Our Thinking

Social Media Measurement

Over the last year (or three), how much time have you spent Linking In, Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, and using other social tools?  If you are like most, getting a return on your time investment probably has crossed your mind:  Is Social Media actually paying off?  Is it worth the effort?

To answer this question, many people rely on the argument of the phone: why should Social Media – a necessary tool – be held to a higher standard than the telephone?  Since the phone isn’t justified, why should Social Media be?

This is an argument of laziness: the telephone is absolutely justified by how people use it, and the results that accrue from that use.  In fact, there are many metrics for the phone:  Number of inbound calls, wait times, customer inquiries, sales volume, travel dollars saved, etc.  Social Media measurement is even more measurable.  Consider these possibilities:

  • Volume: The number of fans/followers/subscribers/connections; the number of views/comments/trackbacks on any videos/blog posts, and Retweets on Twitter.
  • Sentiment: Whether the discussion/comments about your organization, brands, and senior leaders are trending positive or trending negative.
  • Topics/Issues: Tracking the context of the conversation: whether the topics where the organization is referred to matches the target topics.
  • Source: Source refers to finding where the conversation is taking place.
  • Authors (influencers): Determining who the thought leaders (or in some cases, the ringleaders) are will allow the organization to directly influence the conversation.
  • Traffic: The use of Google Analytics to keep track of standard web metrics:  page views, time on site, click-through-rate, etc.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube analytics:  To use the varied stats from within the Social Media sites to determine user interests.
  • Media Mentions:  The number of real-world media comments based on Social Media postings.
  • Number of job or volunteer candidates.

This week’s action plan:  The most important Social Media measure is simple:  does the strategy deliver the expected results?  This week, spend your Social Media time budget setting Social Media goals that are tightly tied to your organization’s business goals.  Then choose measures that allow you to track your progress.

Randall Craig, president of 108 ideaspace, is a leading Social Media & Web Strategist.  We share Randall Craig’s blogs here on 108 ideaspace. However, the Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.