I’m often asked how a company should measure success from their social media efforts. More often than not, the folks asking the question are thinking about things like numbers of followers, share of voice and overall brand sentiment. While these are interesting metrics on a micro scale, they’re not necessarily meaningful through a macro lens.
To help frame the discussion, I suggest they envision their CEO asking for an update on social media impact. Leading with “We have x-thousand followers on (insert your platform) and x% share of voice” isn’t likely to get you that big promotion and corner office.
While I’ve never been asked to defend ROI for telephone, I know that modern business simply couldn’t do without it. As brands continue to mature in this space, I hope that we eventually see social for what it is – a channel to engage our audience (internal and external) in new and exciting ways.
So while the headline for this post may be a bit of an oversimplification, I’d suggest that any success measure from social should directly align to overall business objectives. In other words, you don’t need a social media strategy – you need a business strategy that looks at social as a strategic channel that measurably contributes to overall company goals.
Defining your specific measures is very much dependent on your business and company objectives. But I suspect that things like quantifying impact to revenue (be it direct contribution or leads), demonstrating impact to overall CSat and showing how social helps take better products to market more quickly are proof points that will get a CEO’s attention far more than your number of followers.