5 Factors to Consider When Setting Social Media Goals in the New Year

We’re already a month into 2016 and there many of us in a panic to set our social goals set for the year’s end. This is no small feat as social media’s place in the marketing sphere is still evolving. That said, 2015 was a big year in social media metrics as we moved into more sophisticated ways of measuring social impact. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when setting social media goals and benchmarks this year.

Goal Setting


Just like that, but with numbers!

1) Make Sure Your Objectives and KPIs Align

Social media changes all the time. So do consumers, so do businesses, and so do business objectives. Before you dive into setting yearly goals and benchmarking make sure you take a step back to ask the following questions to better align your KPIs and social strategy:

  1. What are we trying to achieve with our social presence?
  2. Does it align with our overall business objectives?
  3. Do our KPIs reflect both our social presence and business objectives?

If you are able to answer #1 and your answer to #2 & #3 is yes, you’re ready to go! Goal setting will be a breeze for you this year. If you are unable to answer #1 and answered no to #2 or #3, slow down a bit and take some time to nail these down. Otherwise, your goal setting efforts could lack actionable results.

2) Consider Your Paid Media Budget

Social network ad spending continues to grow year over year and 2015 saw new channels opening up paid options to more users (looking at you Pinterest and Instagram). Make sure you consider allocating spend on these channels (as long as doing so supports your social strategy) and how that will affect overall spend efficiency. Most importantly, take into account your overall budget. If you find your budget to be lower this year, how can you adjust your strategy to gain efficiencies and set a performance goal that is still above what you saw in 2015?

3) Take Into Account Your Yearly Plan

Make note of all events and activations you have planned for the year as well as campaigns and initiatives you have control over. Did you run anything similar last year? What was the lift you saw from these efforts? If you can answer these questions, take these elements into account to set expectations and build a better picture of the year to come.


Don’t forget to mark your benches!

1) Account for post type

Posts are not as simple as they were back in the early days of social. Facebook now has several versions of carousel ads and Twitter introduced polls. Not all posts can be benchmarked the same way. Be careful not to set engagement rate benchmarks when the goal of the post is to drive clicks or views.

2) Use the Right Average – not trying to be MEAN here.

Average is a broad word. It can mean median, mode, or it can even mean… well… mean. What average is best for you? If you’re dealing with a smaller data set with some significant outliers or a heavy-tailed distribution, you’re better off using a median. If you have a very large data set, a mean will probably be the better way to go.

When you’re setting goals and benchmarks, these are just a few tips to help keep your sanity and walk that balance between overly-achievable and somewhere in outer space. What advice do you have for fellow goal-setters?

Ignite Social Media