Chapter 13: Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

Summary  •  Outline  •  Study Questions  •  Flashcards  •  Quiz

“Even the most carefully crafted and executed social media program in the world will crash and burn if both success and areas of improvement cannot be properly identified and measured.” – Olivier Blanchard

Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a process to allow the social media manager to measure the effectiveness of the organization’s social media efforts.

The process begins by mastering metric language. This involves having a solid understanding of concepts behind the major categories of metrics, which include audience composition, traffic patterns, engagement measures and community sentiment.

The four categories of metrics provide a good starting point for understanding social media measurement possibilities, but you need to dive deeper into the specifics to create a useful measurement plan. This involves distinguishing between platform-specific measures and non-platform specific measures.

The third step in the process alerts you to potential “minefields,” or items to avoid. These include: 1) resist being seduced by glamour metrics (i.e., follow metrics that are relevant for your social media strategy), 2) don’t assume that metric language transfers across platforms, and 3) watch out for comparisons between organizations and over time (i.e., metrics that work for one organization may not necessarily work for another).

The fourth step involves matching metrics with your assessment plan for the 5 Cs. A note of caution, however: not everything can be measured quantitatively with a metric. That being said, there are several metrics in each of the 5 C categories – coordinates, channels, content, connections and corrections - that can be used to assess effectiveness.

Chapter Outline

  • Step 1: Master Metric Language
    • Audience composition
    • Traffic patterns
    • Engagement measures
    • Community sentiment
  • Step 2: Dive Deeper into the Measures and Analytics
    • Platform-specific measures
    • Non-platform-specific measures
  • Step 3: Avoid the Metrics Minefield
    • Resist being seduced by the glamour metrics
    • Don’t assume that metric language transfers across platforms
    • Watch out for comparisons across organizations and time
  • Step 4: Match Metrics with Your Assessment Plan
  • Conclusion

Chapter Deep Dive Study Questions

These exercises are designed to enhance your understanding of the chapter’s key ideas, principles and approaches.

We reviewed a number of metrics in this chapter, and you may be familiar with others, as well. Create a chart with three columns. a) In column one, identify the three most useless metrics for most organizations. b) In column two, identify the metric category for each metric. c) In column three, provide your rationale for the designation.

Research three metrics that provide the typical organization with the most value. a) Provide a reason for why you selected each metric. b) Based on your research, discuss how the metric has been tweaked over time. c) Speculate on how the tweaking has influenced the interpretations of the metric.

Refer to Table 13.3. Create a three-column chart. a) In column 1, identify your three favorite Cs. b) In column 2, select a metric that is a mismatch for each of your favorites.
c) In column 3, provide your rationale for the mismatch.

Chapter Flashcards

[q] Audience Composition
[a] Metrics that provide insights about the composition of your audiences and their preferences.
[q] Community Sentiment
[a] Patterns of responses to your content such as attitude, opinion, feelings, and emotion based on social conversations and comment threads.
[q] Drivers
[a] Measurements of what social media platforms push traffic to your website.
[q] Engagement
[a] Measures of audience actions.
[q] Hashtag
[a] A symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase that marks posts as relating to a topic. It can also serve as keyword measures of interest across platforms.
[q] Impressions
[a] A measurement of exposure to your content, or views of your posts.
[q] Influence Analysis
[a] Finding people within or outside of your network who have high potential for swaying your target audience with the goal of connecting with those influential individual or entities.
[q] Influencers
[a] People who sway others.
[q] Likes
[a] A measure of engagement that indicates positive sentiment.
[q] Metric
[a] Numbers that measure something we believe is important.
[q] Observation
[a] When followers look online and click on posts and links.
[q] Participation
[a] When followers are moved to action, such as following your Twitter account, liking a post and/or commenting on a post.
[q] Platform-specific Measures
[a] Analytics tools offered at the platform level of a social media, such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, Instagram Insights, and YouTube Analytics.
[q] Propagation
[a] Amplification of content when followers re-tweet, repost, repeat comments, share articles or use your hashtags.
[q] Reach
[a] The number of unique visitors exposed to a message or who received impressions.
[q] Shares
[a] A measure of engagement that can be used to identify the most relevant content for your audience.
[q] Top Boards
[a] Pinterest metric that shows from what boards people are seeing your pins.
[q] Total Views
[a] A measurement of exposure to your content.
[q] Traffic Patterns
[a] Metrics that help determine if people are paying attention to your content and driving traffic to your website.
[q] Word Cloud
[a] A tool for visually analyzing blocks of text. The more frequently a word or phrase occurs in a text, the larger the word or phrase is displayed in the word cloud.


Chapter Quiz

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