A common mistake made by inexperienced social media users is pushing out content without a formal plan or established metrics and detailed goals. Social media is often seen as an easy way to reach masses when in reality it takes planning and continuous research in order to effectively reach a target market. In today's age, social media use is wide-spread so it is becoming more and more important to focus on effectively using social media in a way that differentiates you from the sea of other content. There is a lot of room for error, so let’s be S.M.A.R.T about it!
What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?
S.M.A.R.T goals are made up of five key components as defined by our S.M.A.R.T acronym. The S stands for Specific. Specific requires that your goal is as straight to the point as possible. Focusing on visits to your post or page, leads and customers. The M stands for measurable. When posting content although the ultimate goal is to ‘increase your viewers or followers’ this does not give a definitive goal. Therefore, measurable refers to giving number to shoot for or a measurable goal. The A stands for attainable. Attainable refers to keeping goals realistic and understanding the limitations you may have. If your goal is too drastic, it may be unreachable and therefore not able to be achieved. The R stands for relevant. What is the point of having a goal if the goal doesn’t matter or relate to the end result? That being said, ensure that the goal you are striving for coincides with your overall desired target. Lastly, the T stands for timely or time-based. While the previous four parts are extremely important, without an overall time-frame in mind, the goal could ultimately be irrelevant. Time-frames allow us to benchmark leading up to the goal, allowing you to plan for steady growth and to ultimately keep you track to achieve your goal in a realistic matter of time.
How to apply S.M.A.R.T Goals to Social Media
Now that we understand the concept of S.M.A.R.T goal setting we can apply it to a real world situation. You are recently hired as the social media marketing specialist for a new restaurant in the Detroit area. You are tasked with creating and maintaining a sophisticated social media plan for this new business but how do you do that? You are coming into a saturated market with a handful of followers and no existing plan in place to build from. To begin, define your goal. Your S.M.A.R.T goal is to reach 4,000 followers (you are starting at 100 followers and would like to add 250 followers per week or 1,000 each month) on social media by March 2017 (four months). This goal gives a specific number to be obtained and the rate at which you would like to obtain it. It is easily measurable throughout the process and will show your boss that you have put thought and strategic planning into their business’s social media efforts. As well, this allows for your goal to be easily monitored and tracked. To make sure this is attainable we can look at other area restaurants and monitor how many followers they are brining in each week. This process can also help you come up with useful tactics for your social media plan in order to build your own follower base. One of the other major benefits of a plan like this is that your social media strategy can start off without any paid efforts. Throughout the course of the plan, you may determine that you need to boost your presence with paid ads but you can avoid doing so unnecessarily because you have your benchmarks in place to show whether or not you are on track to reach your goal.
Now that you have the tools to create your own S.M.A.R.T goals utilizing them is a cinch. Follow the basic steps listed above and cater them to fit the needs of your organization. As long as you keep it S.M.A.R.T you can be sure to never get lost in the fog of useless content again!