The Roadmap to Social Media Success: Setting the Right KPIs

June 6, 2023

Social media has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to their websites. But without a clear strategy and measurable goals in place, it’s easy to get lost in the vast sea of social media platforms. 

That’s where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play. By defining and tracking the right KPIs, you can gauge the success of your social media efforts and make sure you’re on the right track. 

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of setting the right KPIs for social media success and introduce the S.M.A.R.T framework as a helpful guide.

Why do we measure?

We all know measurement is important. But let’s get back to basics and recap why. 

  • Understanding where you are. Imagine going on a journey without knowing where you’re starting from. By measuring your social media performance, you gain insights into your current positioning which forms the foundation for progress.


  • Determining where you want to go. Once you understand where you stand, you can set objectives and goals for your strategy. These will act to guide your actions and efforts.


  • Seeing what is and isn’t working. By analyzing the data, you can identify winning strategies that are driving results, and allocate resources accordingly. It also helps you identify areas where adjustments are needed, allowing you to optimize your social media approach.


  • Proving the value you’re adding. In today’s competitive landscape, demonstrating the impact of social media efforts is crucial for justifying investments and securing continued support. With concrete data, you can showcase the tangible benefits social media advertising brings to your organization.


Defining Terms: What Do Your Social Media Goals Mean?


To set the right KPIs for social media, it’s important to define your goals with context and nuance. 

While the goal might seem straightforward, it can be approached from vastly different angles. 

Let’s look at how a simple objective of creating leads can be approached tactically in 3 completely different ways:


Higher Number of Leads?  

If your focus is on generating a bigger volume of leads, your tactics and channels would aim to drive more clicks and conversions. 

Your KPIs would then revolve around measuring the number of clicks and conversions. Cost and budget considerations might take a backseat to the quantity of leads.


Lower Cost of Leads?

Let’s say you want to optimize your lead-gen efforts by minimizing costs. 

In this scenario, your KPIs would center around metrics such as CPM and CPC. 

You would focus on finding high-cost channels and tactics and shift your resources toward more cost-effective alternatives. 

This approach requires analysis of costs and budget allocation across various social media platforms and campaigns.


Higher Quality Leads?

Sometimes you won’t care as much about volume. Instead, you want quality leads. Measurement then, would extend beyond numbers, and instead center around the engagement and conversion rates of your leads. KPIs like CTR and CR would take center stage. 


Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.


To ensure your KPIs are effective and aligned with your goals, make them S.M.A.R.T. 

This framework offers a clear structure for goal setting and helps you focus on the most relevant and impactful metrics.

Specific: Your goals should be specific and well-defined. Avoid vague statements like “increase brand awareness.” Instead, make it specific, such as “increase Facebook post shares by 20% by December.” This clarity provides a clear target to aim for and allows for better measurement and evaluation.

Measurable: Your goals should be quantifiable. You need to be able to track progress and measure success. Incorporate metrics like percentages, numbers, or ratios into your goals. For example, “increase CTR on Facebook CTAs by 10% in three months.” 

Achievable: It’s important to set ambitious goals, but they should still be attainable. Think about available resources, budget, and capabilities when defining your KPIs. Unrealistic goals can frustrate and demotivate. Find the balance between challenge and achievability to drive growth effectively.

Relevant: Your goals should align with your overall social media strategy and broader business objectives. Ensure that your KPIs are related to the outcomes you’re seeking. 

Timely: Set a timeframe for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and provides a deadline for evaluation and adjustment. For instance, “increase Instagram engagement rate by 15% in the next quarter.” A specific time frame holds you accountable and helps prioritize your efforts.



Simple goals can be approached from multiple angles. If you want better results, you should define exactly what that means from a nuanced perspective. As we established, getting “more leads” isn’t as specific as it could be, and should be elaborated upon. For example, by considering what “more leads” mean for you. Cheaper leads, higher quality leads, or higher quantity of leads? S.M.A.R.T goals can then be a framework for how you should set your goals effectively.