Using SMART Goals to Create a Social Media Strategy That Works

We all have goals, regardless of what kind of business you’re in. Whether your goals include driving traffic to your site, generating more sales and leads, increasing brand awareness, or communicating with your customers, ensuring you enact these goals in a smart way is paramount.

While it is vitally important that you clearly identify what these goals are, coming up with a robust game plan to enhance the power of your social media presence can propel your project to new heights.

Spending on social media marketing has increased by over 130% in the last five years, and by 2021, digital will represent over half of total US ad spending. Still, one of the biggest social media challenges is missing a formal strategy.

Think about what kind of broad goals you’d like to achieve over a year, and align those with the values and mission statement of your business. What is your purpose? What do you set out to do?

Then, take a look at how they match up with the tried-and-true SMART goal framework: that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Let’s see how SMART we can be, starting today.

Specific

Simply writing a goal down increases the likelihood of accomplishing that goal. Being specific when it comes to what you want to achieve with social media means you are already a step ahead of the game.

Specificity is becoming more relevant in the digital space. Hyper-targeted personalized marketing and targeted advertising are closing the gap between brands and consumers, adding new dimensions of directness to your business. Make your goals as specific as the intimate connection you strive for with your audience.

Broad goals are great for your big picture vision, but having your finger on the pulse of who-what-why-where-and-how will lead to having a clearly defined objective and therefore bigger and better things. Having a goal to “sell more” or “generate more followers” is a good starting point, but getting more detailed about where you actually want to go will lead to a more customized experience that can allow you to build a more engaged customer base in an in-depth way that resonates.

Learn more about what moves your audience, what makes them tick, and where they choose to hang out. Construct a vibrant picture of how to connect with them in profound ways that will lead to a greater sense of community that will, in turn, paint a masterful image of what your company is truly all about.

Measurable

Measuring your success is an important step to a better social media strategy. Choose a specific number for the growth you want to have. Instead of simply saying “I want to grow my Instagram followers,” give yourself the challenge of saying “I want to grow my Instagram followers by 50% by next month.”

Determine the right metrics that work for measuring your success. How is your social media presence contributing to your business results? How has it impacted your reach, site traffic, sign-ups and conversions, and revenue generated? Measuring these metrics will go a long way in determining whether this aligns with your objectives.

Using tools such as likes, comments, shares, and followers will allow you the opportunity to measure yourself up to your competitors and see what is resonating with your audience. Go beyond these and dive deeper into the data at your disposal. Examine which social channels generate more traffic and whether this traffic drives repeat purchases or increases new email sign-ups.

Measurement and analysis of your efforts will go a long way in determining the effectiveness of your social media strategy. This will save you time and money in stopping what isn’t working while allowing you to double-down on what is producing results.

Achievable

Make sure your goals are attainable. Add a Google Analytics tracking code to your site to keep tabs on social media goals such as downloads, dwell time, traffic, and page views. Monitoring the impact of your marketing efforts will allow you to analyze your data and make sure the goals you are setting are achievable.

Saying you want to sell 15 products on Facebook may be attainable, but is it as specific and measurable as it can be? To make it SMART, you can edit this to “I want to convert 15 sales within 30 days through daily Facebook posts with a clear call to action (CTA) and a $40 clicks-to-site ad.”

In doing this, you have a “what”  - sell 15 products - and a “how" - post content once a day, use a CTA, and use a $40 ad.

Realistic

Increase your brand awareness in a way that will likely increase your sales.

Is it realistic? And is it relevant? Does growing your Facebook page realistically support your business’s objectives, vision, or values?

Don’t spread yourself too thin and expel extra energy on a platform where your potential customers are less inclined to engage. If you want user interaction taking place around your product, try focusing on the one or two channels that you know will garner attention, rather than stretching yourself out across multiple social networks just to maintain a presence.

Be realistic in terms of where your audience is and what they want. Remember that awareness is capturing your customer’s attention and advocacy is earning your customer’s testimonials. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and keep the journey in mind.

Timely  

What deadline will you set? What kind of timetable will ensure your goals will be achieved? Your goal should be time-sensitive to make sure you stay on top of everything in a realistic manner.

Give your goal a reasonable deadline. Remember to stay temporal and relevant so as to avoid burnout.

Keep in mind that a SMART goal is only “SMART” if the goal covers all letters in the spectrum - that is, it is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. If you only say that you want to grow your Instagram following by 200, you’re missing the timeliness factor. When do you want to do this by? Next week? Great! Let’s do it!

Without a timely deadline, you won’t be able to accurately determine how successful a strategy your social media campaign really was.

Integrating the SMART framework can work wonders for your business. Having good, clear goals can lead you to outcomes that keep both your customers and employees thrilled while ascending your company to unprecedented new heights.
For more on social media strategy, content creation, and marketing contact us at Bell + Ivy.