Get SMART... About Advocacy



Everyone wants to succeed - in life, at work, at Tuesday Trivia.... But sometimes on social media, it's difficult to tell if you are winning. You post. You like. You retweet. You share. You send. But does it work? How do you know if all that effort you put into your digital advocacy has an impact? How do you know if you get a win?

Whether you're trying to help pass a bill or raise money, you need ways to measure your success. When your boss asks, "Well, did it work?" or "How did we do?" you need to be ready with answers!

The first step begins with clearly identifying your goal. This goal needs to be SMART:

  1. Specific - Your goal should be clearly defined.
  2. Measurable - Add numbers to your goal. Aim to grow your website traffic by 25 percent. Or raise awareness by increasing your social audience by 10 percent.
  3. Attainable - Set an achievable goal for yourself and your team.
  4. Realistic - They say shoot for the moon, but don't get lost in the starry sky! You should certainly aim high. But avoid falling into the trap of failing because your goal was unattainable.
  5. Time-based - Set a deadline for your goal. Are you trying to achieve this goal in the next six weeks or the next six months?

Now that you've set your goal (or goals!), step two comes with defining your metrics of success. How do you know you're on track to reach your goals?
If you're trying to reach a fundraising goal, some key performance indicators (KPIs) for you to monitor may include:

  • number of new donors
  • number of returning donors
  • average donation amount

Alternatively, if you want to raise awareness over the next two months, your KPIs could include:

  • number of followers
  • number of website sessions
  • number of new email subscribers

Setting aside time to carefully define your goals and setting KPIs creates a more strategic campaign. M+R has a great benchmark report you can use to compare your performance to other organizations in the same issue area. For more tips for developing a comprehensive online strategy, check out the resources at the Digital Advocacy Institute!