I'm teaching a class at UBC on Social Media Fundamentals. The curriculum is a mix between some light theory (what IS social media) and hands-on (how do I make a Facebook page). As we discuss each social platform (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, etc), I make sure to offer different types of measures that are appropriate. The earlier we can get social media neophytes to understand that it isn't all about the follower count, the better!
Sadly, that message doesn't always come across. Our final project is a "Social Media Action Plan" which is a 2-4 page document on what next step the student would take for her business/organization/non-profit in social media. The SMAP must answer 5 key questions:
- What will be my business’ first step into social media and why? Review the tools we discuss in class and evaluate their appropriateness for your business.
- What success metrics will you track?
- How will my team get involved in social media? What will be the impact on them?
- Where will the content come from?
- How will this initiative integrate with my other marcomm activities?
I've taught this class two times prior to the current session and a lot of people are still putting "Number of Followers, Number of Fans" in the "Success Metrics" section.
So this time, I'm trying a different tack. In the class notes, I have this slide:
But sometimes, I understand that that is easier said than done. That's why I was delighted to find this piece on Social Media Measurement by Don Bartholomew, VP of Digital Research at Fleishman Hillard. Bartholomew discusses 5 things to forget and 5 things to learn about SMM. I love his 5 things to learn:
- Measurable Objectives
- Impact versus ROI
- Hypothetical ROI Models
- Integrated Digital Measurement
Particularly for small and even medium business (heck, even for some folks in large organizations who have ended up in a social media marketing role with no formal marketing/analytics training), the discussions of Measurable Objectives and Hypothetical ROI Models. There are easy and detailed examples of how to create actual measurable objectives (hint, they don't start with marketing buzzwords like "Leverage") as well as how to have an intelligent plan for your marketing program around ROI calculation.
Really great stuff - especially for those of us who struggle with the analytical left-brained side of marketing.