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This article was published on October 19, 2011

The Social Media Assessment

The Social Media Assessment
Dan Taylor
Story by

Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is a professional Photographer and freelance writer based in Vienna, Austria. Dan is a co-founder at Heisenberg Media and speci Dan Taylor is a professional Photographer and freelance writer based in Vienna, Austria. Dan is a co-founder at Heisenberg Media and specializes in conference photography. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter

If you’re a member of the team, or perhaps the person who handles your organization’s social media profiles, I’d bet that your morning looks a little something like so: Check in with all the social platforms, scan through comments, @’s, retweets, likes, etc. and begin the task of crafting on-point, brand related responses. In doing so, you’re most probably also evaluating the previous day’s/week’s postings, shares, tweets, retweets, and overall spread and reach of your message. “How many RT’s did ‘bla bla bla’ receive?”, “That photo of the new office dog is off the charts!”, etc. Sound about right?

These mini-assessments are without a doubt important and necessary, but in doing so, are you focusing on the micro and failing to see the macro? A response to a particular post today may be completely contradictory from what you or your team posted 6 months ago. And if you’ve slipped into the trap of simply responding to actions, instead of driving them, haven’t you lost sight of one of the main tenets of marketing?

Manager or employee, we’ve all been through the annual and quarterly review process. I rank this right up there with a dental visit – fun for no one, but a necessary evil that leaves you with sparkling white chompers. The same can be said for your social media performance review. It’s not something you’ll spring out of bed for in the morning, but over time, and with due diligence, you can meet and exceed your marketing goals and expectations.

Before you even get started reviewing your performance, it’s important to gather the appropriate data. In addition to tracking social media performance within Google Analytics, there are a number of other services on the market. Personally, I’ve been playing around with Searchmetrics, as well as Crowdbooster to monitor various campaigns, and have found that both deliver on a number of valuable items. Both of these options offer dead-simple setup, and when used appropriately can deliver heaps of information about not only your campaigns, but your top fans, or as I like to call them, evangelists-in-waiting.

Once you’ve set up your data it’s time to dig into the numbers and have an analytical view of what’s worked, what was so-so, and what was just plain awful. To quantify the previous statement, you’ll need to establish benchmarks and KPI’s for your campaigns.

What do you want to get out of each channel? Is Facebook where you offer special deals and promotions? Is Twitter your back-and-forth communication channel? Are you seeking to drive leads through your blog? Each of these questions will lead you to a different standard of measurement. Only then can you give your efforts a fair assessment.

Key performance indicators to keep in mind:

    • What’s performing well?

    • Was it the aforementioned company pooch that received the highest number of likes and shares?
    • Can you further integrate this into your campaign?
    • Does Mac the Scottish Terrier (or perhaps Beast) deserve his own voice?
    • Can he share helpful insight into your company culture, products, place on the market?
    • What’s not so hot?

    • Did your recent announcement of your integration with Acme fall flat? Why?
    • Did it not reach the right audience? Was the channel selection a bit off? Was the timing off?
    • By digging deep into your ‘What’s performing well’ column and comparing it to ‘What’s not so hot’ data, you should quickly be creating your ‘Here’s how we do it right’ textbook for future use.
    • Where’s the glue?

    • Does your message across all channels, regardless of the variety, maintain a consistent underlying tone?
    • Are you rapidly headed down the road of mix messaging, a tried and true way of easily undermining your overall goals?
    • It’s important to keep in mind that social media, like all other forms of marketing, are there for the sole purpose of supporting the company’s overall objectives. With social media we’re expected to provide further insight into our organization, but at the same time, the messaging must remain consistent.
    • Are we staying on target?

    • Are established goals being met?
    • If you’re behind on targets, what immediate and longer term targets can be established?
    • Is our current form of social media engagement performing as predicted?
    • Are certain aspects of our social media engagement becoming more prominent than others? (I’m looking at you customer service)
    • Are we deviating from our core message, chasing the daily butterfly, and not hunting the big game?
    • How do we drive it forward?

    • What are the underlying factors in successful messaging?
    • How can you apply these trends and factors to future communications?
    • Can we refine and repurpose content from one channel and deliver it on another channel with increased success?
    • What can we do today, next week, and next month, to continue delivering successful interactions?

Let’s face it…this will not be a fun process. No one likes looking in the mirror on Saturday morning, but what’s the first thing we all say? Say it with me now, “I will never do this again!” Ok, sure, you will do it again, but not for quite a while, and I’d bet that the following morning, you’ll say the same again, and not repeat the liver destroying activity again for quite some time to come.

The same is true of a social media assessment. You’ll likely discover a few of those, “What was I thinking?” interactions through your analysis that would most probably never surface organically. That’s not to say that every interaction going forward is going to hit the mark 100% of the time, but through continual refinement of both the message and the messenger, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of social media communication.

Also read: Meet the 18 people behind your favorite social media accounts 

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