Creating Smart Social Media Goals

Photo by waferboard

In order to climb Mount Everest, you have to establish a series of intermediate goals that are specific and attainable. You can’t just wake up one day and decide, “Hey, I know what I’ll do with my life! I’m going to climb the biggest, baddest mountain on the planet!”

That won’t work. You have to train your body, study the conditions on the mountain, and plan out the intermediate destinations where you’ll need to set up camp.

Or you might want to start with climbing a hill . . .

Simple and Measurable

Creating social media goals that are specific is pretty straight forward because the web is nothing more than a massive blob of ones and zeros. Think about clicks, fans and tags.

Example: “We want to increase search traffic on our site by 50%.”

You can easily define a benchmark in Google Analytics based on search traffic for the past 12 months. Then set a realistic goal for 2015.

But what’s realistic?

Attainable and Realistic

Creating attainable and realistic goals with social media is not as easy. You don’t know whether to aim high or aim low.

One one hand, you’ve heard the stories about viral videos getting 12 million views in 12 days. Two problems with this way of thinking:

  1. Stories like these are outliers. The average YouTube video probably receives less than 50 views in the first month.
  2. You have very little control over the outcome. Even the professionals can’t predict if a video will go viral.

On the other hand, you don’t want to sell yourself short. You’re smart and you love to be challenged!

The best way to create attainable goals is to look at your results up until this point (2014 results) and shoot for a goal that makes you stretch but does not make you break.

Example: “We want to increase search visitor traffic on our site by 10% .”


Ground your goals within a time frame. This will help you create urgency and also give you the answer for, “Did we reach our goal?”

Example: “We want to increase relevant visitor traffic on our site by 10% before December 31st, 2015.”