In the first post of this series, Figuring the Why Before the How
, we figured out what resources you have, began thinking about what social tools are right for you, and reviewed the various assets you have at your disposal when implementing your social strategy. Now, let’s think about what you are trying to achieve and align those goals and objectives with those of your organization’s overall communication and knowledge mobilization strategies.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter and think through our social media goals and objectives. This is your chance to get as detailed as you wish. These goals and objectives will inform later stages in the development of your social media strategy. They will help you figure out what tools you will use, identify your audience, create your content, and determine what metrics to monitor.
You’ve set goals before. You’ve incorporated those goals into some sort of strategy before. You’ve developed plans to achieve your goals. And, you’ve even put that plan into action. This is exactly what you need to do in the second step of developing your social media strategy. It is time to put your analytic skills to work and create some actionable objectives that link to your goals.
First, let’s review a bit of terminology. Goals and objectives are two terms that are often confused when discussing strategy. They are two very different concepts:
- broader than objectives
- general intentions towards the attainment of something
- define an achievement or accomplishment
- not specific enough to be easily measured, intangible
- specific targets that help to achieve the goal
- clear, detailed, and measurable
- short time frame
In order to effectively hone your social media strategy, it is important to understand your overall goals and ensure that they work with your organization’s greater vision, mission, and goals. Then, think about the actions and tasks, or objectives, it takes to achieve those goals. Creating clear and detailed goals and objectives are key to measuring your success later on.
You may want to mobilize community around an idea, issue, or event. You may want to create buzz or excitement about your research. These general, overall goals define an achievement or accomplishment and are much too broad to be measured effectively. This is where we unpack the goals and determine the specific tasks, or objectives, will help us achieve those goals.
Consider how your objectives support or link to your goal. Let’s restate your objectives so that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed –> SMART!
Goal: Increase awareness about [research topic]
Objective: Increase awareness by 10% in the next six months using a targeted social media campaign to complement our traditional media activities.
Let’s continue the conversation:
- What method of goal setting do you use in your daily practice?
- How have you transformed your objectives into an actionable and measurable plan to achieve your goals?
- How have you reconciled your goals and objectives with those of your organization or institution?