Not all goals are created equal. Some goals can get you into a lot of trouble and even ruin your reputation. For example, if you make it a goal to streak through the field at the next Superbowl.
Jokes aside, goals that aren’t achievable or too ambiguous can have a negative impact on your work and life.
As a Social Media professional, when you’re setting goals for yourself — and especially when you’re goal setting for clients — you must use SMART goal setting strategies:
S – Specific
Specificity is key in marketing and it starts with your marketing goals. Goals should be written in the simplest way possible, while clearly defining the intended outcome. Think of this as defining the what, why and how.
M – Measurable
The backbone of effective marketing is measurability. Use quantitative numbers over qualitative language. (i.e. “Increase leads from facebook campaigns by 75% within 3 months”. Vs., “get more leads from social media during the campaign”)
A – Achievable
At first, you may feel in the dark about what’s realistic to expect with client project goals. Reference Facebook and Linkedin groups of Social Media professionals to get insight from people who have experience in varying areas. Ask the community about how much is possible and with how much effort. You want to ensure your goals aren’t a stretch and that you’re giving your client good value. This will help you from either overcharging or over-committing. As time goes on, achievability will become intuitive.
R – Results-focused
Goals should measure outcomes, not activities. Oftentimes, tactics will change in the pursuit of a goal. Consider the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal.
T – Timely
Always have an end date to when you’ll accomplish the goal by. This creates a practical sense of urgency while also locking in the duration of a project. At the end of the time frame, you can clearly see if the goal was accomplished or not. It will be a clear yes or no, and never a “not yet” or “maybe”.
When reviewing your SMART goals, you should have a clear answer on whether or not you followed these rules. By ensuring all your goals follow this modality, there will never be a question between your client and you about if a goal was reached — it will be crystal clear.
So, you see that this is not just a convenient acronym. SMART goals are necessary rules of thumb to set you on the right track from the outset.
How SMART are your goals? Do you have any other important goal-setting rules?