Michael Senger, CEO of Stone Mass, could be deemed as a social media guru. Senger spoke at Kwantlen University and shared some of his insights on the online world today, and social media. With regards to measuring social media efforts in the corporate world, Senger has some thoughts on how to begin a social media strategy and then measure it.
Firstly, identify company goals-Not just any company goals, but specific goals. Ex: “increasing web traffic by 10% to support a product launch for September.”
Identify key performance indicators (KPI’s)- Measureable KPI’s help determine the success of a online marketing effort. An example of a KPI is % of returning visitors.
With all the excessive information out there, using the objectives and goals to decide what KPI’s are to be measured, will provide the marketer with clear data that speaks to the progress of the campaign or social media outlet.
Monitor the progress- Monitoring the KPI’s over a designated time period will help determine the progress, and identify what needs to be modified. It is also important to note that as objectives change, the KPI’s may also change.
Brian Solis, an analyst at Altimeter group and writer of the Brain Solis blog (which I highly recommend), has developed a reputation within the marketing industry as a thought leader.
Be careful what you ask for, you might just measure it is a recent blog post by Solis which discusses the changing media platforms and marketers changing methods in measuring it.
Solis believes that in order to survive the “Digital Darwinism,” marketers must change their methods.
“Social media amplifies and organizes [the consumers] voice and packages it as a tremendous gift for businesses ready to earn relevance in a new genre of consumerism. Nothing matters however, if businesses are not ready to learn, engage, or take action based on what they hear.”
Solis emphasizes the ability to listen to conversations that are taking place on social media outlets, and using the insights from the conversations to make business decisions. This method slightly differs from Senger, who is more focused on company goals and assigning KPI’s. Solis is all about changing the traditional methods to fit the changing digital world.
Social Times, an online source for social media information, discusses the metrics of social media. The top 3 metrics used for measuring social media efforts, dictated by a survey of over 2000 marketers, are:
- Visitors and sources of traffic
- Network size (followers, fans, members)
- Quantity of commentary about brand or product
Social Times recognizes that each company is going to have different measuring requirements and should select the metrics that support the SMM objectives, similar to Michael Senger’s perspective. Social Times also lists ten important metrics to consider when developing your strategies, I have selected the 5 that I would recommend.
- Social media leads- company website traffic breakdown of which SM site
- Activity ratio- Active users vs. Total members, and chart over a time period
- Brand mentions in social media- track positive and negative and their quantities
- Loyalty- how many members re-share multiple times
- Blog interaction – must allow comments in order to measure- also social voting on sites such as “Digg” are a good measuring tool as well
Measuring the success of a company’s social media outlets is a challenging task, but there are tools and methods which can make it easier.