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January 11, 2024

Social Media Marketing Goals - Brand Reputation vs Sales vs Engagement

With over 90% of all internet users now using social media in some way - whether that’s to interact with friends, learn the newest TikTok dance or purchase the latest fashion products - social media has fast become a crucial tool in the digital marketing world. 

No matter what your business is, it’s more than likely that some of your customers and potential customers will be on social media. Social media marketing is a great way to connect with people and create, build and maintain a solid brand reputation.

However, like all business ventures and strategies, it’s important to set goals for social media marketing in order to get the most out of the experience, time and effort you put into it. 

Why do you do social media marketing? 

In this article, we’ll discuss what the different social media marketing goals are, how you can achieve them and how to measure your social media marketing success.

Related: What is a Social Media Strategist? (Social Media Strategist Job Description)


Defining social media goals

In order to make your social media strategy a success and to measure that success, you will need to set a few objectives. 

These are ultimately what you want to achieve and get out of your social media marketing efforts. 

Some social media objectives examples include: 

  • To build and develop brand awareness
  • To generate leads and boost sales
  • To manage brand reputation
  • To increase engagement
  • To improve customer service

Social media marketing goals and strategies are wide-ranging, and depending on your business, audience and the platforms you use, your goals can differ to other businesses and other leaders in your industry. 

While your main goal may be to build brand awareness, your competitor may be steering their strategy towards generating leads.

Of course it would be great to achieve all of the above social media goals but believe us, it’s totally unrealistic to do so. 

Instead, try to focus your marketing tactics on one main goal and achieve it really well rather than trying to quickly tick off all of the objectives at the same time but not quite reaching the finish line for any of them.

Setting social media goals

When it comes to setting your social media marketing objectives, it shouldn’t be a case of picking one at random - it should be well thought out, strategized and measurable. 

To do this well, we’d recommend setting a SMART target for your social media goals. SMART social media goals ensure that your targets are realistic and attainable over a set period of time.

SMART stands for: 

  • Specific - your goals should be clear.
  • Measureable - your goals should allow you to measure your progress by at least one metric. 
  • Achievable - it’s important that your goals aren’t so far out of reach. They need to be attainable. 
  • Relevant - your goals should fit into your wider marketing and business goals.
  • Time-bound - your goals should be within a certain time frame to measure their success over that period of time. 

Let’s start with the S. To make sure your social media marketing goals are effective, it needs to be specific. Here’s where you think about what needs to be achieved and how it’s going to be accomplished. 

For social media marketing, this could be fine tuning which platform/s and goal you want to focus on and what steps you are going to take to reach success.

Once the specifics are in place, it’s time to move on to the measurables. This step is all about making it easier to track your progress and know when you have hit your goals.

If your goal is to increase engagement on Facebook, think about the rate at which you will do that - put a percentage on it. For example, your goal so far could be: ‘to increase engagement on Facebook by 20% by posting consistent and relevant content to ourtarget audience.’ Keeping track of social media analytics and metrics to measure your goal will allow you to tweak your strategy if needed or can help you move the goalposts further if you’ve smashed your target.

Is your goal realistic? At the start of your social media marketing journey, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to achieve everything and at a super fast speed. It’s not realistic to go from 0 - 100 straight away - this is where the A fits in. 

As long as your social media strategy is thorough and your content is consistent, you should see results, but be aware that social media marketing success doesn’t come overnight - it takes time and hard work but it sure is worth it.

When creating your social media strategy, you should include all of the fundamental elements specific to your business. This should include things like what platforms to use, what type of content you will use and when you will post. It’s within your strategy that you should define your target audience. All of this boils down to the relevance to your business. 

The same goes for your goals. These should be in line with your strategy and your wider marketing and general business objectives.

For example, if your target audience is not on Instagram, then it’s not a wise move to focus your time on Insta. Or, if your business is already well established, building brand awareness probably isn’t the most relevant goal right now.

Finally, your SMART target should end with a time that you set yourself to achieve your social media goals. This also ties into the realistic step - make sure the goal you set is going to be attainable within that period. Otherwise, you could set yourself up for disappointment. 

We’d recommend that you organize your social media goals into short-term and long-term. For short-term goals, you would be looking at three months. For a longer-term goal, look at giving yourself one year - it’s always good to see how far you’ve come compared to the year before. 

Remember, a SMART target informs your strategy so if something isn’t quite working, it might be time to amend your strategy and take it in a different direction. 

Not quite sure what goals to set? Defining your social media marketing goals is the key to achieving success in many areas of your strategy but we’re going to focus on how you can reach three of the biggies: brand awareness, sales and engagement.


Create brand awareness

Having a goal to increase brand awareness is particularly useful (and super important!) for start-ups and small businesses. 

This is all about maneuvering your way into the eyes and minds of your target audience and potential customers. 

Being in the right place at the right time will give you a bigger market share and a chance to boost sales too.

Top tip - give your brand a voice! People are more inclined to follow and engage with your brand if it feels like there’s a human behind the account. By taking your target audience into consideration, figure out your tone of voice. Be consistent with your content and don’t be afraid to be human - it’s a lot more relatable than sounding like a corporate robot. 

Strategize each social media platform. Unlike the bed socks you got for Christmas, when it comes to social media marketing, one size does not fit all. 

To reach a wider range of people, you should research where they are and how to connect with them effectively - this could be across multiple platforms. And, the content you create for TikTok might not work for say, Facebook and Twitter, so separate strategies are needed for the best results. 

How do you track brand awareness? 

Whilst brand awareness and reputation aren’t tangible, it’s actually quite simple to track the performance and success. 

Across each social media channel, delve into its analytics. 

Here you’ll find data on your followers, mentions, shares, impressions and reach. If they’re going up month by month, it’s a good sign that your brand and content are getting seen by the right people.


Now, for almost all businesses, driving sales is the main purpose of all marketing tactics. If you’re not using social media marketing to help boost sales already, then now is a good time to start.

However, in order for your social media to be a key player in increasing those all important sales, you’ve got to focus a lot of time on your other goals first to build up your social media presence and its following. 

Once your brand awareness and reputation is in check, you can focus on generating qualified leads. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean all you need to do on social media is sell sell sell.  Use your social channels to educate and entertain your audience too. Alongside a killer call to action and a link to your website, you’ll be sure to entice potential customers and generate leads to get the sales over the line. 

Consider collaborating with influencers. The last few years have been huge for social media influencers. These are content creators that review and talk about products on social platforms and ultimately have a following of people who trust them to influence their purchasing decisions. 

By getting relevant influencers on board to publicize your products is a great way to skyrocket sales and proves to be an obvious choice for some brands when it comes to return on investment.

To track your sales from social media marketing, you’ll need to look into the conversion rate. The conversion rate will give you data-driven insights into how often your social media content has kick-started the process to a sale or a subscription. 

Though, you’ll have to add UTM parameters to do this. These are short bits of code that are added to the URLs that you can share on social media, which tracks things like the placement and purpose of the link. 

You can find out more about UTM parameters.

Once you’ve added UTM parameters, simply calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors. 

If you’ve invested in some social media ads such as Facebook ads, your cost-per-click will give you an understanding of how well they have performed - this is the amount you pay per click on the ad. 

Your cost-per-click will appear in the analytics section of the platform that you’ve run your ad so no calculations involved in this one! 

The lower the number, the better, as it means that you got more clicks to your website or shop for your buck!


One area of social media marketing that is often overlooked is the engagement side of things.

Sure, racking up hundreds and thousands of followers is amazing but that’s not a true measure of success unless they’re an engaged community.

No matter what your social media marketing goals, it’s people that are going to help you achieve it. Social media is a two-way street - if you want engagement from your followers, you need to work to engage and build a relationship with your audience too. 

By authentically humanizing your brand on socials, you’ll appear more trustworthy which, in turn, will help you boost your engagement rate - whether this be the office dog earning you some retweets, your team TikTok dance raking in the comments or your social channels becoming a customer service platform for enquiries. 

The best way to boost engagement across your channels is to share valuable content that is relevant to your audience. Your target audience research will give you a good grasp on the type of content that engages, entertains and educates them.

With this, be consistent. Your followers aren’t going to stick around if you only post once every blue moon. Make people expect your posts by always being consistent with your content schedule.

Your engagement rate is a measure of the amount of engagement - such as likes, comments, mentions, direct messages, shares, reactions, link clicks and saves - relative to your followers or audience.

There are many ways to calculate engagement rate but it all depends on what type of engagement is the most relevant to your business. 

Hootsuite has created a handy guide on calculating engagement rates

So, to get the most out of your strategy, every business should set different goals for its social media marketing campaign. Depending on the business, one goal might be more important than the others.

Make achieving your social media marketing goals simpler by hiring a MixBloom Social Media Manager to help strategise, create and schedule your social media content.

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