Setting and measuring social media ... the SMART way

How do you know how you’re doing online? Online campaigns rarely run in isolation. Online tactics, such as your website and social media, are only some of the tools in the communicator's tool box. 

Also, web and social media channels offer unparalleled amounts of data about their performance. This can be both beneficial and problematic. 

What sort of goals are reasonable for online tactics, and how do you measure them? The SMART way! 

First, think of objectives as a way to measure your goals. Your objectives should be SMART: 


One goal may have multiple objectives measuring its success. It lets you figure out what parts are working and what parts aren't. 


If your objective is missing a number or percentage, chances are it's not measurable. You need a construction like "increase ... by [# or %]" for your objective to be measurable. 


Measuring the ROI of social media is an ongoing challenge. To help you do this, you need to tie your outcome to something you can actually do online to move the needle. If your organization is trying to raise money, your SMART objective can't simply be "increase revenue by [#] this year" because you'll be doing other things offline to meet that goal. A better one would be "increase online purchases coming from Facebook by [#] this year." That's tied to social media.


This is the hardest. Unless you have benchmarks, "realistic" is relative. If you don't have a benchmark, set a short time period so you can reassess and adjust. If you want 300 newsletter sign-ups in a month,  and you get 30 in the first week, you'll know you need to adjust your objective, or input more resources. 


Your objective should include a time period or interval when measurement will take place. 

Here is the whole slide presentation from the CPRS workshop on this topic: