Measuring Social Media Impact

More and more companies feel the pressure to do ‘something’ with social media. But what? It should be clear by now that it’s not enough to create a Facebook page, launch a Twitter account, and write a few updates whenever you feel like it, hoping to accumulate followers as you go along. If used correctly, social media can benefit your brand. But for that you need to be able to measure the impact of your social media marketing efforts.

Tom Shapiro from gives 25 helpful tips to improve your social media marketing results. No fewer than seven of these involve measurability. Bascially it comes down to: determine what you want to measure and how, do the measuring, and analyse the data.

  1. Develop a clear strategy
    Stop everything! Before you go any further with your social media marketing, develop a clear, focused strategy. That is the most important step you can take. Don’t “do social.” Instead, be social. And understand exactly what that means for your business and your audience.
  2. Define clear metrics
    Do you know how to measure the success of your social efforts? Your efforts don’t necessarily need to be measured via hard revenue figures, but the metrics should go deep enough to guide your actions and ensure real value to your business.
  3. Build scalability (tools, technologies, etc.)
    It’s easy to get overwhelmed by social media. Use technology for social monitoring, management, posting, and measurement to help you scale your efforts—effectively managing multiple brands across multiple platforms. Otherwise, social media will overwhelm you.
  4. Conduct competitive intelligence
    What’s the competition up to? Monitor, monitor, monitor. What’s working well for them, and what isn’t?
  5. Clarify roles and responsibilities
    Who is responsible for what, internally? What are the time commitment and scheduling expectations? Have a well-thought-out action plan in place, so your social media efforts don’t become an afterthought—second to other day-to-day tasks.
  6. Develop a reporting structure
    Increase value by measuring and reporting results on a regular schedule so you can measure alignment with your goals and implement improvements in future initiatives.
  7. Analyze the data
    Like strategy, “analysis” is too often forgotten. Without a regular analysis schedule, you’re likely getting only half the possible value out of your social media marketing efforts because you’re not fully capturing insights and trends.

A nifty little interactive tool to help you get your social media strategy started is available for free at Vocus. You fill in what you want to achieve using social media and how you’re planning on doing it, and you get a free report outlining your social media strategy. It even tells you which metrics to watch to determine if your strategy is working out.

So if you decide to embark on a social media adventure, be sure to treat it just like you would your other marketing efforts: strategically and analytically.

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