There’s only one thing harder to reach than an impossible goal – and that’s a goal you haven’t set. This applies to most things in life, and social media is certainly no exception. If you want to have a successful social media campaign, it’s critical to have goals and SMART objectives.
Goals and Objectives – What’s the Dif?
A lot of people don’t even know the difference between goals and objectives, here’s a quick summary:
Goals: provide a general sense of what you want to achieve with your social media campaign. Examples of social media goals might be brand awareness, increasing traffic, or increasing your authority on a subject.
Objectives: While people generally don’t have too much difficulty ascertaining goals, they tend to have more trouble figuring out objectives. Objectives should be thought of as the small steps you need to take in order to reach your goals – hence it’s important that you get them right. The best ways to reach your goals efficiently is by using SMART objectives.
What are SMART Objectives?
SMART objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Let’s delve a bit further into each of these:
Specific: Your objective should be well defined and focussed. List exactly what you want to see happen in fine detail – being vague will leave to vague results.
Measurable: If you can’t track and measure the results of your objective it’s pretty much useless, as you’ll never be able to determine the return you get from it. Not only is it bad practise not to measure, how can you convince your clients/overseers what you’re doing is worthwhile is you’ve got no evidence of the results?
Attainable: While it’s important that you need to stretch to reach your objective, make sure it’s not impossible, or else you’re more likely to become disheartened and give up on it.
Realistic: Make sure achieving your objective is realistic from a resources point of view. Even though social media campaigns can be implemented at little monetary cost – the time required can itself be too much for some businesses, particularly small ones.
Time bound: Don’t set your objectives then let them float around for months. Tie them down with a set time for completion, this will provide you with both a sense of urgency and motivation to get them done.
It’s not too late to set SMART objectives
Just because your social media campaign is already under way doesn’t mean it’s too late to implement some SMART objectives. Think of it this way, which would you prefer: a week or so of inconvenience while you take time out to assess your goals and set SMART objectives so that you can start seeing return from your social media campaign now: or continue going around in circles and wasting time on activities that you’re not even sure you’re getting anything out of?
If you’re having trouble figuring out what are appropriate goals and smart objectives for your social media campaign – don’t just give up on it, get some help. Not only are they the foundation of your social media activities, they’re also your blue print for building – so it’s vital to get them set properly. A good Social Media Consultant should be able to help you figure out what’s appropriate for your business in less than a day (depending on the size and complexity of your business) – and set you on the right path to achieving your goals in an efficient and effective manner.
Guest post by Daniel Smith, Social Media Consultant at Propaganda House. Tweet him @propagandahouse