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What does a SMART objective look like?

This article gives learners some tips for setting SMART objectives and including them in your social media strategy. Let's explore.

By making your objective SMART, you are turning something like this: “Get more people coming to our free business events” into something like this: “Drive 500 event registrations, at a maximum cost-per-acquisition of £11, by 31st August”.

Quantify your goals

While both of these objectives tell a team or person what to do, and can ultimately achieve the same outcome, the SMART version gives very clear parameters in which to work.

By quantifying the goal we get a sense of how much work there is to do, and will be able to gauge progress towards that.

Adding a specific detail such as a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) gives another important parameter in which to work – a budgetary one. And a deadline provides a timeframe in which to plan our activity.

Tips for Goal Setting

Describe outcomes not activities – rather than aiming to ‘Livestream our Friday business surgery’, define a solid outcome such as ‘attract 500 weekly viewers of our live-streamed business surgeries’.

Avoid objectives which maintain a status quo, such as ‘keep publishing on Facebook every day’. These are unlikely to inspire and distract from your more ambitious, important goals.

Weed out any ambiguity in the wording of your objectives. It should be clear to anyone whether or not that goal was achieved, without the need for subjective opinion or judgement.

Create activity reports

Further to the above, ensure the results of the activity aiming for your objective are freely available within the business.

For instance, if you set an objective around social engagement, create a universally readable report at the end of the timeframe and put it in a place where employees can access it e.g. a shared server or Dropbox, without reliance on you to offer up information (or still be there).

If you’d like to learn more about SMART goals, check out the full online course, from the Institute of Data and Marketing, below.

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Understanding Social Media Strategy

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