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Thinking S.M.A.R.T.

You have big plans for your social media. You want hundreds of followers. You want more likes. You want more page views, clicks, comments. Whatever it is that makes you smile when you sign in, you know you aren’t going to get there without some hard work. Putting these plans into motion, however, can be tricky. Like any resolution, it is hard to step back from those starry eyed expectations and organise your social media goals into something you can work towards. You may decide to create a social media marketing strategy, or bring on freelancers to help arrange deadlines. However, if you’re just starting out – or want a technique that can help you manage those short-term goals – then it’s time for you to think S.M.A.R.T.

What is S.M.A.R.T?

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that managers, project leaders, and entrepreneurs often use to make goal orientated decisions. What does it stand for?
  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Achievable
  • R - Realistic
  • T - Timely
Whenever you are setting out goals – be they for the next few months, or the next few years – taking these five elements into consideration will not only keep you focused, but will enable you to narrow down on what exactly is holding you back from making a fantastic social media presence.

S - Specific

The first step to a S.M.A.R.T goal is being specific with what you want. Having a large, overall goal is great, but to be more productive in reaching that goal, you need to break it down into smaller steps. For example, a vague statement of “I want to be a really popular on Instagram” is great for motivation, but is not a practical step that you can take. A more specific goal would take into consideration your analytics, as well as your current personal situation: “I want to have more followers by the end of the month” or “I want to double the amount of people who like my posts.” Research shows that by looking at your shortcomings, you are able to target areas of improvement directly, increasing your overall productivity.

M - Measurable

How will you know when you have reached your goal? If you have no way to objectively track your progress, or even when you have achieved the goal, then you may end up overworking yourself or, even worse, under-perform. When setting a S.M.A.R.T goal, be sure to attach a quantity to it to help you manage your progress. For example, “I will have fifty more followers” or “I will try and get 600 people to look at my Instagram.” Once you have achieved that goal, you can get the satisfying feeling of ticking it off your to-do list! Also, if you’re looking for some diary ideas to help you track your social media progress, check out these two Pinterest boards of bullet journals, by Sarah’sChapter and Christina77.

A - Achievable

Not only does the task have to be specific and measurable, but it should also be something you can achieve. Knowing your limitations will not only enable you to work around them, but will provide you with goals tailored to you as a person. In addition, it will help you recognise goals that are out of your control. For example, “I know I can post three times a day” is an achieveable goal that is in your hands. “Everyone will love my posts” is not an achievable goal, as the result lies outside of your control.

R - Realistic

Facing our weaknesses is one of our greatest challenges, but it is one of the most important things a person can do. Figuring out your resources, your limitations, being realistic when setting your goals will not only make them feel more achievable, but will also help to prepare for any limitations down the road. For example, you may want to post on Instagram three times a week, but you may have other practical considerations – what resources will you use? Do you have enough time? How can you make this goal practical?

T - Timely

Set yourself a deadline. If you don’t have a strict time frame to complete the task by, the deadline can stretch on forever! Whether it’s a long-term goal, or a short-term goal, set yourself a deadline to help the mind focus. And whatever you do, don’t extend the deadline unless you absolutely have to. For example, “I want to gain 300 followers by the third of September” is a deadline orientated goal. This gives you a set time frame to work within, as well as a way to focus yourself on a particular task, making a balanced and efficient work ethic!