Making Sense of Social: How to Set SMART Social Media Video Goals

May 28, 2021

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Frank Emanuele


Lisa Marinelli


If you’ve been thinking about adding more video to your marketing strategy, investing in social media video is one of the easiest places to get started. Along with being hugely popular and still growing, social media video can help your business at each phase of the marketing funnel. Plus, it’s a great way to humanize your brand.

We chatted with Wistia’s Social Media Manager, Frank Emanuele, to get his perspective on how you can set yourself up for success and set goals around social media video marketing. By asking yourself what your videos will achieve for you and what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll be able to be more intentional about picking the social media channels where you can make the most impact.

In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to think of your social media video goals in the context of the marketing funnel.

S.M.A.R.T. goals

Before we talk about social media video goals specifically, remember that any marketing goals should always be SMART goals.

Whether you’re a team of one or you have several cooks in your marketing kitchen, SMART goals give you a “North Star” to guide your work. And remember — you can always adjust your goals later if it becomes necessary.

Now, let’s look at what this acronym means and what you should consider in the context of a social media video strategy. We’ll also use our latest series Show Business as an example of how we applied SMART goals to pull off our own social media video strategy.

  • Specific: Who is your audience, and where are they on social networks?
    • Example: For the release of our series Show Business, we created a series of social media videos to promote the launch to marketers on Instagram.
  • Measurable: How many videos? What metrics will you track?
    • Example: Show Business is 20 episodes, so we created 20 short videos — one to tease each episode. The key metrics were engagement (i.e. likes, shares, comments, etc.) and impressions.
  • Achievable: Does your team have the resources to produce these videos?
    • Example: Yes, we have an in-house video team who was already familiar with the source material (they created it!) so we were able to partner with them to create shorter cuts for our Instagram audience.
  • Relevant: Do the videos align with your brand’s longer-term goals?
    • Example: Yes, the videos support a larger initiative around the launch of Show Business.
  • Time-bound: What’s your timeline?
    • Example: This is where planning ahead is key! We knew we wanted to drop one to two videos a week for ten weeks, and we had the raw footage months in advance. We created these social media videos about three months before the launch.

And here’s the final product, our SMART social media goal for Show Business:

Show Business is an educational video series created to empower marketers to create binge-worthy content. To support the show’s launch and drive registrations, we are launching 20 episode trailers across Instagram over the course of ten weeks. We aim to drive at least 500 registrations through social media within three months with this video content.”

As you can see, SMART goals are the best way to be intentional about your social media video strategy to ensure you’re making the biggest impact. Setting these goals for yourself or for your marketing team will also help you articulate success to managers or stakeholders so you can invest even more in social media video ideas to support your brand.

Social media videos throughout the funnel

With SMART goals for social media videos under your belt, it’s time to discuss how videos for social can benefit your brand at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Top-of-funnel: Generate awareness

At the top of the marketing funnel, social media video can be a great way to generate brand awareness. Perhaps you have a new product or service — social can be a great awareness driver, especially when it’s part of a larger marketing effort that includes other channels like blogs, email, and advertising.

“At the top of the marketing funnel, social media video can be a great way to generate awareness.”

Here are some awareness metrics to keep in mind:

  • Video views: This is how many people watched a video. Different social media platforms count video views slightly differently, so be aware of that. We’ll give you a quick rundown below.
    • Facebook: 3 seconds or more
    • Instagram: 3 seconds or more
    • LinkedIn: 2 seconds or more with at least 50% of video on screen
    • Twitter: 2 seconds or more with at least 50% of video on screen
    • TikTok: any length of time
  • Impressions: This is how many total times a post shows up in someone’s timeline, even if they don’t watch the video.
  • Reach: This is the number of unique viewers of a post.

We created a social media video strategy at this stage of the funnel for our podcast product launch here at Wistia. Our social media video goal was to grow awareness for our new podcasting support by generating at least 3,000 relevant impressions and 1,000 views on LinkedIn within the first week.

We started by sharing the video organically on our LinkedIn page. This was a great first step to engage our existing audience and folks who are already customers or fans of Wistia. From there, we promoted the post within our target audience to reach new folks outside of our followers. Specifically, we wanted to reach mid-to-senior level marketers at B2B companies with 50–250 employees. While we were focused on generating awareness on a broad level, we wanted to make sure we set guardrails through targeting to only reach the most relevant audience.

The result? This LinkedIn video surpassed our goal with 4,000 impressions. We met our goal for 1,000 views in the first week, and since then, we’ve more than doubled it!

Have a new product launch on the horizon? Don’t miss out on generating awareness with high-quality product videos for social media as part of your larger marketing campaign.

Mid-funnel: Increase engagement

Moving on to the middle of the funnel, social media videos can help you gauge and optimize your audience’s engagement. One of the biggest strengths of social media marketing is the ability to track how engaged your audience is. The number of likes, comments, and shares your video earns can be a pretty solid indicator of how well it resonates with your target audience.

“The number of likes, comments, and shares your video earns can be a pretty solid indicator of how well it resonates with your target audience.”

Here are some engagement metrics to consider:

  • % of video viewed: How much of your video did most of your viewers actually watch?
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares (LinkedIn & Facebook)
  • Retweets (Twitter)
  • Saves (Instagram)

If your main social media video goal is to grow your audience, you’ll want to keep an eye on two main metrics: follower count and subscriber count.

How do these metrics change after you publish your video? Well, if your content is resonating with your audience who are watching videos, you should notice an uptick in followers and/or subscribers after each release.

If you’re tracking either engagement or audience growth, an easy lever to pull is adding a Call to Action (CTA) to your videos. You can ask viewers to like the post or follow or subscribe to see more from you. Another idea is to pose a question to your audience and encourage them to answer in the comments.

One mid-funnel example of how we used social media video to increase engagement on Twitter was a post we created on May 4th, 2021. Our social media video goal was to drive engagement with a funny post celebrating the unofficial “Star Wars” day, May the 4th, by generating at least two times our average number of Retweets and Likes.

This video met our goal, earning double the Likes and Retweets we see on an average post! Based on the comments, our viewers appreciated the post because it was timely, and the humor helped humanize our brand.

The best way to drive engagement on social media is to understand your audience better than anyone else. Then, create types of video content that caters to their unique point of view. What does your audience find funny? What do they aspire to achieve? What are their top challenges? These are all questions to consider when defining your niche and content that will resonate.

Finding relevant moments for your brand to engage and connect with your audience through social media videos can be a great way to boost engagement like you’d never thought was possible!

Need help identifying your niche audience and what makes them tick? Check out our Brand Affinity Marketing Playbook to learn how to do just that and create content that actually resonates with folks!

Bottom-funnel: Drive ROI

Toward the bottom of the funnel, this is where the rubber meets the road. The videos you post to social media at this phase work best if you have established a loyal social media following with consistent engagement. Social media videos can also drive return on investment (ROI) when social media is just one touchpoint in the larger overall marketing strategy.

Low-funnel video metrics to consider include:

  • Referrals
  • Leads
  • Sales

For the pre-launch of Show Business, we focused on the lower funnel to drive registrations for the show with a series of trailers across Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We aimed to generate at least 100 sign-ups during a two-week launch period.

View post on Instagram

To achieve this, we posted three teaser videos on our newsfeed and hosted four Instagram story takeovers during the week leading up to the show’s launch. The teaser videos were intentionally vague and mysterious to pique interest without giving away too much information. The Stories takeovers featured different Wistia team members that helped bring the show to life for a more behind-the-scenes scoop on the show.

Did our vague pre-launch strategy work? Well, the videos in this series contributed to over 200 sign-ups on our Show Business landing page via social media — more than double our goal!

Using videos in your social media strategy to tease an upcoming project can help build the hype for your official release date. Additional ideas for social media videos at this stage of the funnel are teasers for webinars, testimonials, or live video events. By driving folks to sign up or register for something you’re offering, you’re able to gauge interest and start building connections with new leads and potential customers.

Be SMART about your social media video goals

Setting SMART social media video goals can set you up for success at any stage of the marketing funnel. Start brainstorming how you can invest in social media video marketing strategy to support your brand. Then, take your learnings from each campaign and use them as a foundation for the future!

Frank Emanuele


Lisa Marinelli


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