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How to Set Goals for Your Social Media Campaign

February 16, 2018
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The first and often most crucial step in developing a new social media campaign is defining your goals. Without understanding the objective of your campaign, you’ll have no way to understand the success of the campaign. As Bill Copeland once said… “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” In sports, and in marketing, if you don’t understand what constitutes as a goal, you’ll never know when you’ve won. Before you get started on creatives, captions, and planning, you’ll need to sit down and decide what your goals are for your new social media campaign.

There are a few commonly tracked metrics when brands set goals for their social media campaigns. These common metrics include: profile likes/follows, reach, impressions, engagement, and website visits. Depending on your brand, you may create campaign goals around one, a few, or all of these metrics. Below we’ve outlined how to understand what goals are most important for your brand on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Remember to always set your benchmarks before you launch any campaigns!

Related: How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Social Media

If you want more profile likes…

…on Facebook: Even though the size of your following no longer plays a role in your overall reach and engagement, many brands want more page likes to help build page credibility. It’s hard to portray a “big brand status” with only a couple hundred followers. Many brands opt for a Page Likes ad campaign on Facebook when they are initially trying to grow a following. However, if Facebook ads aren’t your forte there are many ways to do this with a more organic approach. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is if you can increase your engagement at the post level, you can increase your following at the page level.

Facebook offers an option to “invite” users to like your page if they have already liked your conted (note: this is only available to pages with under 100k followers). This comes in handy with Facebook campaigns, because if you can get your content to reach a lot of new users, you then can invite those users to follow your page. Use engagement-focused content (like a giveaway or quote post) boosted to a targeted audience to reach a large number of new visitors – then invite everyone who likes that post to like your page! You can expect about a 70% acceptance rate from these Page Like invites.

…on Instagram: Growing a large following on Instagram is critical for brands with under 10k followers. Once you reach the 10,000 follower mark, your opportunities to drive revenue from Instagram grow immensely. Our secret way to grow a large, highly-engaged audience on Instagram? Engage with your target audience! This strategy entails creating a list of brands with similar target audiences as your brand, or that sell products that compliment your offering. After you devise this list, you’ll want to go through the users that are following that brand and engage with those users content through liking a few of their posts or following them. This campaign works so well because you already know that these individuals are interested in similar products and follow brands – so now you’re introducing them to your brand as well!

…on Twitter: Similar to Instagram, growth on Twitter is directly related to how actively you are engaging with your potential following. We recommend Keyword Outreach campaigns or TweetChats for optimal growth. With keyword outreach, you’ll want to use a tool like TweetDeck to monitor people discussing problems that your product could solve. For example, if you sell a gluten-free flour, track tweets that mention “looking for” and “gluten-free option” (and other variations). This way too can provide a solution to your customer’s needs while driving brand awareness – and in return, growing your following! TweetChats are another great way to grow your following because they can build brand credibility and introduce your product to a very similar (and engaged) target audience. A simple Google search of TweetChats in your industry can help you find the right chat for your brand.  

If you want to increase your reach and impressions…

…on Facebook: Shares are the most important metric for a brand on Facebook that wants to increase their reach and impressions. While likes and comments can make your post appear in addition NewsFeeds, it is less likely that Facebook will optimize your post in a feed for these engagements. Shares will help your post reach a wider audience. We’ll often see a post that has gotten shared multiple times will have double the total engagement numbers due to engagements on post shares. This shows that you’re reaching an audience far larger than your current followers. Additionally, sweepstakes and contests that utilize a share for entry can reach thousands of people who are not following your page. Shares give you “free reach” that you’d otherwise have to use a boosted post budget to earn.

…on Instagram: Virality is a the best way to increase reach and impressions on Facebook, but can be very difficult to accomplish on Instagram since there is no “re-share” option for brand’s posts. Because of this, brands have had to get creative to reach a new audience without an advertising campaign. A new unique trend we’ve noticed with brands is asking individuals to take a screenshot of their story and repost it in their story, tagging the brand! This works so well because stories are able to reach more people than an individual post. Additionally, many users on Instagram are hesitant to post content on behalf of a brand on their actual feed as they worry it will ruin their aesthetic or be too promotional. However, sharing a post in your story is so simple since it only lasts 24 hours and people can easily choose to skip through it if they do not want to engage with your story. You’ll want to still incentive these shares by either donating something for every story share, or entering the users into a contest!

…on Twitter: Twitter impressions are an important metric to monitor since Twitter moves so fast. You want to make sure your contest is actually being seen and not immediately lost in the feed. A great way to ensure this is to engage with hashtags and trending events. If you’re at a conference or involved in a current event, make sure you’re active with it on Twitter! Tag other brands, utilize hashtags, and respond to people that are also supporting the cause or attending the event! The more active you are as a brand on Twitter, the more potential you have to reach a larger new audience. We typically notice at least a ~80% lift in Twitter impressions during the course of an event that our clients are attending due to hashtags, retweets, and outbound engagements!

Related: How to Measure the Effectiveness of a Social Media Campaign

If you want to drive more social traffic to your website…

…on Facebook: If your goal is to drive more site traffic from Facebook, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have your page fully optimized to drive social traffic. Make sure the button below your cover photo is correctly linked to your site with the “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, or “Sign Up” button options. Additionally, you’ll want to utilize the new Facebook Story (under “About”) feature to create a mini landing page on your Facebook. The new Facebook Story allows you to incorporate photos, links, and specialized text all within your “about us”!

From a campaign level, contests hosted on your website are a great way to increase website visits. We suggest utilizing an email entry pop-up for a giveaway. Everyone who enters their email will be automatically be entered. On Facebook, you’ll want to promote the prizes with a tracked link – using a or UTM,  to your website. This is a great way to increase your social traffic to your website while collecting valuable emails! To monitor the growth and goals, you will want to utilize Google Analytics for a better understanding of your average monthly visits from Facebook compared to additional clicks on your specific campaign links.

…on Instagram: Driving social traffic from Instagram can be a challenge for accounts with less than 10k followers. If you do have over 10,000 followers, you’re in luck! We suggest developing a story series that can then be added to your story collection for optimal reach. The new collection feature is a great way to run a Instagram story campaign for longer than 12 hours. You can utilize the same giveaway concept we suggested for Facebook, or even just promote an active sale! Another great way to increase your website visits from Instagram is utilizing an influencer outreach campaign.

Whenever you begin working with a new influencer, you’ll want to make sure you have a contract in place for mutual expectations. A typical influencer contract may ask for two posts on the influencer’s feed, and at least two Instagram stories linking to your website. We always recommend providing your influencer with a custom UTM to utilize in their story so that you can effectively measure the number of site visits that specific influencer drove to your site. This is also helpful from a campaign level to get a better understanding of the overall success of your influencer campaign. Keep in mind, often when people visit your site for the first time through an Instagram story, the are not quite ready to convert and will return back to social immediate. However, a large percentage of new visitors from your influencers is still an excellent sign of growing brand awareness and hopefully, future customers.

…on Twitter: Twitter is a great network to increase your social website visits since this network does not limit brands the way Facebook does (i.e. you cannot reach out to an individual on Facebook who has not engaged with you first). Our favorite way to do so is with Keyword Outreach. Similar to our suggestions for growing your following on Twitter, Keyword Outreach is an amazing brand introducer when you use a tool like TweetDeck. You’ll want to search key terms that directly relate to products you sell or blog posts that are active on your website. This way, you can answer a question an individual has by sending them to a link on your website.

Utilizing this strategy for one our clients, we saw over a 3,000% increase in Twitter visits in just one month. For example, if you sell hair growth supplements, you may want to look for people tweeting about wishing they had longer hair or fuller hair, you then can respond to these users with a coupon code and a link to your site. They will appreciate that your brand took the time to reach out to them, and it’s sure to drive more users to your website!

If you want more post engagements (think: likes and comments)…

…on Facebook: Facebook is working to put an end to engagement baiting which makes this goal more difficult than ever for this platform. Engagement baiting means asking customers in your caption to comment on or like your post (i.e. A caption like “Do you agree? If so, like this post!” would be considered engagement baiting). No need to worry though! We have a few tricks up our sleeve to get around this new engagement rule by Facebook. The first is asking for the engagement in your image rather than in your caption. For example, if you’re running a “comment to enter” giveaway, discuss the prices in your caption but utilize your image to explain the directions. Another great workaround is developing a caption that asks a question to your audience without telling them to “comment” the answer.

One of our favorite ways to do this is a “Spot the Difference” campaign. This involves uploading two photos that are nearly identical – one photo will have one small thing that is different from the other. In our caption, we ask our following if they can spot what is different. You’ll notice that your audience will automatically comment the difference once they find it even though you did not specifically ask for that engagement. Last but certainly not least, do not forget the importance of virality. Supporting a cause through a “donation per share” campaign is an amazing way for your brand to reach a viral level. Make sure you’re able to follow through on the donation value! We’ve had clients with less than 10k followers reach well over 50,000 people due to campaigns like this!  

…on Instagram: Similar to Facebook, engagement baiting can hurt the overall success of your Instagram campaign. With Instagram, you post does not have the same opportunity for virality that you have on Facebook. While you can reach the explore feed if you get a heavy level of engagement within the first few minutes of your post going live, you most likely still won’t notice a large increase in overall engagement. With that being said, you can still increase overall engagement with contests and giveaways! Like we mentioned in the Facebook section, make sure you ask for the engagement within the creative of your post, not the caption. We suggest keeping the giveaway as simple as possible to increase engagement – by requiring your audience tags two friends and follows your page to be eligible to win. This is a great way to increase engagement because with every one person who enters, you’ll be introducing your brand to two additional people. We suggest running giveaways like this on a weekly basis to build credibility and lift the overall engagement rate of your Instagram page.

…on Twitter: On Twitter, retweets are the most important form of engagement as they allow your content to reach more Twitter feeds. Like we said before, Twitter moves fast. Since Twitter is one of the only channels that still posts content in a time-centric feed, rather than engagement-based feed, the more feeds you can reach, the better chance you have for your content to be seen. In order to get more retweets on your content we suggest running a “donation per retweet” campaign. This simple action is easy for your followers to do, and can greatly increase your engagement on that particular post. If you’re wanting to see an increase in overall engagement, then you’ll want to incorporate more hashtags! Hashtags are still commonly used on Twitter opposed to other social channels. Just make sure your hashtags are specific to your post and your brand so that you can reach an appropriate audience! Additionally, make sure your hashtag isn’t too general – the hashtag #love receives over 20 tweets a minute meaning your Tweet will be buried fast and won’t provide overall value!

Related: Top 5 Social Media Giveaway Ideas

What Are Realistic Goals For My Brand?

Now that you have a better understanding of what goals are most important for your brand, you’ll want to make sure you set realistic goals. For example, say you decide to pick up running, but you’ve never been able to run a mile in your life… you wouldn’t set a goal to run 10 miles in your first week, you’d build up to that goal. The same goes for social media campaigns. If you’ve noticed stagnant growth of only a few new followers a month over the last 6 months, don’t expect one campaign to increase your following by hundreds. Nothing in real life works that way (…unless you pay for it.), especially social media algorithms. Facebook and Instagram are both “smart” enough now to know now that one viral post doesn’t necessarily mean you have a highly popular page. Consistent increased engagement and growth is what will start to drive a steady and noticeable change on your Facebook page.  

In order to set realistic goals, you’ll want to monitor historical growth and patterns, but also consider how your campaign will affect the metrics you are monitoring. If your goal is to grow your following then you need to make sure your campaign is structured to drive shares and reach an audience that doesn’t already follow you. If your goal is to increase engagement,  then consider how can you create content that your current following will see and feel drawn to engaging with. If your goal is to increase site traffic from social media, then make sure you’re linking to your site (….obvious, right?).

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