Step 3/Post 1 reviewed different approaches to Social Media Performance Measurement and ROI. In Post 2, we present our own ‘4Is’ approach to measuring social media performance and overall business impact; an approach successfully used across a range of different social media projects.
Your social media engagement strategy should be fully aligned with and supportive of the overall strategic goals and objectives of your organisation. It is critical, therefore, that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are agreed for measuring on-going performance and business impact.
• ‘Lag’ performance measures cover your ultimate business goals and objectives e.g. increased sales, lower costs, ROI etc
• ‘Lead’ measures are the social media KPIs that help you to achieve your overall business goals and objectives; the main ‘drivers’ of future success
Social Media KPIs
The ‘4Is’ approach provides a useful framework for agreeing your Social Media KPIs ( ‘Lead’ Measures). As shown below, the ‘4Is’ stand for Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy and Influence.
– Involvement: The number and quality of people in your various online networks
– Interaction: Actions they take – post, reply, comment and review
– Intimacy: Levels of affection or aversion to the brand; community sentiments, opinions expressed
– Influence: Advocacy, viral forwards, referrals and recommendations, social bookmarking
Two points are worth noting about the ‘4Is’ approach:
• First, there is emerging evidence of a direct ‘cause and effect’ relationship between the ‘4Is’ and overall business performance. In other words, organisations with high customer Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy and Influence tend to outperform those with weaker online networks. In a social media era, the ‘4Is’ have become important drivers of future business performance (see www.engagementdb.com)
• Second, the ‘4Is’ are not abstract, difficult to measure criteria. Indeed, the complete opposite is true. Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy and Influence can be measured to a very high degree of accuracy at two main levels: Individual Channels and Overall ‘Buzz’.Individual Social Media Channels/Platforms
Most social media channels/platforms provide easy to access and free statistics for monitoring channel performance using the ‘4Is’ e.g. Facebook ‘Insights’, YouTube video statistics, Twitter analytics, Linkedin Network stats etc.
Some examples are provided in our presentation embedded at the bottom of this post.Overall ‘Buzz’
One of the main objectives of your social media strategy is to create an online ‘buzz’ about your brand. In addition to monitoring the performance of individual social media platforms, it is important to monitor and evaluate the conversations taking place about your brand/product in the wider social media landscape. A follow-up post will show the way in which emerging Social Media Monitoring Tools can be used to track who is talking about your brand, where online, the sentiments being expressed and how to develop actionable insights from the conversations taking place. Key questions that need to be addressed in this area include:
• What positive or negative sentiments are being expressed?
• Who are the key influencers?
• What are the main ‘calls-to-action’ we need to take based on the online conversations taking place?
• What is the business impact of these conversations?
Your approach to Social Media Performance Measurement should be strategy-led. You should be seeking to deliver actionable insights and measurable results relevant to your core strategic objectives.
• Customer Insight and Understanding: What your customers and their influencers are saying about you and your competitors.
• Engagement: with a network of high value, high growth potential customers. Identifying key posts and follow-up actions.
• Interaction with Key Influencers: Identifying influential sources for incorporation into a wider strategic response.
• Reputation Management: Timely identification of potential reputation issues.
• Improved Sales and Marketing: New prospects, customer and market opportunities.
• Improved Performance Monitoring: Monitoring a number of measures of social media performance (very different than those we use to measure Website Performance), including the ‘4Is’.
Jim and Alan