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Measuring Social Media
May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm #178550
In both the public and private sector, most organizations are using social media in some way (admittedly with some doing it better than others). While this offers organizations the opportunity to share content, connect with consumers, and improve collaboration, many organizations aren't able to measure their social media efforts in any real way. In a recent survey by BtoB, they found that while 96% of marketers are using social media, only 41% reported that they measure social media's return on investment. Government is not doing any better. In a recent GovLoop survey on social media in government, 46% of respondents reported that they lack a formal process for reviewing and reporting on social media ROI.
This is not for a lack of trying. The problem is many organizations don't have clear objectives for their social media efforts. So measuring social media efforts is not easy because the numbers don't match up to the objectives. While many organizations are working on developing their social media analytics, it is important to remember that qualitative information is just as importnat as quantitative data. Here are four other things organizations should remember when thinking about their social media strategy (from BtoB):
1) Measuring sentiment is as important as measuring impressions or follows.
A customer's post on a social media site could have multiple meanings, so organizations need to make sure they interpret those messages correctly. The most effective way to do this is have a someone reading social posts to interpret meaning- both positive and negative. Furthermore, they have to look beyond basic traffic numbers. While everyone wants to see communication grow on social media channels, it's more important to understand what your customers (or constituents) are saying.
2) Some of the most important social mentions won't use your company or product names.
How many times have you seen a comment related to your agency or program that doesn't name your specific agency? It happens all of the time, but that is not necessarily bad. It is important that organizations monitor sites where constituents are spending time and listen carefully to everything they say—not just specific keywords or phrases that show up in reports.
3) Every tool that provides a metric is not the same.
There are more than 200 different vendors and agencies in the social media monitoring market. However, the best tools are ones that help organizations analyze what they need to do to make better decisions. The tool and the data ideally could be integrated with other multichannel analytic tools.
4) Social media data has an expiration date and limitations.
The speed of social media is both a blessing and a curse. Its speed helps people stay informed in real time, but it also makes it difficult to track and many posts are only relevant for a day or two. For example, Twitter data moves very quickly and Facebook data is often incomplete. For this reason, instead of looking at specific posts or tweets, organizations should try to find trends in the aggregate.
What else would you include? How is your organization tracking sentiment?
For more information check out these resources:
GovLoop Guide: Social Media Experiment- Elements of Excellence
GovLoop Guide: 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter
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