Why is it Smart to Set SMART Goals?

Where and How to Start

As someone who has never looked at data for any of my social media accounts (because, well, I never had a reason to), I would have no idea where to start if someone asked me to. If someone asked me to set a goal based on this data, I wouldn’t have known where to begin. This video, (757) How to Set SMART Goals – Sam Hirbod – YouTube, from Sam Hirbod does a fantastic job at explaining how to use your data to set SMART goals. Spoiler alert- it’s not as daunting as you would think!

Base every decision on data

This was the number one piece of advice that Sam discussed more than once in his how-to video. He says to look at the data you have available using services such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, AdWord, and Kissmetrics. I’ve heard of Google Analytics and HubSpot but have never used them or had an interest in using them…until now. AdWord is actually a part of Google and is free to use along with Google Analytics and HubSpot. However, Kissmetrics looks like you have to pay a monthly subscription to use their services.  

Before you start analyzing your data, Sam suggests focusing on the essential parts of the data having to do with services, marketing, and sales. Services are what attract your visitors via website traffic. Marketing would be considered the leads, which are how many visitors have signed up for your event or service, and customers are those who paid for the event or service, which are your sales. These are your three essentials when first starting your SMART goals.

Map it out

Using the numbers of visitors, leads, and customers from your data you’ve gathered, estimate the number of new customers generated for your client. Divide the numbers from each other to produce a percentage. I put together a basic chart of what this could look like, similar to what Sam had in his presentation.

Company Analytics
Visitors per Month20000    
    Visitors- to- Leads0.70%
Leads per Month140    
    Leads- to- Customers8.57%
Customers per Month12    

Knowing this information allows you to look at where your strengths and weaknesses are; importantly what you need to work on to meet your goals. And think about it- you wouldn’t even know this information if you hadn’t looked at your data.


So what does SMART stand for and why is it so important? Sam points out that no matter what industry you are in, it is important to set goals to measure where your successes and opportunities are, otherwise you may not know where or if they exist. SMART Goals helps to set realistic expectations to keep you and your client on the same page. Below is a list explaining what SMART stands for

And here is an example of a company’s SMART goal

Common Mistakes

Some of the mistakes that Sam sees with people using SMART goals is thinking that analyzing data is difficult. It does not have to be overwhelming. Remember to focus on the three essentials. You can always go further in-depth with your data in the future.

Another mistake- it’s not enough to set SMART goals; you also have to be proactive by putting the time and effort into working towards those goals.  

Be clear with your client about responsibilities. Is your client publishing the campaign you both set goals for, or are you? Not knowing this could make your plans go south real quick! Sam mentions a situation he knows of where this miscommunication happened to a client where the campaign wasn’t published and they didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Sam encourages people to not be afraid to set goals. Some people don’t like setting goals because they are afraid they are going to fail. NO ONE likes that feeling, right? I know I’ve been there before. He suggests to not get hung up over this and that failing could be a good thing. It allows for you to learn from your mistakes and it shows you where to realign your expectations.  

Three Success Factors

Overall, Sam gives these three pieces of advice to help make your SMART goals a success. First, base your decisions on data. Like I mentioned in the beginning, Sam brings this up more than once so I’d say it is pretty important. He also said some people, companies, and organizations are not looking at their data and setting SMART goals. It is surprising that in this day we’re living in, organizations aren’t taking advantage of these resources to help grow their business.

Second piece of advice, stay proactive. There’s no point in setting goals if no one is going to put in the work. Also, keeping track or your data before, during, and after a campaign is essential to identify problem areas that can potentially be fixed before it’s too late.

Lastly, keep your client in the loop. Transparency of data, the plan, and the results and having that open communication will keep your client confident they can trust you and potentially will want to continue doing business with you.

One thought on “Why is it Smart to Set SMART Goals?

  1. I really enjoyed reading this blog post, Rachael. I also struggled with understanding smart goals and how to create them based on the metrics analyzed. I feel as though the video by Sam Hirbod as well as the resources provided by the instructor helped a lot in the understanding of how a proper S.M.A.R.T Goal should be created. The information and process may seem confusing or overwhelming to most business or brand owners which may turn them away from the simple understanding of a process necessary to succeed on a social media platform. Which a lot of businesses just end up not doing it at all! It’s crazy to think how many small to medium-sized businesses don’t actually set logical and informed smart goals based on their metrics. I’m excited to be able to utilize these skills in the field at an upcoming marketing job, and hopefully, it will feel rewarding to be able to revamp a potentially struggling strategy. Would you say that based on the typing of this blog post and the video by Sam, that you feel more comfortable analyzing/creating S.M.A.R.T goals?


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