Social Media is still baffling business owners as well as the question, “Is it worth it?” and “How will I know?” An eConsultancy survey of 1,000 companies found 41% of respondents had no idea of social media’s financial impact. Despite the hearty rush for firms to jump on the social media bandwagon, social media represents only a fraction of most marketing budgets, if any at all. Once firms are using social media, many do not have a structure in place to track results.
“Social media success comes to those that link their social media choices to the firms overall business goals,” as stated by Susan Etlinger. Etlinger represents her findings with 60 social media marketers to understand how businesses measure social media through research completed for the Altimeter Group.
Etlinger goes on to say, “48% of social strategists indicate their primary focus is to develop ROI measurements.” By focusing only on ROI, many pieces to the puzzle are missing, as ROI is just one metric in social media toolkits. Her study further reveals, despite advances in integrating social media into business, the majority of companies surveyed do not have a standard framework in place to measure its value. This was found to be true of businesses scratching the surface and more than half of the companies fully engaged in social media.
Before Choosing Tools-Establish a Foundation
Before a firm is ready to think about analytical tools, a foundation must be established. Entliger sites four steps to follow prior to selecting measurement tools:
Align social media strategy with business objectives: Determine what you want to accomplish.
Determine what success means to you and how you will measure it: Identify benchmarks to measure – such as brand awareness, lead generation, educational resource access, etc.
Evaluate your firm’s readiness to measure social media: This step is the most critical and most overlooked in social media tracking. Firms lack sufficiently trained staff for social media measurement and delegate it to over committed and under-prepared employees.
Choose tools to compliment your overall strategy: Once you have identified what you want to accomplish, how you will measure success and what resources are available, you are ready for tool selection. Keep in mind, there is no one single-best tool for every objective and tools available are changing quickly.
Once you have addressed each of these steps, you are ready to move on to an organizational plan for social media.
Outline Team Roles and Responsibilities
Jeremiah Owyang has written extensively about how companies should organize for social media. I have included some of his findings here.
Identify your social media measurement team. This can consist of a group of team members working collaboratively or be the responsibility of one individual. Regardless of the anatomy of your measurement team, you will need to address the following components and identify solutions for each.
- What resources and skills are available within your firm?
- What resources and skills are not available within your firm?
- Who will design and implement your social media strategy and process?
- Who will be responsible for tool selection?
- Who will design and implement your tool selection strategy and process?
- What education and training will be required?
- How will the social media measurement team collaborate with other team members?
A good place to start with each of the above questions is to identify your current situation and identify where you would like to be in the future.
In our upcoming blog, The Gold Rush To Social Media How To Track Your Success-Part II, we will identify resources to aide you in tool selection.
Question: Is your firm or organization fully engaged in social media? How do you measure your success? Leave us a comment by clicking here!