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Is Your Social Media Marketing Plan SMART?

by Jennifer Beever on October 16, 2012

SMART planTo succeed in social media marketing, your goals must be SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Today most businesses have gotten beyond the question of whether or not to have a presence in social media. They have moved on to questions like, “How do we do this?”

Just as with marketing as a whole, it helps to have a strategy and a plan for execution. The plan is essential to successful, consistent execution, because there are a lot of moving parts in social media. In your social media plan, make sure social media goals are SMART. What does SMART mean when it comes to social media?

Specific.  The plan should identify what will be done, where you will do it, how, who will do it, when and how much it will cost. Where are your target audiences? LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter? What tasks do you have to do to have a presence? Who has the skills to do it? How many hours a week will it take? What will it cost?

Measurable. How will you measure each activity? 150 followers on Facebook? 100 followers of your LinkedIn Company Page? 500 Twitter followers? 5 or more comments per blog post? Traffic to your website from social media sites? Conversion rates? All of these are examples of things you can measure in your social media marketing program.

Attainable. Marketers need to ask if it is possible to attain results from social media marketing. Again, are your audiences on social media? Do they engage there? Do they research products and services they want to buy on social media? Are your measurable goals achievable? Do you have the resources and budgets to conduct the campaigns you have planned?

Realistic. How realistic is it that the business can spend the time and money to implement social media correctly? Take business blogs, for example. Blogs take time, inspiration and writing skills. They yield great results if done well, but there is nothing worse than getting excited about reading a business blog and finding the last entry was posted several months ago.

Timely. Can the social media marketing activity get done in a reasonable amount of time, so that the business can realize results? Will the activity take too much time, so that the business needs to look at other alternatives to achieving objectives?

There are variations on the definition for this acronym, including “relevant” instead of realistic, “timebound” instead of timely and many others – see PMP Duncan Haughey’s blog post SMART Goals for more variations.

Is your social media marketing plan SMART?

Contact Jennifer Beever at New Incite for help in developing your SMART social media marketing plan. We provide setup, training, and outsource social media marketing services.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie Lembo October 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Also its important to remember that social media marketing does not generally sell products right away, it is a longer-term strategy that takes a consistent commitment of time to produce results.

Jennifer Beever October 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

Valerie, thanks for the comment – you are so right. I would say in the long term, content through blogging and messaging on social media can attracts the right prospects (3-6 months +). In the short term (0-6 months), investing in tactics like email marketing, direct mail, trade shows, webinars, speaking at conferences, building relationships with referral sources can yield results. Either way, there is no silver bullet. Unless you know of one…? 😉

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