By Gerry Moran
Does your new year’s social media resolution involve getting in shape? Or, as Hanz and Franz would have said, are you ready to “pump up” the effectiveness of your social media? If a social shape-up is in the cards for you, make sure you set yourself up for a winning hand. There is no better way to break your resolution and lose the game than with the lack of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based goals – SMART goals.
I just returned from the gym for the first time in months. I know I need to lose 40 pounds and get stronger. Those 12-ounce craft beer curls just don’t seem to be making a difference! If I am to be successful with my goals, I cannot hope to lose all 40 pounds in one month. I also cannot spend 4 hours at the gym every day using every piece of equipment. By focusing on specific, measurable, achievable, results-based and time-based goals, I will reach my objective. For me, this initial portion of my goal-setting means hitting the elliptical machine and treadmill 4 times a week for an hour from December 27th through January 31st. I need to master the basics of “in-shapeness” first and then move on for my second set of SMART goals.
Just like my gym goals, your personal or business’ social media goals need to take one step at a time and avoid being overwhelmed with activity that produces fuzzy results. If you don’t set short-term SMART goals, then you will become overwhelmed and will fail miserably; taking two steps backward from one step you took forward. If you set four quarterly social media strategy goals that build on each quarter’s success, then you will truly set yourself up for success.
Using SMART Goals To Get Your Social Media Strategy In Shape
Answer 6 Key Questions To Develop SPECIFIC Social Media Goals. Specificity eliminates the fuzziness in your goals. Avoid goals like “I want to do social media more”, or “I want to gain more sales with social media”. You must be specific with your goals. For instance, a good goal would be:You need to answer up to six key questions in order to create a specific goal for your social media shape-up:
Who is involved with the goal?
What do you want to accomplish with your actions?
Where is the location of your activity?
When will the goal will be started and accomplished by?
Which requirements need to considered or which obstacles do you need to overcome?
Why do you want to accomplish the goal?
- Example: By January 31, I will create a new social media messaging process using a clearly defined process and and best-practice guidelines, so customers clearly understand our company’s messaging and use our content to help them make purchase decisions.
- Explanation of example: This goal answers the how (i.e., create a new social media messaging process) how (i.e., using a clearly defined process and best-practice guidelines) and why (i.e., so customers clearly understand our messaging and value our content to help them make purchase decisions).
Create MEASURABLE Social Media Goals. Each social media activity should accomplish a measurable task to ensure you are making progress. For example, you will measure Twitter’s impact on awareness differently than you would measure Facebook’s, so this differentiation needs to be accounted for with the goal-setting. Think of these specific measurements as the individual dials on the dashboard or control panel of your social media ‘machine’. Your social media goals should be measured in three key buckets of activity: How many people did you reach with your specific activity? How many readers and customers did you engage (via reads, shares, retweets) with your messaging or content? How many customers did you move toward a purchase as a result of your social media activity?
- Example: By March 1, I will increase our company messaging and content sharing, commenting and clicking by 10% to help us reach an incremental audience with our news and value proposition.
- Explanation of example: The key measurement of this goal would be increasing the amount of shares, comments and clicks by 10%, which are indicators of reaching an increased audience with your messaging.
Create ACHIEVABLE Social Media Goals. Your social media goals need to challenge you but not stretch you too far where the are not attainable or achievable. Take inventory of your baseline knowledge, skills and resources to ensure you can accomplish your goals. Sometimes it’s a good exercise to test your resourcefulness to see if you can accomplish what might appear unattainable. However, you need to be somewhat realistic. For example, do you have the right staff and properly maintained of social media channels help you with your mission. And like a rubber band, if you stretch your resources too far, you infrastructure might break.
- Example: By May 1, I will create a weekly content stream of 5 blog posts, 125 tweets, 5 influencer contacts and 15 Facebook posts to help increase the awareness of our company through social media.
- Explanation of example: You need to be able to activate or secure social media resources to help you write and post all of this content to help you increase your company’a awareness.
Create RESULT-FOCUSED Social Media Goals. Your social media goals should measure outcomes and not activities. For instance, you don’t want your goals to be to send out 15 tweets daily. What good does that do you? You want to send out 15 tweets to increase the awareness of your brand.
- Example: By April 15th I will create a process that ties social media activity to lead collection by providing a reason to sign up for exclusive email newsletter to deliver early-bird deals to our customers.
- Explanation of example: The result of this process is creating an opt-in database for 1-1 messaging with your customer.
Always Assign TIME-BASED Constraint On Your Social Media Goals. Your social media goals need to create a practical sense of urgency and tension to complete the goal on time.
- Example: By March 1, launch a blog for your business on the WordPress platform so your customers can find you more easily with Google search to get their customer services and product questions answered more quickly.
- Explanation of example: March 1 is your time-based deadline.
Do you have an example of a SMART social media goal that you will be using this year or for this quarter? If so, please leave a comment below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter.
Good luck with setting your SMART social media goals. Don’t try to tackle everything at once using every possible piece of ‘equipment’ to help your social media get in shape. Make sure you can keep pace with shaping up your social media. Once you can catch your breath, then work on building up the strength of your network, messaging and content effectiveness. Remember, Hanz and Franz want to pump … you up! So get on your SMART goal setting.
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