The ever-developing world of social media measurement continues to move us toward answering the essential marketing question, “did it work?” The “it” I refer to is a mix of branded apps, games, pages and many more creative combinations that is social media marketing today. My business is engagement. Developing a systematic way to illustrate engagement is increasingly important and challenging for the brands that are pushing the established boundaries between social media and complete interactive online games, applications and branded content. That push is causing quite the conundrum for social media specialists charged with creating comprehensive reports to show every aspect of a brand’s social performance.
New data sourcing tools work hand-in-hand with marketers to design engagement tracking. Let’s focus in on a few key points.
Understand the Space and Establish Clear Goals
To measure results of a social media program, you must first have a clear definition of what the goal is. Ironically enough, often times brands jump into the engagement realm without it, which is akin to an Olympic swimmer only being able to doggy paddle. Not only would that be a waste of the swimmers time, it reflects poorly on the coaches and other swimmers who they are competing with. Likewise in social media, you’ll never see a gold-medal winning brand or agency start out of the gate without a very clear idea of where their program is going.
Choose Your Tools Wisely
So many different tools, so little time, but it’s tempting to try a little bit of everything. This exploration is wonderful when you first begin dipping your toe in the social media pool. However, once you decide which tools work best, stick to a reliable few and resist the urge to change tools with every passing wind. Becoming a master at a handful of tools allows you to wield metrics confidently with the knowledge that you have a complete understanding of the tools and the information they provide for your brand and social media efforts.I once heard a speaker at a social media seminar proclaim that you don’t need to have a Batman-like-belt full of social media tools to effectively use the media. You just need to be an experienced cowboy with one or two tools that can be used with great expertise. This applies to tools for measuring metrics.
Learn Your Lessons Well
Once the campaign has run its course and numbers have been collected, a key step in the metrics game is to recognize both the strong and not so strong points of the campaign. Learning from mistakes is the best way to fine tune your use of metrics to provide a well-rounded view of engagement. This well-rounded view in turn provides you with the ability to create more strategic social media plans and thus carry out more successful campaigns.
For a lighter approach and to continue this discussion, check out Oliver Blanchard’s Social Media ROI Presentation.