SMART goals are one of the most popular frameworks for setting goals and objectives for businesses, with each letter within the acronym representing a word (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
What are SMART goals?
SMART goals are one of the most popular frameworks for setting goals and objectives for businesses. Each letter within the SMART acronym stands for a word (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) that is meant to be a guide to how you should set your goal; as an example, “T” stands for “Time-bound,” which means that the goal you set should have a deadline.
It’s a widely used system in social media marketing because it is easy to understand, to act on, and to follow up with. Plus, most will say that this framework gives better results and helps businesses develop effective social media strategies.
Peter Drucker, the founder of modern business management, often is credited for coming up with the SMART goal-setting framework, and the specific mnemonics can be traced back to mentions as early as 1981.
What does SMART goals stand for?
SMART goal is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Here's a deeper look into what each word actually represents within this framework:
- Specific: The more specific you can be with writing down your objective, the easier it will be to clearly see what it is you need to accomplish. Often, answering the five “W” questions—Who, What, Where, Why, and Which—can help you achieve greater specificity.
- Measurable: Can your goal be measured? How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?
- Attainable: Another way of putting this is “realistic.” Is it possible to achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself?
- Relevant: For businesses, a relevant goal means that it has the potential to impact your business objectives, vision, or values.
- Time-bound: Give your goal a deadline.
Here’s a free tutorial on how to use SMART goals for your business or yourself.
What is an example of a SMART goal?
As an example, if you want to set a goal to grow your Instagram account’s followers with the SMART goal-setting framework, it would look something like this:
- Specific: Who? What? Why? “I would like to grow our Instagram account’s followers because Instagram is a key social media platform that we can learn about and help others grow along with us.”
- Measurable: To make it measurable, you’d choose a specific number that represents by how much you’d want to increase your follower growth
- Attainable: Make sure the number is realistic and easily reachable
- Relevant: Does growing your Instagram followers support your business’s objectives, vision, or values?
- Time-bound: By what day will you achieve this goal? You should set a deadline.
Based on this framework, your SMART goal would look something like this:
“Increase Instagram followers by 20% within the next three months by creating engaging content and running targeted social media campaigns.”
Here are 5 other examples of goals you could set as a business owner who wants to grow their brand on social media:
- Publish an Instagram Reel that gets over 50,000 impressions within the first day of being live
- Increase Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok followers by 15% within the next quarter by publishing more engaging Instagram Reels, Twitter Threads, and TikTok videos and running social media giveaways.
- Increase blog traffic from Instagram by 20% within the next quarter by posting regular Instagram Stories that promote our blog posts with a link to each article.
- Create a Pinterest content calendar for the next three months and post at least four times a week to improve brand reach by 30%.
- Increase Twitter and Instagram comment rate by 20% within the next three months by encouraging audience participation through questions, polls, and surveys.
What are the benefits of using SMART goals?
There are many benefits to using SMART goals for yourself, your business, and within your team, but some of the key reasons are:
- It keeps you focused on your efforts
- It keeps you and your team accountable
- It helps give you a sense of direction
- It helps you to monitor your progress
- It helps you actually achieve your goals more effectively
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