At SIMEngage a few weeks ago (a social media and internet marketing conference in Cincinnati) Michael Loban from Infotrust made an excellent observation….
If you don’t determine your measurements upfront, it is like determining how to keep score halfway through a game.
Determine What you Want to Achieve Upfront
When it comes to measurement and analytics, most businesses choose arbitrary metrics that seem obvious, like Facebook Likes, Reach or Engagements or don’t define their metrics upfront. In the Dale Carnegie program, one of the principles for leadership success is to start with the end in mind. This means starting with what you want to achieve, or starting with the end result.
Like any good game, success should be defined upfront. What does winning look like?
Link What you Want to Achieve To KPIs
Before you get started in social media you should clearly understand your marketing objectives and link them to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics. For example, if my goal is to grow awareness, my KPI might be reach (the number of people exposed to my message). The idea is to link what you want to achieve to specific things that you can measure.
How do we keep score?
Remember to Interpret the Data Into Actionable Insights
Just throwing together reports with numbers or making graphs isn’t really helpful to enhancing your marketing. It is important to take time analyzing the information into insights. For example, charting reach isn’t helpful. Consider the goal of the analysis and turn the data into something actionable. For example, if my goal was to build awareness, I may look at my reach from social and compare it to the reach from traditional with a similar spend. While this is a simple example, your analysis may be more complex. The big idea is to interpret the data, not just throw KPIs around.
Keep it Meaningful
When it comes to analysis and measurement, remember to focus on why you are measuring. Is it to generate support for social media and show ROI? Is the goal to show improvement with social media? Is the goal to compare a social media investment to other spending choices?
Consider your audience and keep your reporting meaningful.