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S.M.A.R.T. Goals in Social Media

S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) have been a staple of management and team leadership since the concept was introduced in the 1980s.

The mnemonic applies equally well to social media management, especially when it comes to data analysis and strategy setting.

The following short examples illustrate how you can use S.M.A.R.T. goals to improve your social media strategy. 

Specific
I want my fans to engage more
I want to increase my Page's People Talking About This number

"Engage more" is a nebulous, relative phrase. It could mean more people liking posts, an increase in comments, or any number of "engagement" measures. Instead, specify what metrics you will be using to measure your goals.

NOTE: The new Facebook Insights will allow us to drill down further and identify even more specific engagement metrics.

Measurable
I want my fans to engage more
I want to increase People Talking About This by 30%  

In addition to identifying what metrics to use, set a specific, measurable number. Making your goals measurable will help you know whether or not they have been achieved.

Attainable
I want 10,000 followers
I want 500 more than my closest competitor

Picking a pie-in the sky amount of Page Likes or blog or Twitter followers may look good on paper, but it's important to be realistic. When setting goals, do your research and know your market to make your goals attainable.

Relevant
I want 5,000 Page Likes
I want 50% more engagement

Given factors like EdgeRank, increasing the number of Page Likes isn't as relevant in today's social media environment as engaging users. Making your goals relevant will ensure that reaching them provides an actual benefit to you.

Time-Bound
I want 50% more engagement 
I want 50% more engagement by the end of next quarter
 
Setting a specific time-frame for your goals gives you a deadline and helps you keep on track.
 
This method of goal setting is one way, among many, of creating clear goals to help you define the results you want. Developing S.M.A.R.T. goals will create a concrete structure to help keep your social media strategy on track and producing results for your business and your clients.

Have you used S.M.A.R.T. or other goal setting tools when outlining your social media strategy? Do you think this style of goal setting is useful in the social media sphere? How could it be improved?

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