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Define, Refine and Measure Your Social Impact

LVM recently participated in a webinar, hosted by Useful Social Media (USM), focused on measuring the impact of social media for companies.  Expert panelists Lutz Finger, Director of Business Analytics at Linkedin, and Jennifer Lashua, Editor in Chief at Intel, gave their expert opinions and advice regarding social performance and measurement.

As proven by a poll taken at the beginning of the webinar, the majority of companies feel as though improvement to their system of measuring social impact is needed.  Often times, this is because many executives don’t know what to measure.  Jennifer and Lutz were in agreement that it was important to have insightful measurement, that way the company is measuring progress toward a goal.

A completely accurate mode of social impact measurement isn’t possible at this time due to the nature of social media itself.  Jennifer Lashua singled out the constantly changing landscape of social media as being the biggest challenge in measuring its impact.  She explained that it is important to remain consistent in measurement, but maintain the agility to accommodate the rapidly changing social platforms. Lutz made a similar comment, stating that “most likely there is no accuracy, there is just consistency.”

social media measurementSo, in order to get better results from your social performance, what should your first step be?  Ask questions. It is important to ask the important questions that will allow your company to focus in on its main goal.

  • What is important to my brand?
  • What does my management team care about most?
  • What does my business need?/What is our goal?
  • What medium is most beneficial for achieving my goal?

Once these questions have been answered, and your company has a clear path for accomplishing the goals set, you must collect data with the ability to understand and analyze it. The best way to conduct measurement, and preserve the consistency that is required for measurement of social performance, is to customize your method of measurement.  You must determine what data is most significant for your company’s analytics.  For example, Intel has a real time dashboard that is used at events to analyze specifics such as what influencers are saying, shares, overall growth of fans and followers, etc.

Conducting studies of data, using topics such as consumer purchase behaviors or effectiveness of content over both short and longer periods of time, can be beneficial in order to get a better understanding of impact  and a more advantageous ROI.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to measure the impact of your company’s social performance, what changes can we look forward to in the coming years?  In Jennifer Lashua’s expert opinon, there will be more granular content targeting, whereas in past years people have focused on the overall.  She argues that soon you will be “…looking at slices of audiences and what is happening with targeted groups, and following those small groups to understand the impact of your social media to their specific audiences.”  This granular analysis will be helpful to companies because it will allow them to make measurement and data analytics company-specific.

For more information on Social Media services and measurement, contact LVM here.

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