HiRes.jpgLike most Americans, I'm spending this week reflecting on what I'm most thankful for (and stuffing my face with turkey).  Professionally, the two things I'm most grateful for are 1. an amazing social team (Ryan Rutan Melissa Barker) and 2. the ability to show their value to the organization.

 

Last week, the entire marketing team at Jive headed to Denver for our 2013 planning sessions.  It was great to get together #IRL, share best practices from across teams, and brainstorm how to make sure next year is the best ever for our company, customers, and employees.

 

One of the topics of discussion was what are the best ways to measure social media marketing success.  I'm not talking about branded communities, I'm talking about the value of participating on consumer social networks like Facebook.  According to a Forrester, nearly 66% of interactive marketers are NOT currently measuring their social marketing initiatives today.  I think this is a shame!  As an evangelist for all things social, I want to take this opportunity to share how I'm reporting metrics on two levels: social media success and business value.

 

Let's start with general social media metrics.  Marketers are comfortable evaluating certain types of communications - like emails.  You can track open, read, and click-through rates.  Social also has three core numbers that I look at weekly:

 

Activity: # of outbound activities Jive publishes on social channels. This metric includes proactive pieces of content, reactive responses, and curated content sent from social channels.  Examples: #YouTube videos, Re-Tweets, Facebook posts, SlideShare presentations, LinkedIn posts

 

Reach: # of community members we are reaching. Reach is an easy thing to compare to the traditional marketing metric online advertising impressions.  But it also looks at something a bit more concrete - our "current network."  This is our opt-in # for social communications..  Examples: Facebook fans, Twitter followers, blog subscribers, brand/product mentions.


Engagement: # of interactions Jive experiences on social channels. If reach is like impressions in direct marketing, engagement represents click-throughs.  Examples: Facebook comments, Retweets, bit.ly clickthroughs.

 

[To track all of these metrics, Jive uses Spredfast (www.spredfast.com), a robust social media management platform.]

 

All of these metrics are really helpful for optimizing our social channels and ensuring we are adding value to the massive number of conversations happening on streams.

 

The second set of metrics aligns more closely with real business value and includes items like the following:

  • New Business: # of leads, # of marketing qualified leads, cost per lead
  • Loyalty: net promoter score, renewals, additional purchases of social members vs. non.

 

How do you measure social in your organization? What aspect of social are you most thankful for in 2012?