Everyone talks about goals. It’s well known that setting goals help you achieve what you want, yet very few people know how to reach goals effectively. After all, if we all knew how to achieve our goals, there wouldn’t be so many articles about how to achieve our goals. The answers would just fall into our laps.
Setting social media goals is just as important as any other goal. If you don’t know where the target is, how can you hope to hit it? Setting goals help make that target crystal clear, and gets your church on the path to growing social reach – however you’ve defined that for your church.
Goals also let us know when our efforts aren’t being effective, which can be a really good thing. If we are spending a ton of time and are really busy but aren’t getting the results we had hoped for, why would we continue down that path. Goals let us know when to change course and do something different instead of what we’re doing that’s not producing results.
Know what you’re after
The first step in setting any goal is to, well, know what you’d like to accomplish. Knowing what you’re after makes those goals a whole lot easier to achieve. So what would you like to accomplish for your church over the next 6 months to year? If you could envision the impact you’d like to be having, what would that impact be? Would you have a lot more social followers? Would you be posting more often? Would people be more engaged with each post? All of these could help you determine the type of goal you’d like to set for your church.
Identifying Goal Metrics
There’s a difference between vanity metrics and numbers that actually mean you’re getting closer to your goal. Often times, unless the goal is around a specific number, you won’t know exactly what metrics indicate success. That’s ok – start with metrics you think might make a difference and move on from there.
Common metrics to look at are:
- Engagement Numbers
- Video views
- Post interactions
All of these numbers represent something different for your church’s social media presence. They all mean you’re either getting closer or further away from your goals. Try to identify the ones that are most meaningful for your particular goal.
The Components of a SMARTER goal
The next step is to actually create your goal and write it down, so that you can start the journey towards the goal. Michael Hyatt created a great framework for achieving goals which he calls SMARTER goals. I think this framework is perfect for churches that are trying to reach goals on social media, so let me tell you how it works.
Each letter in ‘SMARTER’ stands for something that comprises a great goal. After all, goals that are too nebulous don’t actually help you. For example, if I was to create a goal that just said “I want people to use my church’s Facebook page more”, that wouldn’t be a very good goal. Success isn’t clear, it doesn’t lay out what has to change, and while I might have some ideas of what to do, how will I actually know if I’m on target? Bad goals lead to bad outcomes, while good goals can push us further than we thought possible.
Here’s what a SMARTER goal is comprised of:
- Specific – When you set a social media goal, like any other goal you have to be specific about what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable – Make sure the goal can actually be measured with some kind of number. If you have a goal that can’t be measured, see how you can shift it to something that can be measured.
- Actionable – Is the goal something you have the ability to control and can have an effect on? If so, it’s actionable.
- Risky – This part of the goal is probably the most important. Setting somewhat risky goals pushes you further than boring goals you could trip over and still accomplish. A good goal should include some risk that you could not achieve it.
- Time-keyed – What time are you giving yourself to achieve the goal? 6 months? One year? Make sure you include the time period, but don’t marry the timeline. You may need to adjust a bit as time goes on.
- Exciting – Is this a goal that can really move the needle for your church and lead your church to a better place as far as their social presence goes? You’ll know when you’re goals are exciting, and exciting goals are worth working towards.
- Relevant – Is this goal something that works towards the greater goals of the church, such as church growth or visibility? Goals should be relevant to the great mission of the organization, not just something you’d like to accomplish just because you think it would be nice to do.
The Two Types of Goals
A lot of people setting up social media goals for their church think there’s only one type of goal – an achievement goal. This is the type of goal where you say “By X date I’m going to accomplish Y” (something specific and relevant of course). But that’s not the only type of goal. There are actually two types that work hand in hand – achievement goals and habit goals.
Why habit goals? Because most likely if you aren’t achieving any goal right now, it’s because there is some habit that you or your team has that isn’t producing the best result and needs changed. Or there is a new habit that you need to create in order to produce better results.
Your (and your team’s) habits will lead you where you want to go, but most people only set achievement goals for things they’d like to accomplish. They never take the time to lay out what habits would be necessary to accomplish those things.
But how do you accomplish a habit? Simple – by saying how many times you would have to do the habit in order for it to be engrained. Research states that habits take about 66 days to form, so give yourself plenty of runway on habit goals and realize there will be lots of mistakes and stumbles along the way.
Habits help build the processes that help you reach the bigger achievement goals that you have, but it’s hard to have one without the other. Set some habit goals for things you’d like to instill that would help you in the journey to having a more effective social media presence at your church.
Planning For The Win
Ok, you have your goals, but how do you set about accomplishing them? If you’ve set up goals for what you’d like to achieve, and then set up habit goals for habits that will help you accomplish the achievement goals, you are well on your way. There is just one ingredient missing from your goals – intention.
Intention is a powerful force for accomplishing any goal. It is the difference between just saying “I’ll post more often” and “Every weekday morning at 9am when I arrive at the office, I’ll post 1 engaging image post on Facebook”. Intention makes it a lot more likely you’ll accomplish your goal.
Every plan you set up needs to have some amount of intention. When making a plan for how to actually achieve the social media goals you set up for your church, be sure to include exactly when you’ll do certain things, what you are going to do, and where you’ll be doing it. All of those ingredients add up to high intention, which makes it much more likely to actually be accomplished.
Set up a Review Cycle
Every so often, goals have to be reviewed to see progress and to be adjusted. This might be the most important part of accomplishing a goal. But so frequently we start out with good intentions and then those good intentions just fizzle out. We forget about the goals we set for our church’s social media after a month or two, and we start over and set new goals. And we hope they’ll be accomplished this time.
Sticking with goals is better than setting new ones, and that’s where your review cycle comes in.
I recommend reviewing your goals every week at a specific time, and then adjusting goals as needed every quarter. Setting up reviews does two things for you.
- You’ll be more focused on your goals. When there’s fires to put out, it’s hard to be focused on goals. However, if we can set aside time to focus on goals, it will help keep us focused even with the fires happening throughout the week.
- You’ll be more likely to stick to your goals. Like I stated earlier, sticking to your goals is better than the stop / start routine we go through of setting goals, losing focus, and then setting new goals. If you stick to your goals, you’ll eventually accomplish them, even if it takes you a little longer than you thought it might.
Wrapping it all up
Setting goals for your church around social media can be a daunting task, especially since there’s so much else to keep up with. But the most important things are like that. They are easy to forget, and easy to try and go without. Over the long term, however, the impact of not having any goals for your social media presence is obvious.
Take the time to set some great goals, and then let God bless your efforts as you work to reach your community with the Gospel.
Let us know: What are your church’s social goals for this coming year?