Friday, June 19, 2009

How do you measure social media?

In my business, I consult new and emerging companies about their social media strategies. These companies have heard the buzz and want to get involved, but they just aren’t sure how it works. When I sit in preliminary meetings and they lay out their expectations, I am usually presented with a list of random numbers.
  • 100 new Facebook friends.
  • Twice weekly blog posts
  • 500 Twitter followers
  • A 10 % increase in site visitors
I am delighted to see that the company has thought of how they want to measure the success of their social media strategy – but if social media is all about customer interaction then these numbers only tell part of the story.

The value of social media is that it does more than share a message; it invites your customers to develop a relationship with you, your company and your growing community. A good social media strategy speaks directly to its target audience, telling the brand story using creative content, two-way communication, discussion boards, fun videos and images.

This article details five case studies of successful Facebook fan pages. Each successful case shows a company that knows its audience and what they care about and gives them more than just information about the company and products. Launching a social media strategy means you are really offering a new service. Your company is now providing space for a community of target audience members to exchange and interact with information that interests them.

And this is hard to measure.

How do you measure the impact of your social media strategy? Besides contests, special promotions, average number of commenters, spikes in site visitors, number of links, and site ratings, what do you suggest?

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