If you are considering a long-term cross-network engagement, and you’re ready to formulate your strategy, you will need to clearly define some goals. How do you set goals that reflect what you want your brand to become? How do you set objectives that guide you in your later strategy? In marketing, your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. The following sections will lead you through the process of SMART goal setting.
Clearly define what you need to do. Your objectives should be specific so that you will know exactly how (and if) you’ve achieved your goal. In social media marketing, your goal of “getting new subscribers” may not be specific enough; instead, you may want to settle on a desired number of subscribers. Your desire to get 1,000 Twitter followers is more specific, but at the same time, you may want to ensure that those followers are relevant to your industry.
You can’t manage something that you can’t measure, and you should establish concrete criteria for measurement. You can establish a benchmark for your desired goal and aim to achieve it over time. If your goal is to get increased page views, you may want to analyze your hosting statistics on a regular basis. If you are looking for 200 more LinkedIn connections, you should know exactly how many connections you have to start.
Your goals may be lofty, but they should also be attainable. If you have only earned 500 subscribers to your e-zine over the course of 5 years, a goal of 500,000 subscribers in 5 months is probably not attainable (nor is it realistic). As part of setting attainable goals, you need to have a firm belief that you personally can achieve the goal.
Can you establish these goals with the resources at your disposal? Not all attainable goals are realistic. Realistic goals look at what’s available to you today, whereas attainable goals look at what may be possible. Your goals should be doable, but you should still set the bar high enough so that you will feel victory when you achieve success.
Goal setting also requires you to set deadlines for yourself. If you say, “I’m aiming for 5,000 new subscribers to my blog over the next year,” you may not necessarily feel motivated to complete the task. Once the year is up, lack of motivation may cause you to push the deadline even further. Give yourself a specific milestone date. It is a lot more important for you to set a deadline for “three months from today.” Now get started!
Learn more about this topic from The New Community Rules.
The social web provides businesses with a largely untapped marketing channel for products and services -- the trick is knowing how to take advantage of it. With this book, you'll understand how social web technologies work, and learn the most practical and effective ways to reach the people who frequent these websites. You'll get intelligent advice and strategies -- including what works and what doesn't.