Here's How To Make Sure Your Social Media Campaign Isn't A Complete Waste Of Money And Time

Honey Bee

Photo: Bob Gutowski via Flickr

Jeremiah Owyang, who writes about web strategy, defined social analytics as: “The practice of being able to understand customers and predict them using data from the social Web.” Shel Israel wrote in a post on Global Neighborhoods, “There is great danger in measuring the wrong things.”Today’s weblogs and website technology gives us an enormous amount of data, and as Analytics Guru Jim Sterne says in his book Social Media Metrics, “Don’t be data rich, insight poor.”

Insight starts with asking the right questions.

1. Identify goals

2. Agree on social analytics measurement KPIs

Once you have your goals set, your team can agree on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) These could be:

  • Buzz and engagement Conversation about your brand and products
  • Conversation about your brand and products
  • Audience Building People reading your content, following you, Liking you or bookmarking you
  • People reading your content, following you, Liking you or bookmarking you
  • Advocates and Ambassadors Retweets, reviews, recommendations, testimonials
  • Retweets, reviews, recommendations, testimonials
  • Customer Satisfaction Engagements and results, time to resolve
  • Engagements and results, time to resolve
  • Feedback Product improvements, new ideas
  • Product improvements, new ideas

If you are a brand with a lot of raving fans you may even decide to track the number of folks who have tattooed your brand on themselves!

3. Identify tools to use for measurement

  • Google Alerts
  • Radian6
  • Alterian
  • Sysomos
  • Scout labs
  • Feedburner Stats
  • Twitter followers
  • Facebook Fans
  • Page views
  • Comments
  • Retweets
  • Shares
  • Pagerank
  • Google Webmaster tools
  • Google insights
  • Google trends

4. Track results

Where did the sale/lead come from?

  • Tweet
  • Facebook status
  • Blog post directly
  • Blog post shared or bookmarked
  • Blog post by your customer evangelists/fans
  • Leads generated through offline events
  • Referral traffic from your blog to website

5. Report

When you are going into present your results , remember everyone in the room will be connecting the dots to figure out out this will help them in their business. If you are a small business owner, you know very well how this will connect to your goal of increased customer engagement and service.

One of the small businesses I speak to regularly is Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision, and his measurement is the climb in patient retention since he started using more social media tools and reduced some of his traditional marketing expenses.

Chef Vinod of Indique Heights, a favourite restaurant of mine, says his blog, K.N. Vinod, has brought in comments from customers and more restaurant reviews. Another restaurateur, Kumar Iyer of Rangoli Restaurant in South Riding, Virginia, has used social media to organise events, and finds event participation is a great measurement.

Katie Paine has a convenient social media measurement checklist and PR Measurement Blog for you to use. There are also books that I have read where examples of success are plenty -- Shel Israel's Naked Conversation and Twitterville.

Charlene Li has some examples of benefits of dialog in her book Open Leadership which could be used in your business as well.

6. Change

For more help with social media analytics, check out:

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