How to Create Achievable Social Media Goals

Author: Jenn Chen / Source: Sprout Social Only 9% of people who make New Year’s resolutions feel like they succeeded. The most common rea

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How to Create Achievable Social Media Goals

Only 9% of people who make New Year’s resolutions feel like they succeeded. The most common reason resolutions fail is because they’re too broad to feel attainable. Social media goals operate in the same way. Aim too high in too short a time frame and you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Social media marketing spending in the US is expected to more than double from $7.52 billion in 2014 to $17.34 billion in 2019. Spending without data to back you up will not work in the long term. A key to justifying your social media work is setting up measurable goals that can showcase improvements in your digital presence.

Here, we’ll outline why you need to set goals and how to go about setting them. We’ll follow that up with some of the most common social media goals.

Why You Need to Set Social Media Goals

Time is the most valuable resource you have as a worker. If you’re spending a lot of time on social media for your company, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’re receiving the best results possible?

As a social media consultant, you’ll need goals and analytics to show your client that your work is creating results that they want. If you’re a social media manager for a company, you’ll want to make sure the goals are aligned with the company’s vision.

Without goals and metrics, you won’t know if the new strategy you’re trying out is working or if Sunday at 2 pm really is the best time to post for you.

Based on some of their posts, one of World Bird Sanctuary’s goals is public education on wildlife.

How to Set Social Media Goals

The key to setting any goal, social media or otherwise, is to be both specific and difficult. When we say “difficult,” though, it doesn’t mean unreachable. You’ll want to believe that the goal is reachable but not so easy that you can reach it in your sleep.

Psychologist and goal setting theorist Edwin A. Locke says in a research study (PDF), “High commitment to goals is attained when (a) the individual is convinced that the goal is important; and (b) the individual is convinced that the goal is attainable (or that, at least, progress can be made toward it).”

In other words, you’ll try your hardest when a goal is both important and moderately difficult to reach.

Create SMART Social Media Goals

One common goal-setting technique is to be SMART. This can be an excellent guideline for creating goals that work for your company.

SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear, simple and defined.
  • Measurable: This is where analytics come in. You want a goal that has one or more metrics.
  • Achievable: Is it achievable or is it not possible within your resources?
  • Realistic: With your current resources of time and money, is it possible to achieve your goals?
  • Time sensitive: Every goal needs a time frame, whether it’s one year or several months.

In defining your social media goals, start with the broad goals that you’d like to achieve over a year. You can align these goals with your company’s mission statement or current annual goals.

Some common, broad social media goals include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve ROI
  • Create a loyal fanbase
  • Increase in-person sales

Some companies set different goals for different social networks. We recommend only a few goals per network so you do not become overwhelmed. You can have primary goals like…

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