Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 9 - Evaluate Impact, Donít Continue Blindly

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 6:09pm Friday 04 September 2009

As with all your marketing campaigns, value is determined by the contribution youíve made to the goals of the company. While it is important to generate an ďonline buzzĒ, the quality of the postings and impact on the company is still the ultimate judge.

Comments and discussions must be evaluated for both tone and prominence. Whether you are using technology to identify and evaluate articles based on defined criteria or having individuals sift through the articles to determine their value, it is important to take the tone and prominence into consideration when determining ultimate impact.

Companies need to not only track where and how often their brand is discussed but assign a value based on the importance of the outlet to the organization and determine if the conversations are positive, negative or neutral to get an accurate read of their results.

Discover which platforms and techniques have had the greatest impact and who they have influenced. Use criteria that matters to your company to determine that impact Ė whether itís the number of sales opportunities uncovered, leads generated or attendees at an event Ė measuring results is critical to determining your success with social media. By comparing your activity and effort against results, you can gauge what activities are most effective and concentrate your efforts on the platforms that will give you the maximum return. Use this information to determine whether your current strategy is working or if you need to make changes.

If you donít track the results generated through social media outreach, it will be very difficult to improve upon your strategy and fully reap the benefits social media can offer.

Finally, donít make the investment in social media without the commitment. Social media takes time. Establishing your network and leveraging the platforms may not happen overnight, but if you follow your strategy they can extend your reach and get the most out of your PR efforts.