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Social Media Success – Measurable?

March 7th, 2009

There are many debates among industry experts on the practice of measuring social media success.  Over the last several years, we’ve run some pretty successful social media-based programs in our local market at the technology company I work for.  Personally, I look beyond the standard web metrics of unique visitors, total visits, page views, etc.  From my perspective the more valuable measurables are somewhat less tangible.  That’s not saying that we don’t measure the number of comments by the audience in the experience itself or the number of listings we see in Google when doing a search on the keywords for our program – those are important. 

More important to me, is the tenor and tone of the conversation.  What, specifically, are those consumers engaged in our social media program saying about the experience itself?  Are the comments favorable?  Are we seeing an easy flow in the conversation between our participants and the community?  Have we seen a positive change in emotion and favor during the extended conversation?  Those are most important to me because from that pepspective, I can see if we are actually making a difference in how people feel about us and the products we are discussing.  In addition – are we being recognized by credible resources within the industry as approaching our social media efforts in a thoughtful, credible, and collaborative way? 

If we are being recognized positively by the community we are interacting with and by objective industry experts, that spells success in my eyes.  Your definition of success may be different.  Regardless of where your definition lies, remember this important step in your program development: have a goal of what success looks like to you.

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