Social Media S.M.A.R.T. goal framework
When it comes to setting social media goals, I recommend using the S.M.A.R.T goal framework—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Let’s take a look at each of the five qualities and how they build on one another.
Increasing your social media reach, for example, is a great goal. But what does that mean, exactly? Do you want 50 followers, 500, or 5,000? And on which social network? If the goal is too vague, you’ll never really know what you’re working towards. By having goals that are clear, specific, and not open to exlanation, you’ll save on time and effort, and get closer to your ultimate destination.
If you can’t measure what you’re out to achieve, your goal isn’t specific enough and it likely isn’t really contributing to your business. You need to be able to concretely identify your progress and see whether your efforts are working or not.
Maybe you want to use social media as a channel for customer service. How do you know how well it’s working? An increase in tweets? Decreased phone queries and emails over the span of a few months? When it comes to success, the numbers matter. Don’t just know you were successful—know how successful you were.
Have your social accounts contributed to this particular metric in the past? Use that information to set goals that are within your reach. If you’ve been able to reach a previously stated goal on, say, Facebook, you know it can be done.
By using previously attained goals, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward on social media and be comfortable, rather than look awkward while scrambling to attain a poorly chosen mark.
I’d never try to talk someone out of punching above their weight. After all, that’s where life’s big wins happen. But short of winning the go-viral lottery, aiming for 300 retweets a week when you have a 500 Twitter followers just isn’t going to happen even in the best of circumstances. Keep your goals challenging, but realistic.
Want to use social media to build your mailing list? Then social channels are a tremendous way to accumulate qualified leads. But if that’s your goal, it makes more sense to focus on using social media to drive traffic to your website than, say, staying on top of your Instagram mentions. Make sure your goal is relevant to your business’s success.
Commit to a time frame to reach your goals. By giving yourself a deadline, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate and it will keep you accountable.
S.M.A.R.T. goal example:
So, if one of your business goals is to drive more product sales—and you are using Instagram to showcase your products—then a simple, S.M.A.R.T. social media goal might look like this:
“We will grow our Instagram following by 50 new followers per week.”
That is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are only truly smart if they exhibit all five characteristics. If you’re missing the timeliness factor, for example, it’s impossible to determine how successful a social campaign or strategy really was.