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Social Media Measurement – Tips from the Experts

Despite social media being a part of our lexicon for more than a decade now, many organizations still struggle with incorporating social media because they just don’t know what to measure or how to measure the return on investment (ROI).  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  While at Radian6 I worked with many companies that were looking for the right measurements fortheir community teams, while also helping people understand just how you could measure the ROI of social.  There were a lot of great minds there and I am going to share with you some of the social media measurement that we used- tips from the experts.

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Like any business there was a strong focus on measurement at Radian6, ROI and having the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The best place to start when looking to measure your social media ROI, is with your C-Suite.  It is essential to understand what is important to your executive.  Asking the right questions up front can save a lot of time and get buy-in immediately.  The following questions can get you started:

  1. What are the key concerns or issues of the Board of Directors?
  2. What KPIs are being used?
  3. How are you currently measuring Share of Voice and/or Share of Conversation?
  4. Where does reputation monitoring and management factor in?
  5. What resources do you have to monitor brand mentions and do brand engagement?

It is extremely important to remember that social media is not a strategy unto itself.  Rather, it is part of an overall strategy and must be thought about in the big picture context.  The questions above are intended to help you think this way. Focusing on social media alone is typically the reason that social media ROI has been not been definable and/or reached.  Thus some companies have become disenchanted with social thinking it does not provide results.  It bears repeating that social cannot be planned and/or considered in isolation.  The C-suite, Marketers and Strategists alike need to always be thinking about the big picture and the overall objectives of the organization.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Remember to focus on the big picture.
  2. Social media is not a strategy unto itself.
  3. Select measurements that are important to your Board of Directors and Executive.
  4. Don’t focus on Likes or size of networks only – see #1- 3 and repeat.

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5 Secrets To Starting An Influencer Relations Program

Let’s face it!  We all want to be associated with people who are influential.  One of the best things that can happen for sales is to have an Industry Influencer speak, blog or Tweet positive comments about your product and/or service.  Having this third party endorsement from an independent Thought Leader can be gold.  So, how do you go about creating an environment that can foster organic Influencer commentary?  It is not as difficult as you think.  Here are five simple steps to take to get started:

HA MacLean Image

HA MacLean Image

#1 Have a good product/service – The first step should not be a surprise.  You need a product or service that is top-notch.  For an Industry Influencer to promote something it can’t just be good, it has to be great!  Focus on being great!

#2 Delight Your Customers You need to make your customers happy.  Delight your customers.  Delighted customers talk – as do unhappy customers. As momentum builds, Industry Influencers interest will be piqued!

#3 Identify Your Influencers – Think about the people in your industry who are of interest to you.  Who inspires you?  What books are you reading?  What blogs do you follow?  Who would you like to emulate and/or be your mentor?  Chances are, these people are your Industry Influencers.

Build a list of these individuals and build a database for easy tracking and future reporting purposes.

#4 Follow them, but don’t stock them – Follow your Industry Influencers in all their social channels.  Some information maybe the same, but since each channel can be used differently, following in all could expose you to different content and through engagement you could meet different people, thus expanding your network.

That being said, just because you follow an Industry Influencer does not mean that you are best buds.  It takes time to build a relationship, particularly online.  To help build that relationship, comment on the Influencer’s blog, ask thoughtful questions and offer additional insight.  Over time you will build a relationship.

#5 Determine Your Objectives & Execute – Once you have gone through steps 1 through 4, you then need to determine what you wish to accomplish through having an Influencer Program. To help keep you focused, avoid the 5 Myths About Influencer Relationships and align your objectives to your top three business KPIs and start to execute.  Just remember Rome wasn’t build over night.

(A version of this post previously appeared on a salesforce blog)

5 KPIs Every Small Business Needs to Know

Let’s face it, running a small business is challenging but exhilarating!  There are many initiatives that need your focus and many others that take your attention.  When it comes to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), there are many that you need to know and understand, but here are 5 to really focus on when just getting started:

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

1. Cost per acquisition (CPA)

With limited budgets, knowing where to focus your marketing dollars is critical.  Spending on the right media is essential.  Therefore, knowing your CPA will help you focus your limited dollars.

For help calculating your CPA, check out ClickZ

2.  Customer churn

Do you know how many customers are repeat customers?  Keeping customers is far more cost-effective than acquiring new customers.  While you need both for a business to thrive, you need to focus some attention on keeping customers.  Churn measures the percentage of customers that leave during a given period of time.

While there are different ways to calculate churn, check out  Churn-Rate 101 to get you started.

 3.  Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI)

While there are different inputs to calculate a CSI, companies should be looking at what is important to their business and to their customers and ranking that performance.  For example, you may consider response time, safety messaging, and transaction accuracy as your top areas where you wish to measure customer satisfaction.

A CSI is a great way to take a pulse of customer experience and learn what areas of the business may need improvement.

To learn more about CSIs, check out the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

4.  Lifetime Value (LTV)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, LTV is worth much more.  LTV estimates the value of customer-worth to your company.  For example, if you charge a monthly subscription or maintenance fee, you will want to find out how long the average customer will actually be a customer.

To calculate LTV, check out this article on Entepreneur.com

5.  Operating Cash Flow 

The operating cash flow ratio is one of the most important cash flow ratios. It is a clear indication of how money moves into and out of the company and how the company pays its bills.  Understanding your cash flow will help you understand just how liquid your business is and how quick you can move.

These of course are just five of the many business KPIs that are important to a business, but they are great ones to think about when just starting out.

For more small business tips, visit www.taylormadecanada.com