I was involved in an interesting discussion today about how the government should measure the success of social media. Just how do you measure it? Certainly, there are tried and true statistics (page hits, numbers of fans, followers, minions, etc) but that doesn’t really measure success. Is it even viable impact data? I never visit NIST’s Facebook page – but I’m a fan and the posts show up in my feed. So, I am not a “hit” but I am paying attention.
NIST’s Facebook page was one example we questioned. The number of fans, and page hits were shared. But it was brought up that the engagement was limited. Eg, we weren’t getting that many comments, “likes” or “shares.” Then we asked ourselves, what were we doing to get engagement? It has to be two-way.
–Should we ask questions? Perhaps something like: How do you know your gallon of ice cream has one gallon in it? (NIST works with USDA to do random sampling according to NIST standards and practices.) Did you know NIST won a Television Academy of Arts & Sciences Award (Emmy)?
–What about non-scientific polls, such as CNN’s Kate Gosselin: Are you glad she got kicked off
“Dancing with the Stars”? [Yes, I am] or Did you think Tiger Woods’ apology was sincere? [Who cares? He’s an awesome golfer] How about something (obviously more appropriate) like Solar Energy: Do You think it’s a game changer? or Electric Cars: Are they really better for the environment and our economy?
Should “engagement” automatically equal success? TSA’s Evolution of Security blog gets a ton of comments. Is that success? Or is it more important that over time, those have become noticeably more positive (or at least less negative) toward TSA as the stakeholders (travelers) learn more?
What factors would be good measures of success? Do you have any concrete examples you can share, or that you are expecting? If there are benefits, how do we recognize them?