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Sep 10, 2012

What Indicators Should You Follow For Your Social Media Strategy?

When a company wants to develop a strategy for their coverage on social networks and social media interactions, it must follow several important steps. Whilst these are not exhaustive rules, they will at least put you on the path to social media success. I have personally applied these rules with several blue chip clients.

The steps towards your social media strategy are as follows:
  1. Analyze the ecosystem; also called web 2.0 auditing
  2. Define what your objectives are appropriate to your target
  3. Define which social media networks you will be using
  4. Organize Internal Resources
  5. Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets to help you measure success

Define Appropriate Indicators for the Social Media Strategy

Of all the steps listed above, the one most critical to your success is being able to define appropriate performance indicators for your company’s social media strategy.

It goes without saying, and is obvious that the performance indicators are important for measuring the success of your online efforts. I personally recommend setting up three to four indicators for each objective. Thus, if the social media strategy has three main objectives, it should have ten indicators in total - which will need to be constantly referred back to and measured upon.

All of these indicators will be specific to each company, but you can still combine the KPIs:
  1. Reputation management and brand awareness – how effectiveness is your social media program and the engagement rate?
  2. What is the impact of social media on the sales cycle the company’s products or services?
  3. How is the customer experience and satisfaction measured, tracked, and improved?

Establish a Social Media Dashboard

Once performance indicators, based on business objectives, have been selected, you must compile them into dashboards and update the same every day, at least every week. It is also necessary to adjust the content to the audience. For example while the community manager will want to know the program or campaign performance through social media, while the CEO will want an overview of indirect sales or the size of the community.

Once the type of report is determined, you will have to compile KPIs. The main difficulty will come from having multiple sources of information. To be truly effective, the dashboard should highlight some correlations with the 'business as usual' – for example, if one of the objectives of social media is to improve customer service using Twitter, it will be necessary to correlate the conventional indicators from the support team. For example, the number of calls to customer service, the number of emails received by the address holder and so on.

Social Media Needs Dedicated Resources

As a general rule of thumb, companies need to take social media more seriously as the brand can suffer irreparable damage if the company follows an ineffective social-media strategy. Most companies of one hundred or more employees should now have a dedicated social media expert within the business to handle the work. Even for smaller organisations, support from the top management and a dedicated resource-base is essential, if the organisation wants to make its social media campaign a success.  

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