customer, be clear and specific, create a sense of urgency and be visible and prominent. Your CTA should be minimalist; don’t crowd your page with lots of action points, and they should be consistent in long-term message.  

Download the full eBook to see some great examples of highly effective CTAs. 

Know Where Your Leads Come From 

To measure success, you will need a mechanism to follow responses as they travel from your social channels to your landing page and on to your marketing automation tool and sales CRM system. This can generally be achieved with a campaign-specific tracking code.  

 Get Alignment and Set Expectations  

Social media strategy implicates more areas of an organization than just marketing. Advertising, PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, IT, Finance, and Product Development just to name a few. The larger the organization, the more challenging this coordination will be. To set goals successfully and implement the tactics required to achieve them requires alignment and transparency.  

 Start but assessing start and end points and agree on an overall strategy. From here you can identify roles and responsibilities to more effectively and efficiently identify, engage and rapidly respond to social opportunities, issues and crises as well as report on results. A strong social strategy begins with a solid foundation of research and relies on consistent monitoring and active engagement. Utilizing a social tool like Meltwater can aggregate all of this information and give you insights before, during, and after a campaign to evaluate and report on progress.  

 The Bottom Line: 

While social media offers an unequalled opportunity to extend brand presence and drive revenue, the same type of accountability must be applied to participation on social channels as it is to traditional marketing channels.  

That means defining specific, measurable goals and outcomes, understanding the business actions needed to achieve them, aligning workflows throughout your organization to capture opportunities, and regularly measuring and reporting on results.  

To learn more about how you can achieve this, download a copy of our full eBook: 5 Tips for Setting Measurable Social Media Goals 



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