Considering my career took a sharp turn towards the social media world during and after my stint working with the terrific team at CustomScoop a few years ago, I am always prone to note any conversation about monitoring and measurement.
I beat the monitoring drum relentlessly with my own clients—I begin almost any conversation about social media with a simple question: “Are you monitoring the conversation online about your brand/issue/legislation?” Despite the prevalence of social media in our lives these days (quite a change from when I first started writing and thinking about it four years ago), the answer is still “no” more often than I’d like, but it seems that many companies out there do grasp that they need to be paying attention to the online conversation.
But what about measurement? This is an area where many are dropping the ball—they may be taking steps to engage (setting up a presence on one or more social networks, blogging, responding to customers online whenever possible, etc.), but they aren’t fully aware of the need to deal with the other side: measuring the impact of their efforts.
That’s why I’ve included a couple good posts about measurement in this week’s edition of the Jots, as a good reminder that all the excellent social media strategy and execution in the world isn’t going to resonate unless you’re measuring its influence.
Smart Measurement – Kami Huyse – Sounding very much like my old boss and current Media Bullseye Roundtable co-host Jen Zingsheim, Kami wisely points out that strong measurement begins with setting objectives prior to even beginning. If you don’t know what you’re looking to achieve before you begin, your campaign can easily spin out of control. “When designing a social media measurement program, one needs to start with a basic understanding of measurement as a discipline. The first step of measurement is always setting objectives. Having served on countless committees and read hundreds of award entries for campaigns, this is the step where a lion’s share of communication programs (social media or not) fail to perform. It is also where the award-winning campaigns shine over their would-be challengers. “
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth – Shel Holtz – In another post that reminded me of my CustomScoop days (and not only because I used to record our one-minute spots for FIR), Shel Holtz discusses the importance of knowing your audience. Specifically, monitoring is very important (naturally), but that it may also be useful at the outset of a campaign to survey your potential audience. He outlines many of the tools available for this purpose. “The outputs of social media monitoring services are invaluable, but there’s also a goldmine of useful data that can be obtained from a survey. National Public Radio (NPR) has surveyed both its Facebook fans and its Twitter followers. The results of the Twitter survey were released recently, letting NPR know that this slice of its audience”
The Social Media Command Center – Jeremiah Owyang – In another excellent monitoring post (are you seeing a trend this week?), Jeremiah discusses “social media mission control.” It’s common knowledge in some circles that social media has dramatically changed the nature of customer service. As customers take to their smart phones to fire off complaints via Twitter, Yelp or other platforms, many brands are paying close attention. “Rather than waiting for customers to contact the contact center on phone support, web, or online chat, they are being proactive by listening to customers and responding to them in their own native social channels. Expect savvy brands to anticipate customers’ needs by using Social CRM databases to find trends, locate issues before they surface, then contacting customers before their issue surfaces.”
Social Media is a Waste of Time – Mitch Joel – In a fairly terrific take-down of one of my biggest pet peeves, here the notion that social media is a big waste of time and ruining our national economy by driving the workforce to distraction, Mitch offers up the reasons that social media is a hugely important element of both business and society. He further points out that it’s only a waste of time if you’re using it to waste time, which isn’t the case for those of us who use it to make a living. “It’s not because it’s a slight against online social networks that I’m upset (or because I base part of my business livelihood on the success of social media as a marketing channel), but we have to meet the people who lump “reading” and their “jobs” as their “biggest waste of time.” Wasting your time should probably be defined as an activity that requires nothing proactive, while utilizing minimal effort and with even less of a valued outcome in terms of overall life benefit. But, if you look at social media like that, you’re missing the point entirely.”
Blog Action Day: Water – Valeria Maltoni – I’ve been following my friend Paull Young’s efforts with Charity Water, and was therefore drawn to this post from Valeria for Blog Action Day. She gives us ten interesting facts about water, most importantly information on how to conserve, and how to help those who live in areas where water is scarce. The least surprising fact was the sheer amount of water we use answering nature’s call. “By far the highest use of water happens through flushing the toilet. Which is one of the reasons why in Europe we flush in the morning, depending on the use, of course. The other reason is that apartment buildings tend to carry sound and we try be good neighbors.”