How to Set Social Media Goals (Free Template)

How can using social media help your business? The top reason for most marketers is to build “brand awareness.” That’s according to The State of Social 2016 survey of 1,252 marketers by Buffer.

The top 3 social media goals (with the percent of business marketers who chose them) are:

  • Brand awareness (85%)
  • Community Engagement (71%)
  • Content Distribution (61%)

What goals are right for your business?  The good news is you don’t have to create them from scratch.

Here is a social media goals template to help you set a goal and create a social media strategy to implement, simply and easily.

Get Your Social Media Goal Template

To help you think about which goals might be right for you, we’ll take a brief look at what these top 3 goals mean and why marketers choose them.

So What Exactly is Brand Awareness?

At the most basic level, brand awareness lets your market know you exist.  Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most powerful ways to build a good reputation.  That’s why social media is so attractive to build brand awareness. It’s measurable, digital word of mouth.

Brand awareness is a matter of degree. The highest level of brand awareness is “top of mind.” When a person names a certain brand’s product, service or experience when asked a question about that business category, that brand has top of mind.  Think of a word-association game you might have played as a kid.

Businesses measure top of mind with ad tracking studies, asking people to list the brands they can recall seeing advertised over the last 30 days in a category. While top of mind isn’t a social media metric, brand awareness is something you can build and measure with social media.

How to Measure Brand Awareness Using Social Media

How can you measure brand awareness using social media?

Fortunately, the social media platforms provide analytics, or numbers that help you measure how many people at least know you exist.

Behaviors you can measure across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn include:

Reach:  This is how many people have been exposed to your message. It’s a measure of users exposed to your update, whether or not they read it. You can track overall reach from all your posts in a month.  You can also track the reach of individual posts in a campaign or marketing strategy.

Likes (in LinkedIn and Facebook) or Retweets (Twitter): People who like or retweet your update are helping you spread your reach by raising awareness to their own followers.  They have a stronger reaction to your post and want to help others become aware of your message, explains econsultancy.

How Do You Measure Community Engagement in Social Media?

Building community is among the most powerful and meaningful outcomes of social media marketing.  It means using your presence to gather a group and foster connection over common ideas that matter.

“A community is about bringing like-minded people together around common topics or goals,” writes Evan LePage for HootSuite. “Many companies made the mistake of hopping on social media and doing nothing but selling…. Instead, identify your target audience’s interests and expectations, and provide them with valuable content to meet those expectations. It doesn’t even have to be created by you.”

Engagement: This is a measure of how many people saw and acted on your post in some measurable way. It’s an aggregate measure, which counts clicks, comments, shares, and likes. 

As a raw numbers, it’s often hard to appreciate the impact of reach or engagement. That’s why you may want to look at engagement rate.

Engagement Rate: This is a measure of the percent of people who saw your post and then responded in some way. Tracking engagement rate helps you compare the impact of your posts on equal terms. For example, a post that reached 130 people and got 13 clicks has an engagement rate of 10%. A post that reached 36 people and got 5 shares has an engagement rate of 11%.  They have nearly the same engagement, though one reached more people.

In general, shares and comments indicate engagement. In Twitter, a retweet is a good indicator of engagement.

You can also find your most shared post, using the analytics tools in your platform of choice.  More activity around your material shows you what engages your crowd the most.

Fans and Followers: Your total number of followers and fans are also helpful metrics for a goal of building a community.

What is Content Distribution and How do you Measure It on Social Media

The basics of content distribution can be as simple as posting links to your ebooks, blog posts, newsletters, or latest offers on your social media channels. You can also ask your followers and fans to help you by sharing them.

Clicks, Referrals: Metrics to measure content distribution success include traffic to your content from social media. You can check social sources in Google analytics. You can also check clicks and shares in the analytics for the social media platforms you use.

You can amplify the reach of your content by taking optional steps beyond sharing links to your website. These include paying to promote your posts, or enlisting help through relationships. “Amplification works by getting your message promoted (amplified) through employees, customers, industry partners, fans and influencers,” explains Crys Wiltshire, for gShift labs.

Choose the Goals that are Right for You

These goals — brand awareness, community building and content distribution — are just some of the most often chosen goals for social media marketing.

As you can see, social media marketing by itself isn’t the answer to all your needs for business growth.  It’s part of a complete marketing program that help you attract attention, build a following, and do the work you want to do.

Most marketers would rather be creating unique content than spending time on social media.  Only 15% of marketers do social media marketing full time, found Buffer.  If they could wave a magic wand (and disregard limits like time and money), 83% of marketers would rather create more video content. 57% would create more blog posts.

How do you choose the social media goals that are right for your organization?

If you’re new to setting marketing goals, my advice is to make it simple. Pick one goal. Use social media marketing as an opportunity to put smooth, easy processes in place for that inform your growth.

Choose a goal that addresses one of your bigger needs, and that you see how to measure easily. Then, focus on building a simple, repeatable system for

  1. Writing your goals down and sharing them;
  2. Tracking your progress; and
  3. Recording and checking your results and numbers regularly.

Once you grow more comfortable writing down goals and looking at the numbers, you can feel the power of working with social media goals.

Enjoy the social media goals template — share it — and adopt it to work for you.

You don’t have to create them from scratch!

Get your free social media goals template.  Choose a goal and learn how to begin measuring your success:

Get Your Social Media Goal Template

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