How to Set SMART Goals for Social Media, Marketing and Digital Campaigns: with Free Template for Download!






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How to Set SMART Goals for Social Media, Marketing and Digital Campaigns: with Free Template for Download!

We’ve all heard about SMART goals. But how do we go about creating some for our Middle East-based brand if we’re in, say, the hospitality, real estate or luxury industries?

Also, is there something beyond the typical SMART formula to set goals for marketing, social media or digital campaigns when Marketing in the Middle East?

To recap:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Timely

Specific means don’t be vague; don’t suppose, guess, or hope for. Define. Exactly. What you want to achieve.
Identify how you will achieve your goal and who will be involved. If you can quantify your goal, then even better. Example: Increase website visits by 20%.

Measurable. By quantifying your goal, you’ll know how you’re coming along towards hitting that key performance indicator (KPI). Measurable also means identifying the tool you’ll use to measure that KPI – website visits can easily be tracked in Google Analytics.


Dwight Schrute from Scranton, Pennsylvania received two ‘Employee of the Month’ plaques in lieu of a pay raise.

Attainable. Sure, your CEO & Chief Strategist will probably award you ‘Employee of the Month’ if you set a goal of increasing website visits by 250%. But would that be SMART? For one, it’s a brown plaque that’s thrown on an off-white wall in an otherwise non-descript office space. Look at Dwight. And second, you want to be sure you can hit that marketing goal without burning out. So, no, 250% is not SMART. But 20% in 3 months probably is.

Relevant. Maybe an associated SMART goal of yours (associated to the goal of website visits) is to grow your customer base from 500 to 800 over the span of a year. However, if you’re only selling limited edition Piaget Altiplanos, you’ll probably have more customers lining up than you’ll have luxury watches to sell. Set a goal that makes sense.

Timely. Armed with a Piaget Altiplano or not, you’ll want to set a deadline for achieving your goal. This will keep you on track and keep you motivated as you make that final dash towards the finish line. Increasing website visits by 20% in 3 months/by June 30 2018 are good examples of time-bound digital campaigns.

Thinking Beyond SMART
We read this article by Michael J. Motta and were inspired.

However, we’ve taken the liberty to switch up acronyms and focus.

What he’s termed SMART-EST, we’ve termed SMART-ESS. As in, ‘Show us your SMARTESS’.

Here’s what ‘ESS’ stands for:
E – ‘Effectively under your control’. Nothing is ever completely under your control. That said, you or your team have more control over some things than others do, and so you want to set goals for those things. Example: If you are responsible for social media, you can’t set a SMART goal that is focused on all website visits. Why? Because the sources for website visits extend far beyond just social media – people can come to your website via search, organic, email, paid and blog referral, to name a few. You can, however, set a SMART goal to increase social media-sourced visits to the website by 15% by the end of the next quarter.

S – Synergy. Two or more forces pushing in the same direction is more impactful than if the force was singular. Dharmesh Shah and Rand Fishkin, drawing from Elon Musk, have addressed this point when talking about aligning people on a team so that productivity is increased. When SMART goals overlap, that’s when you get more bang for your buck. There are two ways this can happen:

1. By creating goals that support one another: ‘increase social media-sourced website visits by 15% by 30 June’ supports the goal to ‘increase website visits by 20% by 30 June’
2. By creating separate goals that work together to achieve a bigger goal. Therefore, ‘Up-skill content strategy staff with 50 hours of training by 1 May’ works in synergy with ‘increase social media-sourced website visits by 15% by 30 June’ to achieve the larger SMART goal to ‘increase website visits by 20% by 30 June’

S – Supple. Rules are guideposts. They are not meant to bind or box you in. Stuff happens and sometimes you are forced to be flexible to modify, amend or scrap SMART goals. So what if you take an extra week to achieve the ‘increase website visits’ goal, or if research tells you more people are completing purchases on your app than on your website, forcing you to scrap the ‘increase website visits’ goal. No biggie. Be supple and agile in setting goals.

Here are some sample SMART Goals to implement for your UAE, KSA, MENA-based brands in the Hospitality, Luxury and Real Estate industries

SMART Real Estate:
By 30 April, hire a licensed team assistant to handle administrative tasks and answer initial property inquiries.

SMART Hospitality:
Drive 10,000 Unique Web Visitors to our restaurants and spa booking pages via social media by the end of 2018.

SMART Luxury:
Achieve an email open rate of 35% for our rewards programme members by September 30, 2018.

Are you ready to set your own SMART goals for your marketing efforts? Download our free SMART Goals Template. You don’t need to be a genius to use it – simply define your goal, fill in the current relevant statistic (for website visits, for example), and the template will automatically calculate a goal that is SMART.


Trick question. 

SMART Goal – Yes or no? “Go live on planet Mars by December 31, 2025”.

Hell yeah! … That is, if you’re Elon Musk, or a very close friend of his.

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