To those of you who have been following my blog series, Developing a Social Media Program if this is your first visit to my blog then you may wish to go back to the beginning before starting this post but as each article is designed to be standalone, feel free to stay here! (The earlier posts will still be out there!)
In this post, I’ll define the seventh component of developing a social media program, Measuring Results. This is the seventh of the eight posts each of which I’ll be blogging about separately.
By now, you have decided on goals and objectives, which social media applications to use (including a blog), and how to use them to achieve these goals and objectives. The social media identity has been normalized and the building of a community to interact with has been addressed. Integrating across all social media apps was addressed in an earlier post. I talked about creating the content necessary to populate the social media program and in the last story, how to publish it.
When you measure results, you’re looking to see how successful your social media program has been.
This implies you have some goals and objectives which define your success. (If you don’t have goals and objectives yet, your problems are beyond the scope of this post. But, I can refer you to some professionals who can help you!) Check back on the first post to see how we used these initially.)
The first task is to take your goals and objectives and reduce them to the lowest level possible to be able to achieve success. For example, the goal may be to increase revenue by a certain percentage year-over-year. The measure might be new sales prospects introduced by the social media program. (One client of mine in this situation developed a weekly target of two calls per week from business that they would otherwise not have had.)
After devolving the goals and objectives to the appropriate level, the next task is to map these to the appropriate social media app’s including the blog. Not all social media apps are appropriate for all goals. Facebook works well for consumer businesses but may not be as effective for B2B.
An app may be perfect for delivering your message but another app may give you more useful metrics.
The task after mapping goals and objectives to social media apps is identify those measures specific to the app that would be helpful. Here you must be careful because there are so many potential measures available that you could get lost in a flood of data. Start with a critical few and build form there.
The fourth task is to determine how to collect the measures and where to store them. Many measures can be captured by the app itself. The data could then be collected in either a spreadsheet or a database. A tool like Google Analytics can capture data from your blog. Wherever possible, automate the collection of measures. Sometimes, manual collection is necessary but try to keep this to a few. (I know I don’t have to remind you of this but I will anyway, remember to back everything up!)
Finally, how frequently should the measures be reviewed?
This will depend on the nature of the business and the activity being reviewed. The important task is that time should be scheduled, daily, weekly, or certainly no less frequently than monthly to sit down review the measures against targets and determine how successful the social media program has been to date.
At this time, content is being published, and its effectiveness is being measured. You’re getting close to where you can begin your own program.
You now have added the means to generate content for our social media program.
This joins the approach to integrate your social media apps to a plan of action to grow a community of interest around your social media program which I discussed in the fourth and third articles respectively.
At the end of the second article, this social media program has incorporated a personal brand onto the apps and developed a common profile and enhanced for keyword searches.
With the first article, I discussed how goals and objectives influence the social media app choices available. Then the importance of having a blog and the options available for setting one up were reviewed.
You now know what you want to do and how you’re going to do it.
But, a social media program is not a static event, a fire and forget activity.
In the next and final article, Continual Improvement, I will discuss how to tweak your social media results for ongoing results.
There are eight steps summarizing for me how to initiate, maintain, and improve a social media program. Each of these represents tasks and interim deliverables. Third party tools are available to assist with these and enhance the social media app’s themselves. This ongoing series in my blog will discuss these.
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.