What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals and how do you follow this as an outline?
Starting with the basics, here’s what it means:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Relevant
T - Time Bound
SMART goals are also not just for content. You can focus SMART goals directly into your social media strategy as well as your content strategy.
Let’s dive into how this way of goal setting can be relevant, helpful, and a great way to measure success.
Starting with ‘S’ for Specific.
What are specific goals and how do you know you’re being specific enough? You can have general goals to increase engagement and following, but those will always be goals.
This is where you get specific. You want to increase engagement, but how? Do you want to increase the average number by post or by total engagement per week?
Do you want to grow your following but measure specifically by the total you gain on a weekly basis? Do you want to increase the average number of followers per week and track by the month? Any of these options can work, you just need to choose one or one similar.
But what’s the point? Setting specific goals helps you understand your audience, how content is really performing, what you should be posting more of, and how frequently you should be posting.
A few additional examples of specific goals would be:
Increase shares by a specific number or percentage
Increase positive feedback on content (measured through comments and DM’s connected to specific posts)
Increase growth by let’s say 10% per week
Post 2 videos per week
And yes, you can have a goal to post more of a specific type of content, whether for testing reasons or due to previous positive results and seeing the need to post more of that type.
So, what do these goals tell you?
Learn what content receives more shares over other types.
Addresses negative feedback and helps you understand issues you may not have realized need to be fixed.
What factors are increasing growth - because you’re posting more videos, a specific type of content, or content is being shared more with people not yet following, etc.
Although this is just the start of SMART goal setting, this is why you start with getting specific.
Next up, ‘M’ for Measurable.
What are measurable goals?
Measurable goals are points that you can track, report, and see success or failure on. We can even already connect the first 2 parts of the SMART guide! Specific goals are measurable, trackable, and reportable and you want to make sure they are set that way.
The key to this is to -
Set goals to gradually keep growing and pushing for better and better results. These should be pushing the boundaries but staying away from what you know you can’t reach in a specific timeframe.
Don’t set untrackable goals!
Only set goals that you are in control of. What does this mean? If you have to rely on someone else to reach the goal, remove it. This sets you up for failure because it’s not within your control.
Don’t overestimate reachable goals and focus on quantitative, not qualitative.
‘A’ for Achievable.
First, we need to understand our data points (follower growth, reach, and engagement), how you hit them, what content connects well, and build your content around success.
Again, don’t focus on what you need from other people. Put this in your own hands! You can only control what YOU can do to reach a goal, not what you need OTHER people to do for you to reach that goal.
Also, acknowledge what resources are available to you. For example: Canva - for creative assets (better your design skills), an editing software for videos and reels, Grammarly for help with copywriting, and the list can go on!
Tap into your talents and do what you can with what you have. Also, make sure to note what not to do:
Don’t set end goals instead of steps
Don’t compare yourself to your competitors and set goals to beat them.
You’re only competition is yourself. Be better than you were yesterday, last week, and last month.
‘R’ for Relevant.
What are the relevant goals for you?
What are relevant goals for your strategy?
This is important when considering where you want to see success. This is also connected to your role or position. If something is not relevant to your position or relevant to the work you’re doing, you don’t need that as a goal.
Why would you have a goal that does nothing to demonstrate your role's importance? However, you can connect a COMPANY goal to your role and demonstrate the impact you made on that overall goal for the company. This would be connected to relevance!
Here’s a few examples:
Where can you connect and align?
Connecting and aligning can be with your values, your mission, who your company is, what you want to see happening for your company, or aligning content with campaigns.
You just need to connect the dots between your brand, your strategy, your content, and your goals.
What is your biggest area of opportunity?
What areas do you want to see improve? You can connect this back to your goals as well. This is relevant because you want to see improvement. Seeing improvement is creating a goal.
What success can you build on?
You might find that certain areas are doing very well. Maybe a specific type of content or specific topic receives a lot of shares. You can build on this success and build this into your goal set. Set a new goal where you begin pushing that goal post to continue increasing shares. Work on building and improving that content to see what you can get out of it.
These are all examples of relevant goals, but a couple specific ones that we want to highlight is focusing on areas of opportunity and focus on the platforms you’re honing in on rather than spreading yourself too thin.
It’s better to have a few very successful channels rather than having every platform but not ideal content.
Now, last on the list is ‘T’ for Time-Bound.
Time-bound is not meant to restrain, it is meant to be a part of planning. Timing also contributes to relevancy - linking all the way back to the first part of SMART goal setting.
As an example, maybe you’re supporting a holiday campaign around Christmas time. You are, of course, slightly restrained here simply because a holiday campaign is specifically centered around a holiday. You won’t be talking about December holidays in the Spring.
However, what it doesn’t restrain is ALL of your content. You won’t be ONLY talking about December holidays to help support the ad campaign. Your content outside of that theme, therefore, is not restrained to the timeframe. But, you can tie in your other content to have a wintery or seasonal theme, which does create more time-bound content.
Overall, when we are referring to time-bound, we are really referring to supporting campaigns, holidays, seasonal themes, and similar content. Essentially, the point of SMART goal setting is meant to tie everything together and just like the name, is the smart way to set your goals!
This was a lot of content to cover and we are always open to questions! Please, if you have any questions, leave a comment. If you found this helpful, like this post! If you feel you could use additional help with restructuring your goals and using this approach, book a consultation!
If you’d like more information or even a whole article dedicated to examples, let me know!