Are Your Social Media Goals Realistic?

Article first published at AgoraPulse– leaders in social media management tools.

I want to get one million fans in six months.

This is what one of my new clients announced with a look of gritty determination.

Are your social media goals as unrealistic as this client? In this article, I am going to take a look at the three main objectives of social media marketing and how you can set realistic and attainable goals to meet them.

Getting Started

Getting started can be really daunting and you may be bombarded with management expectations, budget fears and resourcing worries.

Relax. Achieving any milestone requires goal setting and a tried and tested method to use is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goal setting. Here’s what it all means:

  • Specific. What do you specifically want to achieve through your social media management?
  • Measurable. Attach a metric to your social media goal so that you can monitor progress. Your social media goals should be clear and well defined. For example, you might want to increase web traffic by X%, bolster engagement by X%, or bring in X% more registrations for your product or event.
  • Attainable. This is the realistic part. Assess your limitations and any challenges you may face along the way. Perhaps a lack of brand awareness, low social media budget, or your commitment to the goal will prevent you from meeting your goal.
  • Relevant. Is the goal you are thinking about relevant to your business needs? Will the metrics you have set be relevant to your business model? (ie. Will an increased fan count help your business to grow?)
  • Timely. Your social media goals need to have an attainable time frame. One million fans in six months is not reachable for most businesses. A good starting point for most realistic social media goals is around 3-6 months — but assign a suitable goal to that timeframe.

The Big Three

When it comes to social media management, you’ll want your goals to fall into one of three categories:branding, customer service and lead generation.

I am a big believer that by focusing on branding and customer service, you will achieve lead generation. However it is important to nail down this goal early on. In this section we are going to look at the elements of social media marketing which are relevant to each goal and some tips to help you achieve them.


All big brands dedicate budget and resources to branding. CocaCola’s branding budget for 2016 is $4.3 billion! Branding is defined as the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. If your objective is brand related then you may be looking at the following areas:

  • Brand Mentions. How often is your brand getting mentioned on social media? Monitor Twitter, Instagram and Facebook mentions using the reports that Agorapulse provides. This will show you how many mentions you are getting and your percentage increase week on week.

As you can see in the example below, my brand on Twitter saw a 277.8% increase in March.

agorapulse brand awareness

  • Followers. Everyone’s favorite goal is followers. Although it falls under brand awareness, new followers are not necessarily new leads. It simply means that more people are hearing about your brand and connecting with your pages. The number of new followers you can get each month will depend a lot upon the content you are posting, the relevance of your industry to the network and of course the budget you are spending on Facebook advertising.
  • Shares. To achieve branding, especially in the beginning, you need to achieve social virality which means more sharing. Understand the psychology of social media sharing and attune your content and social media updates accordingly. Take a look at brands who achieved awesome virality with their ad campaigns like GoPros Skateboarding Cat and see what you can learn for your brand.

Customer Service

If you’ve decided that customer service is going to be your social media goal, then you need to focus on these three elements. Do note: customer service is one of the most difficult goals to tangibly monitor.

  • Response Rate. Did you know that customers on social media are super impatient? 53% of social media users who make contact with a brand expect a response in under two hours. This rises to 72% in under an hour if it’s a complaint! The free tools provided natively on your social media platforms are not always wholly accurate. Take Facebook’s new response rate for page managers which doesn’t take into account the spam messages which you wouldn’t be replying to… mine is just 50% for this reason.

response times

  • Ratings. Ratings and review sites are a key indicator of your customer service performance. Yet they do not always reflect the performance of your social media marketing team. Sites like Trust Pilot may contain negative reviews which reflect the quality of your product or delivery times. You can also keep an eye on the reviews that your page receives and make sure you are filtering feedback to other areas of your business.
  • Interaction. Customer service via social media is all about interaction. Whether it’s responding to queries, greetings, or complaints, your pages should be firing on all cylinders to make sure that each client is receiving an answer. If you are working in a team with other page admins then you may want to set up moderation rules over at Agorapulse which allow you to easily respond to customers via social media and assign other admins so you never miss a message.

Lead Generation

This is a popular goal chosen by businesses, especially those who are selling a product or service. This is a nice goal to set because it allows you to create tangible goals and easily track them via your reporting panel.

  • Web traffic. It is easy to monitor web traffic from social media using Google Analytics providing you are using unique URLs for each of your campaigns. Using Google’s unique URL builder, you can easily create urls and then track them via analytics. This way you can see exactly how many people visited your website from each of your social media campaigns.
  • ROI. ROI (Return on Investment) simply means that you are monitoring the amount you are spending versus the amount you then receive in sales. You can use Facebook Ads Insights to check your CPC (Cost Per Click). In this example, you can see that my ad “Better With Choices” received 21,386 website clicks at a cost of just $0.01 per click. This is great, but only if it ties in with a nice spend from everyone who visited the site — again all trackable in Google Analytics.

better with choices

  • Redeemable Codes- Using fun coupon tools to easily create redeemable codes. This is a super easy and trackable way to take social media fans to your shop whilst also tracking their activities and spend.

Remember that every brand is unique with its own set of challenges and features. So make sure your own goals to suit your own brand.

social media for agencies

Which realistic social media goals will you choose for your business? Comment below and let us know.

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