Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Social Media Metrics - The Final Frontier

Well, as we wind down class for this quarter (to start up again in January!), we turn to a very important topic: measuring social media. Much of what should be measured will depend greatly on our goals and objectives for social media in our business. (Note - objectives below are based on Groundswell, our textbook.)

Do we want to listen? We can measure how much of the conversation we are listening to (and hopefully acting on if needed).

Do we want to talk with customers? We can measure how much they talk back.

Do we want to energize our customers? We can measure the viral spread of our brand message.

Do we want to support customers? We can measure the number of customer service issues answered through social media/number of calls averted.

Do we want to embrace customers? We can measure the product/service ideas we are getting from customers and how many we implement.

Suggestion: Only choose two or three metrics, at the most, to track for social media. Incorporate them into your marketing dashboard (you are looking at social media as another set of marketing tools, aren't you?) Follow the trends over time, rather than obsessing on daily changes.

There is also a great post today over at MarketingProfs on social media metrics.
(Photo credit: shaja)


Jay Krall said...

Great post Becky! To me, the challenge in choosing only two or three metrics for measuring social media is that you would be blocking out the opinions of large groups of Web users. For example, when measuring blogs, all of the following are worthy of consideration: inbound links, blog comments, citations on bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious, and more traditional metrics like reach and RSS subscribers.

Becky Carroll said...

Thank you for your kind words, Jay. The point of choosing only a few main metrics to follow is to ensure we don't go crazy with trying to follow everything! In your example, yes, all of the following are important to measure for blogs, but their priority will differ depending on the goal of the blog. I like to build a community with my Customers Rock! blog, so I mostly measure success by growth of new subscribers and by the number of comments.

Thanks again!