Do You Have SMART Goals?Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SMART goals drive business success.

SMART goals are the key element of your marketing strategy and form the basis for every tactic employed by the firm.

But, are your goals SMART?

SMART is an acronym for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

In the next 4 months (timely), we plan to create a Facebook FanPage, corporate Twitter account, and post 3 times per week to our company blog (specific, attainable, realistic) adding 100 Fans, 250 Followers, and 10 subscribers to our RSS feed (measurable, challenging).

Having Smart Goals Isn’t Enough

SMART goals should fit with the company mission.

A mission is tied directly to who you are as a company. For instance, my mission for Hausman and Associates is to blend marketing and social media to provide superior returns for my clients. From this mission, I develop goals that fit. While I don’t want to share specific goals, let’s just say I have goals for building my reputation in the areas of marketing and social media (which brings in more clients), learning new skills related to marketing and social media (so I can provide better service to my clients), and building my own social networks (to demonstrate my ability).

I also have goals related to building my associate network, since I recognize this is an efficient and economical way to help my clients. By building a network of skilled practitioners from graphic arts, web design, SEO, and related fields, I’m able to put together dynamic teams with just the right skills to help clients. Through a network, I can find experts who are available right now, without having to pay a full-time staff. It’s a somewhat unique business model and it works superbly. I invite you to join my network through my Social Media Marketing Tribe on Facebook.

Short-term Goals should relate to long-term Goals

After you’ve set up your long-term goals — where you see your company going — you need short-term goals that’ll get you there. You can’t run a business just looking at long-term goals, because they’re not specific enough to guide firm action. So, you need to break down your long-term goals into short-term tactics that guide daily action. So, if my long-term goal is to establish a reputation in marketing and social media, my short-term goals help build my reputation — things like maintaining this blog, answering questions on Quora, speaking at educational events, etc.

If your short-term goals don’t match your long-term goals, you’re just spinning your wheels. And, be careful about getting sidetracked with projects that don’t match your goals.

Don’t be too rigid

OK, I just said to avoid projects that don’t fit your goals and now I’m going to take that back — a little.

Mindless adherence to your goals is also pretty silly. Passing up a golden opportunity because you never included it in your original goals is nonsensical. Just be careful that the new opportunity fits with your mission and that you create a SMART goal to encompass the new opportunity.

Things change over time and you need to be prepared to make changes to your goals.

You need to measure progress in reaching your goals.

Goals help you know what measures (metrics) to look at. If your goal is to increase sales, then measure sales over time to see if you’re reaching your goal. But, if your goal is to build a reputation, then using sales as a measure isn’t right. You should be looking at reputation metrics, such as Klout, mentions, new subscribers, etc. because these metrics are surrogates for reputation.

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