How to Set Social Media Goals for Your Small Business

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle of managing social media for your business. Between writing on-brand content, posting consistently across channels, engaging with prospective customers, and managing customer service, realizing results through social media marketing requires a strategic roadmap.

Specifically, what does it take to get over the chaos and manage your company’s social media effectively?

The answer: Goals

Setting social media objectives gives you a clear path forward for your business. Goals drive action. They map out strategic steps that make decision-making easier and more impactful in the moment.

Elements of social media goals

Smart social media goals involve four crucial characteristics:

They are realistic. They’re based on your current stage in business and provide optimal room for growth while keeping your capabilities (time and resources) top of mind.

They are achievable. They consider your schedule, taking busy seasons and lead generation needs into account, and allow your business to step up to the social media plate and swing a home run.

They are based on bigger business objectives. What’s a social media goal if it doesn’t help you move forward in business? They allow you to focus on specific strategies (based on your goal) to reach benchmarks more quickly.

They are measurable. Track analytics to know exactly when a goal is met.

How to define social media goals

Using the elements from above, answer the following questions to set effective social media goals for your business.

What’s the state of your social media?

Are you starting from scratch, having yet to post, or are you looking to refresh and regroup on the direction of your existing channels? The answer to this question holds a major role (completely separate from the other) in informing your goal-setting process.

If you don’t have social media channels set up, it’s important to realize that results take time while you’re determining those objectives. Likely, great growth, engagement, and conversions to your business website won’t happen right away. It takes time to build awareness and tweak strategies based on your industry and personal findings as you navigate Facebook’s algorithm.

If your business has social media up and running, you have an opportunity to transition you existing fan base to a social media experience that is more in-tune with their needs and pain points related to your services or products. Check your channel analytics (rate of new likes, post engagement, etc.) to get a read on previous performance and help you pick which analytics you’d like to highlight with goals.

How much of a commitment can you make for social media?

Approach potential goals with your capabilities in mind. Do you have time each day to check in and post in-the-moment content, or is your schedule booked out, leaving little free time throughout the week? Likewise, will your social media presence be at the hand of one person or a dedicated team?

Once your goal is finalized and strategies in place, consistent activity keeps your followers engaged and learning more about your brand. Make sure your goal aligns with your capacity. Each business approaches social media differently, but lean practices and tools can cut down on your to-do list.

What are you priorities?

Social media strategies work best when based on one goal. Like many goals in business, your time and effort is most valuably spent compounding toward a single, desired objective. Also, social media goals often compete with each other. Tactics necessary to increase one metric can reduce clout around another.

Your goal could be to gain more followers on one channel, drive more people over to your website, or see more engagement (likes, comments, shares, video views) on your posts. Choosing is completely up to your and bigger business goal you’d like to achieve through social media.

What is your measure for goal achievement?

With a goal in mind, determine what success looks like to you. Again, be realistic here, as it takes time to build organic (non-paid) growth. Also realize that goals can be revised down the road. It’s not an all-or-nothing scenario, as any movement in the right direction is positive for your business.

On the other side, don’t call it quits if you meet your goal ahead of schedule. First, congrats! And second, revise that goal to take your social media presence to the next level and see even greater growth.