I’m no Social Media pundit – there are thousands of them that describe themselves as such. Just yesterday I was followed on Twitter by someone who had a bio of “Twitter Marketer Extraordinaire”. I have no clue what that means, but I won’t pay for it. Won’t follow it either. It seems like rubbish to me.
I have no such illusions or delusions about my ability to use, and find useful, this new tool-set we’ve been given. Twitter is but a knife in a culinary set though. It is not a full set of utensils. We have an ever-growing set of tools and utensils. And I don’t think the tools matter much – at least not as much as how we decide to use them. A knife can be used to cut. Or it can be used to butter a shared loaf of bread.
Yes, the tools change – but the way they are wielded has been unchanged for decades.
So let us ignore individual tools for now, since they are so varied, and they have a different level of usefulness depending on your company and industry.
The bigger question is, “Can Social Media Be Measured?”. I ask a smaller question – “Should it be measured”?
I’ve effectively used social media in a number of ways. But that doesn’t make it a replacement for meeting people face to face, or using more traditional methods to target a specific audience.
Social Media is a shotgun approach to meeting and conversing with those that you are interested in; or might be interested in you. It is, if done well, an invitation – and that should be enough. For me, and my company, it is enough.
But behind that invitation to a conversation you need real people – people that know your business, and your product – and that are empowered to affect change. Otherwise you are talking to a wall.
Social Media has been useful to me, and to the company I work for, because we don’t just listen and respond with useless banter. We have a team of engineers behind us that actually CAN make change happen. In fact – our entire Social Media Team IS engineers. We have also been customers. WE know what the pain points are – and this was done by design.
When you have that level of understanding of your customers – and what they really need – well, measurement takes on a new meaning. A less significant one. We use “social” to be helpful – with people empowered to help.
I am not overly concerned about “measuring” Social Media – as long as we keep it relevant. If it is relevant to your business – as long as it causes conversations and resolves customer issues – well, I don’t think it needs to be measure more than that – today. Over time measurement will become more important.
But if you work for a company now that is MOST concerned with measurement – and NOT as concerned with your impact – be afraid.
Focus on just making a difference. The tools will catch up to us. If you try to catch up to the tools you will take your eye off the prize – customer engagement.
So I have ONE measurement this year – only one. How do my social media outreaches affect customers. How involved are they where I post, with what I care about, and in a context that makes sense to me and my business?
Do they care about what I care about? DO I care about what they care about?
If they respond in any way, I can measure social media.
If they do not respond, I can also measure social media 🙂
But I am not keeping score beyond, “Are we doing more good than bad”.
I think many are over-thinking this right now.
Are you talking to your customer or not? If you are – you can measure that – just by the number of conversations. If you are not – don’t waste your time in measuring in.
But don’t focus on the numbers. Focus on the conversations. The REAL conversations you have with customers.