Sarah Swift @swiftay
Social media is increasing in popularity and therefore businesses are starting to implement social media into their business strategy. The company your working for creates a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Great, but now what? The Facebook page is starting to get ‘likes’ and the Twitter account is accumulating followers, but how do you measure the success of these social media accounts?
The traditional business model would calculate if investing in social media is beneficial by calculating the return on investment (ROI). However, social media is a new thing and therefore the business model needs to be tweaked. Scott Wheeler a senior director of marketing science at digital marketing agency Critcal Mass says, “Too many businesses have approached social ROI backwards. Instead of doing the calculations before taking action, many businesses spend time or money to get Facebook or Twitter presence and then look at metrics after the fact.” To avoid unsuccessful social media, the company should begin by establishing a social media plan that states the objectives of their social media sites. Understanding that social media is simply a vehicle to help increase brand awareness and interaction with customers can aid in reaching new company objectives. This fresh perspective should change the thought process of employees from “We need a Facebook page” to “We need to learn more about our customers through our Facebook page.”
Observing and listening to your audience is the key to measuring your company’s social media success. The best part about social media is that it is interactive and allows the company to interact and get to know customers at a personal level. Frank Falcone co-founder and executive program director of the Centre for CRM Excellence at the University of Toronto, states 5 criteria to measure a company’s social media reach.
- Volume: Number of people talking about your company or topic
- Tone: Negative, positive or neutral conversations
- Coverage: Number of sources generating the conversation
- Influence level of source: Level of authority of the people talking about you
- Share of conversation: Within industry, how much of the conversation is about you
These guidelines are more helpful than measurement sites such as Klout, PostRank, PeerIndex etc, because there are many qualitative factors that go into social media sites that analytics and statistics can’t illustrate.
Understanding how the customer can benefit from engaging with a company’s social media sites will increase a company’s success.