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How to Set and Reach (Infinite) Social Media Goals

Social media marketing goals are infinite, but that doesn’t need to be as daunting as it may seem. This guide is designed so that you can zoom in on the areas that you’re working on right now.

We’re going to cover several of the main social media channels:

Let’s go.  

SMART vs. CLEAR Goals: Which Objectives to Use for Social Media

Remember when we were told to be SMART? Goal-setting criteria become outdated as soon as they’re laid out.

For social media marketing goals, we recommend using CLEAR. As opposed to previous versions, CLEAR incorporates the qualitative nature of emotion and collaboration when goal-setting:

  • Collaborative: Your goals must include the skills, approach, and style of others

  • Limited: Goals are linked to a specific timeline, which suits scrum-orientated teams

  • Emotional: Align goals with passions so that they are not lifeless

  • Approachable: Break tasks down into smaller objectives that result in satisfaction

  • Refinable: Create the space for modification so your team understands the infinite game 

This criterion was defined by the Olympic rower, Adam Kreek. He began with the SMART criteria, then created his own. So, why not use your own brand language and create your own as well? But first, make sure that you’re informed with the latest social media industry insights

Why Infinite Goals Outlast Finite Ones

Simon Sinek’s book “The Infinite Game” explains why infinite goals always outlast finite ones. Begin by defining your own goal-setting criteria based on your company language. 

This is the Socialbakers WHY criteria: 

  • Where are you now?Carry out a social media audit, because underperforming campaigns roadblock ROI. So, begin with clear and quantified social media KPIs by carrying out a complete audit across all of your social media channels. 

  • How will you improve underperforming parts of your sales funnel?86% of customers are more likely to pay more for great customer service (Superoffice), and it’s essential that you’re aware of the latest CX trends to keep your sales funnel healthy. Plus, use the most up-to-date retention techniques to help maintain your current customers.  

  • You know what your mission statement is and understand its valueMission statements should never come first. They are fluid. They are the combined articulation of two concepts: what you want social media to do for your business, and what your audience wants your business to do for them. Always use the best Social listening tools to find out what your audience is saying right now.

Social Media OKRs

The difference between objective key results (OKR) goals and other approaches is that they are not meant to be 100% achievable. They are meant to be motivating, continuous, and healthy – the concept of winning or losing is redundant.  

Before we jump into specific platform advice, we recommend always using a single content calendar to align your team’s marketing efforts. Here’s a practical and easy-to-use content calendar you can start using right now.

Now, let’s look at specific examples of OKRs for social media and how to achieve them.    

Goals on Twitter 

To continuously hit your goals on Twitter, you should focus on the six metrics below. You can dive into this data by using the top Twitter analytics tools

  • Top performing tweets: Always know what your top monthly Tweets are. This will help you to see patterns and successful combinations of hashtags and content. Look at your top-performing tweets side-by-side to see success indicators.

  • Follower growth: Focus on spikes in growth so you can pinpoint which action(s) you took at that time. Then look through your top followers list. Look for verified accounts and personas that seem relevant to your brand. 

  • Impressions: Find out the total number of times that your tweets appear on user feeds. Capitalize on tweets that received the most attention and create future posts that have similar – but updated – content on the same content approaches.  

  • Engagement: Work out your engagement rate to help you understand what type of content leads to user interaction. Engagement rate is worked out by dividing your total number of interactions by your total number of followers x 100.

  • Video content performance: The popularity of video content across all channels is on the rise. Make sure that your videos captivate your audience from the first moment by implementing next-gen social media video analytics

  • Conversions: Set cost per result (CPR) objectives in order to maximize your ad campaign ROI. Enable and disable ads depending on their performance level via regular weekly audits. 

Knowing how to set social media goals on any platform also requires clear community management. For even more details, check out the complete guide to Twitter analytics. Or, just reach out and we’ll be happy to give you a free demo. 

Goals on Facebook

To measure and achieve your Facebook social media KPIs you need to know what your customers are engaging with. First, create a customer persona template

There are two ways that you can do this: with Facebook Audience Insights, or, with the Socialbakers AI-driven platform. The benefit of using an Audience segmentation tool is that it fills out these customer personas for you automatically. Plus, it doesn’t just cover Facebook; it covers multiple social media data channels. 

Here are some Facebook-specific strategies to help you boost engagement and conversion rates:

  • Understand the Facebook algorithm: Remember that not every one of your posts will appear in your user’s News Feed. Facebook judges your engagement rate when deciding what to include in the News Feed – not your overall number of fans. So, a page with a smaller number of fans than a competitor but with a higher engagement rate per post will be prioritized by the algorithm. 

  • Get around the Facebook algorithm: Facebook Stories appear above the News Feed, and they are not governed by the general algorithm. Facebook Stories are short videos that can be up to 20 seconds long, and photos appear for five. They disappear after 24 hours, but over half a billion people view them daily, so take this opportunity to wow your audience!

  • The rule of thirds: The most popular Facebook profiles focus on building relationships first, then self-promotion second. The ideal content mix is conceptualized as the rule of thirds. One third of your content should focus on sharing ideas and stories, one third on creating personal interactions with your followers, and the rest can be used to promote your business explicitly.

  • Be a thought leader: With over 2.74 billion users, Facebook is still the platform with the most monthly active users in the world. This is why it’s the best platform to promote thought leadership. Introduce questions to your audience that spark conversation and engagement about your industry. For this type of post, always remember to add a relevant call to action, i.e. ‘Tell us what you really think’. 

Goals on Instagram

Carousel posts, which can contain both images and video, are consistently more engaging than regular image and video posts. Socialbakers data showed that in Q4 2020, carousels got nearly double the organic interactions as video.

See the full social media trends report

And here’s the interesting thing: the Instagram algorithm actually re-serves carousel posts a second or third time to followers that didn’t engage the first time around.

It’s also popular for Instagram profiles to create collectible content that followers can save in their collections. This works well for “how to” posts, and other types of content that provide valuable evergreen information. Here’s a great example from So You Want To Talk About: 


Just remember to add a CTA that reminds your fans to save your carousel for later viewing. 

Stop Guessing Your Way Through an Instagram Strategy

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Here are some additional best practices that will help you to succeed on Instagram:

  • Know your story: The first question that every marketer faces is: what should I post about? The best professionals use AI-powered content inspiration tools before they even begin. 

  • Know your limits: Every Instagram copywriter needs to know the art of capturing interest with great Instagram captions. You have 2,200 characters in total, but after 125 your audience needs to tap “more” to see the rest, so your intro is vital. This is when inserting empty rows becomes one of the important Instagram content hacks. You should always insert empty rows when you need a line break, to avoid large chunks of text that aren’t attractive to the eye – never offer bricks of text. 

  • Know your trends: In 2020, the top 50 brands on Instagram had nearly 19x more engagement than on Facebook. This was in part due to Instagram’s updates which included Guides. The Guide posting format allows creators to share long-form content that can engage with followers on a deeper level than just short-form posts. Learn everything you need to know about Instagram Guides so you can benefit from this trend.

  • Know your hashtags: Instagram gives you a limit of 30 hashtags per post, but we recommend aiming for between five to nine. Any more than that can look spammy. To get the most benefit, make sure that your hashtags are relevant, specific to your niche, and don’t explicitly encourage follows or like-swapping.

To save you time, we recommend using the latest Instagram analytics tools so that your campaigns are guided by the best data. 

Goals on TikTok

If you want to hit your Social Media KPIs on TikTok in 2021, it’s important to follow trends like branded hashtag challenges and social commerce. 

Plus, these five general tips will help you to become a TikTok native:

  • Be unedited: This one shocks the pros, but genuine is often better than polished

  • Showcase: Show what happens with your brand in everyday life

  • Invest in youth topics: Almost 70% of users are 16-24 years old

  • Disappointments: Sometimes they are funnier than success

  • Challenges: Chipotle smashed TikTok records because their campaigns invited action

The average video length is only 16 seconds long, but you need to understand how the TikTok algorithm works. Here are some additional tips to help you smash your goals on TikTok:

  • Sounds: The music played in TikTok videos – known as TikTok Sounds – is key to understanding how the viral app works. They help with overall creativity as well as serious strategy. The first step is to browse the TikTok Sounds library and save the sound clips that are most relevant to your brand so you can create even more content. 

  • Challenges: Hashtag challenges exemplify the needs of Gen-Z social media users: participation. This is especially important for ecommerce, and TikTok hashtag challenges can propel audience engagement to viral levels in one day. 

  • Hashtags: Your TikTok hashtag business strategy should include both seasonal and trending hashtags that are relevant to your post. When you are looking through the Discovery tab for inspiration, be sure to also include popular hashtags that are competitive as well as those that are niche and specific to you.  

  • Influencers: When you create a video that begins to get some traction, it's essential that you follow up, repost, and create additional videos immediately. This starts to sound like a full-time job – it is! – so make sure that you leverage and access the followers that influencers already have. And, ensure that you apply specific contractual requirements when you find the right TikTok influencer.  

Goals on LinkedIn

You need to be interacting with the 706 million-plus professionals on LinkedIn if you’re serious about B2B marketing. First, the LinkedIn algorithm works slightly differently to other channels. These are the stages it goes through:

  1. The LinkedIn AI bot is stringent about blocking spam. Due to the high number of professionals on the platform, it’s essential that you share content relevant to your industry and followers.

  2. Every post is sent to a tribunal. If this select audience shows interest, your content will be shared with more people.

  3. A second quality check is run. If your post receives a reasonable amount of engagement at this point, it’s then checked again for credibility. If your content passes this trial, the circle of accounts that your content is fed to widens.

  4. The infinite human factor. After your post has passed these stages, human editors will evaluate its content. They’ll read your post and decide if it merits being shown to an even broader audience. 

This is why LinkedIn retains credibility. It’s also why so many B2B marketers fail to harness it. Here are five recommendations to help you hit your goals:

  • Create a dynamic company page. Because of the level of respect that LinkedIn still has among professionals, it’s one of the first places that people will look to check your company’s credibility and industry relevance. Highlight key achievements that your business has seen, and showcase transparent examples of your leadership team, offices, and branding.

  • Boost your company page’s visibility. Start from the ground up; ask all of your employees and managers to follow it, to give you an initial boost. Plus, always add the standard follow request on your emails and web pages. Turn LinkedIn into a lead generation machine

  • Focus on professional engagement. LinkedIn is not a random post-and-forget platform. Pet memes, wildcard content, 4 a.m. epiphanies; these are generally all no-nos, though there are examples like Gong where posting unexpected content can do great on the platform. In general though, it is  is a serious platform, and your LinkedIn posts need to focus on business engagement, thought leadership, and industry value. The LinkedIn algorithm also favors content that has been published on the platform, as opposed to offsite promotion. 

  • Engage in LinkedIn groups. Search for groups that are directly related to your industry, and participate. If you select groups that resonate with your target audience, you will increase your brand’s visibility. You can also create your own group. If you do this however, remember that it’s more like a conference – you’ll need to invest in keeping the conversation going with benefit-driven content. 

  • Publish ads without jargon. Because of the number of genuine professionals, C-suite executives, and opinion leaders, your ad copy on LinkedIn needs to avoid jargon at all costs. No one likes it. LinkedIn is the best copywriting test. It’s essential that your messaging is 100% benefit-driven and void of industry lingo. 

Goals on YouTube

Which YouTube channel has the largest number of overall views? 

T-Series, an Indian record label with nearly 150 billion views. The secret to achieving your goals is knowing your data first, and repeating existing models of success. The reason that this brand thrives on YouTube is that they use powerful analytics.

Use these tips to make sure that you have a solid YouTube strategy:

  • Know what your audience searches for. Using the Google Ads platform will allow you to take guessing out of your strategy and instead provide you with concrete data about what people are interested in. To do this, use the Google Ads keyword planner tool to understand the keywords users search for, along with the monthly volume of their searches. Using this knowledge, you’ll know what content is most likely to get a high volume of views on your videos. Don’t forget to leverage those keywords in your video title, description, and tags.  

  • Know what’s trending. Take a look at trending videos on YouTube. It’s important to note whether or not they have high-end production so you can evaluate your spending budget. Not all the content you’ll see in the trending video list is “classically well-produced” – it’s more important to focus on contemporary topics. 

  • Study the masters. Every successful YouTuber knows how the algorithm works. This knowledge is free. Follow high-level YouTube adepts like Derral Eves and find the best influencers that fit your brand

  • Learn how to write a good title. Use the Google Ads keyword planner again to help you write a title that is noticed by the YouTube algorithm. Check if any of the keywords listed can be added to your title, or if you can create content that explores these topics. 

  • Experiment to discover the perfect title and thumbnail partnership. Thumbnails are the first thing that your audience will see, and 90% of the best-performing title and image partnerships are custom-made. You’re more likely to stand out if your title and image doesn’t scream click-bait and delivers new information. 

  • Follow changing audience behavior. YouTube aims to adapt behavior based on the amount of times your audience repeats watching specific content. By paying attention to the trends and adapting your content, you can try to stay in the mix even as what your audience is looking for changes. Make this easy by using the right YouTube analytics metrics.

The Takeaway

It’s impossible to create a complete social media goal blueprint unless you know how a business runs on a personal level. To boost your social media ROI, it’s also crucial that you understand the infinite game. 

One thing’s for sure: the only way to keep up with the updates on social media is by using the latest AI techniques. If you do this, your worldview becomes 360 degrees, and not just a strike in the dark.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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