Over the summer, I’ve thought a lot about social media metrics, and what particular data organizations need to capture in order to measure social media effectiveness. While every social media strategy is different, each rests on knowing what the conversation should be about, who you’re talking to, and how you want to eventually move people to action.
So often what data we are able to capture leads our analysis, but the real truth is that questions should ignite the search for data, and not the other way around.
As complex and wide-ranging as data-gathering can be, the bottom line is: what do you really need to know? Measurement, simply put, comes down to three data sets: whether or not the conversation compelling enough to create engagement, information about who is more and less engaged within your social media channels, and whether or not your social media efforts are producing desired results. The image below, taken from an upcoming presentation, offers both the essential data measurement questions, and suggested tools that you can use to gather your answers.
Though the questions are relatively straightforward, there are infinite possibilities of how to gather and segment the data. For example, one could measure to what extent social media content is or is not engaging, further segmented by channel, further segmented by time of day, etc. Or stakeholder insight data could be segmented by fans who care a great deal about your content, and those that are merely followers, their demographics, their influencers, to what extent they are engaged, etc.
In the end, you could continue to dive deeper and deeper into the data, until you are in a sea of data. It’s not an exercise to gather as much data as you need, just as much as you need to know. Start with the questions you can answer, gain confidence that you are gathering the appropriate data that you need, and then decide how deep you want to dive. Your social media effectiveness is guided only by what is truly useful to you as you implement. And the three social media measurement questions you need to answer.