What are SMART goals? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Building SMART goals, and measuring progress towards them quarter over quarter, helps marketers of all kinds support professional growth and development, while improving brand performance. The process helps you laser focus, prioritize, boil it down to the one strategy, if you had to choose only one, to place your bet on.
Hint hint: Any SMART goal worth having doesn’t take an hour, or even one day, to come up with. You don’t want to cram for this one. SMART goals require a lot of thinking, brainstorming, list-making, and synthesizing of all the knowledge and data you have access to. The journey is just as important as the destination.
But the ever-evolving social marketing space, and the varied demands placed on social marketers daily, can make putting together your SMART goal a challenging—some might say brain-breaking—process. How do you choose one SMART goal when a million things need to get done?
Well, maybe that’s part of the problem.
By the end of this blog post, you’ll wonder no more.
Step 1: Be clear about your goals & objectives
Before you can develop SMART goals for yourself and/or your team, you should be clear about your goals and objectives. Your goals and objectives are either:
- Up to you to come up with
- Probably some mix of all of the above
Whatever your goals and objectives are or where they come from, make sure you have clarity on them. If you have to set up some meetings to achieve clarity, get to scheduling. Your larger organizational, marketing, and career growth goals are what you’re working backwards from as you put together your SMART goals for this quarter (SMART goals should change on a quarterly basis as your organizational context and professional priorities evolve, too).
Example goal themes could include:
- Achieving and/or exceeding KPI specific goals
- Enhancing stronger communication and leadership skills
- Stronger prioritization and/or focus in project output
- Developing experience and/or expertise within new areas in marketing
Step 2: What SMART goals for social look like
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you set your SMART goals.
Step 3: Defining YOUR SMART goals for social
Now that you know which questions to ask to ensure that your goal is SMART, put together a doc that includes the following:
- Today’s date
- Date by which you plan to achieve your goal
- Your goal in one sentence
- Specific: What exactly will you accomplish?
- Measurable: How will you (and others) know when you have reached your goal?
- Attainable: Is attaining this goal realistic with effort and commitment? Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? If not, how will you get them?
- Relevant: Why is this goal important to you? Hone in on why it matters.
- Time-bound: When will you achieve this goal?
- The benefits of achieving your goal
Step 4: Set up your measurement & accountability plan
Hold yourself accountable. A goal is meaningless if you’re not checking in on it. Your SMART goal doc should include:
- Network of Support & Accountability. When working towards achieving a goal, it is helpful to have a one or two people whom you agree to check in with on a regular basis. Keeping others informed on your progress can be a useful external motivator! Who can you can share your goal with?
- Talk with one or two individuals who will genuinely want to see you succeed in achieving your goal.
- Explain to them why achieving this goal is important to you.
- Ask if they will support you and hold you accountable in reaching your goal.
- Select and agree upon future dates/times you will report updates on your progress to team members outside of management.
- Frequency of updates on progress. Will you share updates weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?
- Agreed upon method of communication. Will you share updates face-to-face in a meeting, over the phone, via Slack or whichever internal messaging system you use, via personal email, or via team email?
Step 5: Build your action plan
What specific steps must you take to achieve your goal? This action plan may just get you started. Feel free to create a more detailed step-by-step plan or build on this.
Step 6: Identifying your obstacles and challenges
What obstacles stand in the way of you achieving your goal?
Setting SMART goals can both boost your brand performance and keep your campaigns focused and on-track. Download our guide for a quick reference while you create your SMART goals, and be sure to let us know your tips in the comments!