Social Media Objectives – Short Term v Long Term

June 29, 2021
As with any business strategy, a strategy for social media marketing should be broken into short-term and long-term objectives.

TLDR – Too Long, Didn’t Read.

Don’t have time to get through the entire blog? That’s ok. Here is a very quick summary…

A business’ social media objectives should be broken down into short-term and long-term.

The short-term social media objectives should focus on things like pushing online and offline sales, driving traffic to a website, and gaining organic brand awareness. This should make up around 20% of all of the content posted on social media.

The long-term social media objectives should be striving to build meaningful relationships with followers, grow organic awareness, improve customer satisfaction, and foster an online community. Achieving these objectives should make up around 80% of content posted on social media.


Let’s Get Started.

As with any other type of goal-setting in a business, the goals a business sets for its social media marketing objectives and strategies should be broken into short-term and long-term.

Let’s say the finance department of a company is having a meeting. One goal is to increase online revenue to €100,000 by the end of Q1. That is a short-term goal. Towards the end of the same meeting, someone mentions how the mortgage should be paid off within 12 years. That is a long-term goal.

Social media marketing should work the exact same way. A new start-up wants to achieve 2000 organic followers on TikTok after six months. That is a short-term goal. The same new start-up wants to generate €50,000 a month in sales through Google Ads. That is likely a long-term goal.

How much time and attention should you be paying to these short-term and long-term goals?

Here at Escalate, we employ something called the “80/20 Rule” when it comes to content and social media marketing strategies. 

We suggest to clients that at least 80% of their content should be focused on long-term goals. These goals include brand building and developing an online community. At most, 20% of their content should be looking to satisfy short-term social media objectives. These objectives include things like generating sales leads.


Social Media Objectives – The Short Term.

Here are three key short-term social media objectives to consider.


1. Stimulating Action (Trial or Purchase).

This type of short-term objective is centered around getting as many people to engage in a trial or purchase. This will usually come in the form of a flash sale or an ad campaign. It will have a lifespan of no more than a couple of weeks. A sense of urgency is created with the idea of getting as many desired actions across the line as possible, within a relatively short space of time.

For example, a client of ours FitFlop Ireland will occasionally run flash sales based on specific times of the year. The below screenshot is an example of a social media post that went out around the May Bank Holiday. It is short, concise, clear, and is very obviously pushing a CTA.

For a business like this, selling footwear, these kinds of posts are an integral part of any overall marketing strategy, but should still fall within the 80/20 rule.


2. Generating New Leads & Driving Traffic to a Website.

These kinds of objectives are similar to stimulating a trial or purchase, but there is less urgency present to take action immediately. Instead, the objective is to gain awareness and consideration and get additional eyes on the website. The metrics that will track these objectives are things like click-through rate and cost per click.

For example, Nissan might create a Reel of their brand-new electric car. They are not expecting purchases to occur directly from this post, but they are placing the new car in the mind of the consumer. They have also included a link to the Nissan website where someone who views the ad can get more information.

This is also the kind of content that is usually used in an online ad. With the correct online targeting, each time this ad is viewed could be a potential new lead for Nissan as well.


So in referencing our own 80/20 rule that we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the two points that we have just spoken about should make up at most 20% of a brand’s social media content. These short-term social media objectives should strive to;

  1. Stimulate trials and purchases.
  2. Increase lead generation and drive traffic to your site.

In short, pushing your followers to take some sort of action.


Social Media Objectives – The Long Term.

Here are four key long-term social media objectives to consider.


1. Build Meaningful Relationships.

As a business, you should always be looking to interact with your followers. We would recommend any business take 30-60 minutes daily to check social media to see what kind of chatter is going on online about their business. This is especially important for businesses that might not have a physical presence and exist solely online.

The opportunity to interact with followers and customers exists on every single platform you decide to be active on. Each of these platforms represents a brand-new touchpoint for your followers and customers.

An Escalate top tip in relation to how to treat followers online;

“If someone has taken the time to follow your business on social media, you should treat them like you would your friends on your own personal social media accounts. Interact with them. Repost their content that is related to your business. Comment on their content that is related to your business. Treat them like a friend.”

Would you only interact with your own friends on Facebook just to try to sell them products or services? Nope! So why would you treat the fans, followers, and customers of your brand or business any differently?

Below is an example of a very simple engagement from Hollywood Lakes Golf Club’s Instagram page. A player finished their round and has taken the time to create a post, sharing their positive experience on the golf course. In this instance, any brand or business should always like the post, comment on the post with some sort of thanks/positivity, and reshare the post to their story.

This kind of user-generated content is extremely valuable.

social media objectives

Make the follower who took the time to promote your brand in a positive way, feel special!


2. Build Organic Awareness.

A boosted post on social media can boost brand awareness. However, arguably what is more important is that brands create content that will be shared organically. In short, content that can be shared and viewed by large audiences without the business having to pay for it.

A piece of content that receives re-shares to the story feature, people tagging others in the comments, or a high number of saves or forwards, shows that this content is resonating with followers and they are engaged in a higher level of intention.

This kind of content is receiving more impressions and engagement, with the followers doing the heavy lifting. They are essentially acting as unpaid brand ambassadors for the business. People who get a recommendation from a friend are more likely to act on it as well. As opposed to trusting an online ad that they have been targeted with.

This might take years to get just right. However, when content begins to receive these kinds of reactions, it will be clear the right kinds of followers are being reached. The number of followers will then organically grow day-by-day and week-by-week.


3. Improve Customer Satisfaction.

Social media can be viewed as a double-edged sword in many different aspects. One aspect is in relation to when a customer publicly complains about a product or service failure on social media. When this happens, businesses are faced with a choice.

A recent study showed that 67% of customers will take to social media to try to resolve a grievance that they might have.

A business can ignore the complaint and hope it just goes away. This is not advisable. Look at what happened when United Airlines would not deal with a passenger’s broken guitar…

Instead, a business should initiate a series of response measures to potentially turn this issue or grievance into a positive PR exercise. Publicly acknowledge that there is an issue. Apologise for any potential inconvenience caused. Then try to move the conversation into a private setting to get down to the nitty-gritty to try to come to a reasonable solution. This is a good starting point, as shown by Delta below.

Improving customer satisfaction via social media.

73% of consumers say that a brand that positively deals with a customer service complaint made them “fall in love with that brand”.


4. Foster an Online Community.

Any brand has the opportunity to foster an online community and conversation surrounding their product or service. This will appear in the form of online users who will advocate a brand out of pure brand loyalty. This is usually built up over a period of years.

A great example of this is the website NikeTalk. NikeTalk was created by Nike fans online in 1999 as a place where they can have meaningful conversations about the brand. Pictures are posted of the latest releases. Industry news is discussed and dissected. Honest opinions are given in relation to all things Nike.

These online communities that are loyal to a brand are potentially very useful to that brand. Nike could use NikeTalk as a focus group or as a way of soft launching a new product. These people will also be the first to let Nike know if they are not happy with any particular aspect of online activity.

If a brand begins to develop an online community like with NikeTalk, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Let it grow organically. Interact with it occasionally. And most importantly, keep a very close eye on it.


So in referencing our own 80/20 rule that we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the four points that we have just spoken about should make up at least 80% of a brand’s social media content. These long-term social media objectives should strive to; 

  1. Build meaningful relationships with followers.
  2. Develop relatable and shareable content to drive organic awareness.
  3. Publicly improve customer satisfaction.
  4. Foster an online community loyal to your brand.


To Recap and Wrap-Up.

Rome was not built in a day and developing the perfect social media strategy will likely take years. As with any good strategy, there should be a combination of short-term and long-term objectives and goals. 

Yes, activities like pushing sales, driving up website traffic, and creating brand awareness are important. However, they should only make up a small percentage of the content that a brand puts out on social media.

Focusing on a longer-term strategy and developing things like meaningful relationships with followers and improving customer satisfaction online is a lot more important to the long-term health of a business online.

Have any additional questions related to social media objectives, strategy, or content? Drop us a message today to see if we can help you to refine your social media strategy and grow your business online.