Business owners have long been using SMART goals to establish a plan for how to grow their business. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely have helped businesses owners for years. Now as more business owners shift to social media marketing instead of traditional marketing, we should re-think how we view SMART goals.
For business owners unfamiliar with SMART goals and goal setting, this is an imperative step to preparing for a marketing campaign. Social media marketing has many ways of interacting with customers and targeting new customers. Business owners have more information and control over their marketing campaigns. Not using SMART goals is likely to lead to under achievement with the marketing campaign.
Here’s how SMART has changed, and how you can use SMART to improve your campaign:
The need for specific goals has increased because of how many mediums exist. Yes, ultimately you want your campaign to translate to more sales and increased revenue, but this takes time. Social Media allows for a business to build up their brand and communicate directly with customers. Would you like to promote a product through social media? Or are you using social media for customer support? Social Media has allowed for businesses to get creative with their specific goal. Whereas with traditional marketing the goal was typically geared towards revenue figures.
Social media marketing has made measuring more accessible to the business owner. With traditional marketing, reporting is not readily available to the business owner. A business owner has to receive the information from the company they market through. Not saying that these figures are inaccurate, but a business owner was not able to see the full picture of how their advertisement did. Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Klout, Facebook Analytics give business owners more insight into their campaigns. A business owner can see if they are achieving the desired goals. Setting up these tools to reflect the specific goal allows for the owner to learn about their campaign sooner rather later.
The increase in measurable analytics has made reaching a goal more attainable. As I mentioned before, goals can vary from the traditional increase of sales. Since more detailed information is available for the business owner to track, the owner can set more attainable goals. Business owners can also adjust the strategy to reach the goal earlier in the process. The lack of information available about traditional marketing campaigns does not allow a business owner to make adjustments earlier in the process.
One of the best measures of a realistic goal is the price. Remember, we are trying to maximize revenue and marketing is a cost that can cut into those profit margins. The largest benefit of social media marketing compared to traditional marketing is that the cost is lower with social media. A lower cost makes achieving the ultimate goal of more revenue more attainable. Lyfe Marketing compared the cost of reaching 1,000 people across marketing platforms.
Source: Lyfe Marketing
Another adjustment that owners have to make to their SMART goals when using social media marketing compared to traditional marketing is the change of timeliness. A social media campaign can range in time based on the goals, and the change in time wont impact the cost as much as it would for a traditional campaign. Maybe you want to build anticipation for a new product, so you use a 6-month campaign. Or there have issues with an existing product and you run a 1-month campaign to answer customer service questions directly. With traditional marketing, a 1-month campaign on radio might not reach the full audience but a 6-month campaign could be too costly or a radio station might not offer short-term ad space. Social media has created the possibility of an instant short-term campaign, and has not interrupted long-term campaigns.
Establishing your SMART goals before starting a campaign is a necessary step to maximizing returns. When switching to social media marketing from traditional marketing considering these differences in how you define your goals to help get the best experience from social media possible. If you are starting from step 1 on a new campaign and want more help, check out this post from The Social Ms: Starting Your Campaign
Hubspot also provides a template for setting up your SMART goals: SMART Goal Templates
Category: Social Media Marketing 101, Social Media Marketing 201