For whatever reason, there’s this perception that social media is not measurable — that you just do it because good things will happen. “What’s the ROI of your phone?” is one thing I’ve heard in comparison to measuring social media. But, if you know what you are trying to accomplish ahead of time, there’s always something that’s measurable (even with a phone).
Start at the Business Level
That’s the key issue with measurement — know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t know why you’re doing something or what you’re hoping to get out of it, it doesn’t matter how many numbers you have, you’ll never get anything out of them. Instead, if you have a goal in mind, then it’s much easier to backtrack to see where you have data and how it can be used to give you insight into what’s going on.
What is the ROI of your phone?
Back to the phone example. As long as you have a specific end goal in mind, let’s say increasing sales by 10% this month and you’ve identified how the phone is going to help you with that — for example, calling your list of contacts with a special offer — there are clear measurements to tell you how well the phone is working. In this situation, you know how many people you’ve called, who you’ve called, how long you’re on the phone with each, and whether or not your call lead to a sale. By knowing what you were trying to accomplish, you can find measurements to tell you how well that tool & your tactics with that tool worked.
How Social Media is Mesurable
The same goes for social media. If you just get on Twitter and Facebook and blog because you think you should, measurements aren’t going to tell you much. They will tell you some things — how many people retweet you, how many followers you have, how many pageviews you have, etc. But, if you don’t have a specific business goal in mind, it’s difficult to connect the dots between tweeting and your goal.
Take a Step Back
Trying out various social media is a great way to see what they’re about and give you idea for how you can use them. But, using social media is definitely measurable — as long as you take a step back and figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. Then you’ll be able to look for what data can give you information about how well you’re accomplishing your goal.
What do you think?
(photo by MonkeyMyshkin)