The title of this post was inspired by something Mitch Joel said in a recent episode of his excellent podcast, Six Pixels of Separation. He and his guest were talking about measurement and Mitch said, “In a world where we can measure everything the brands that win are those that know what to measure.”
When the web started it was all about “hits” and many people still don’t know that this almost useless stat includes, for example, hits to any element on a page. So if your page has 10 graphics each one is counted as a hit.
Now with social media it’s all about friends and followers.
These may be appropriate measures depending on your specific objectives but the problem is that many organizations don’t have specific objectives. In fact, many don’t have any written objectives at all.
Asking the question, “How are you going to measure that?” forces people to rethink their goals and make them specific.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say someone comes to you for a communications campaign saying their goal is to “raise awareness with the general public about one of their organization’s programs”. You tell them that the first step in measuring anything is taking a baseline measurement of how things are now. You then set your goals, implement your communications program and evaluate whether you’ve met the objectives.
Now you ask them if they’re willing to devote the resources to do a baseline measurement of the current awareness of their program. Are they really going to do a baseline study of how much the “general public” is aware of their program? Not likely.
Then you say something like, “You know, we could measure the current level of online conversation around a specific part of your program.” Then you have their attention.
Proper measurement leads to specific, measurable, achievable objectives – and that’s good for everyone.
Does your organization have specific, measurable objectives for its social media initiatives?