Social Media Roundup/Measuring success

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This week's edition of the Social Media Roundup breaks down how social media teams can effectively measure the success of a social media presence. We examine how to use organic analytics tools, URL shorteners and other measurement tools to evaluate how an organization's messages are resonating with the public.


Communicate for Effect: Content Management for Public Army Web sites

Social Media RoundupMeasuring SuccessTracking social media analytics to evaluate the strength of a social media presence

1Social Media RoundupAgenda

This weeks Social Media Roundup will take a look at how to measure the success of a social media presence.

IntroductionDetermining what to measureUsing organic analytics toolsOther analytics programsUsing URL ShortenersMeasuring sentimentPresenting data

Social Media RoundupWhy measure?

People will talk about your organization whether youre listening or not. By measuring the success of a social media presence and by listening to the online conversation, your organization can effectively determine how organizational messages are received.

Social Media RoundupIts all about measurementJust 10 years ago, the success and reach of a news story could be measured by the size of a newspapers circulation, or by the number of clicks on a website.Today, measurement is about more than just numbers. Its about social media trends and human feedback.Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube allow for administrators to track views, impressions and comments. Many sites provide their own analytics tools.By analyzing numbers in conjunction with evaluating comments and reader feedback, its easy to determine how organizational messages are received and how the audience is responding to the content provided.

Social Media RoundupDetermining what to measureConsidering organizational goals before collecting data

Social Media RoundupDetermining what to measureBefore social media managers can evaluate how their content performs on social media platforms, they need to determine what they intend to measure.Specifying organization objectives, drafting themes and preparing messages help determine the metrics an organization will focus on and analyze.

Organizational ObjectivesStakeholders & their prioritiesSocial Media ObjectivesInformation distribution, community building, sentiment, conversation, family connectionsAfter considering organizational objectives, set metricsSocial Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsUsing service-based analytics to track and measure success

Social Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsNearly all of the most popular social media platforms offer analytics tools for users.Facebook does not serve the same purpose as Flickr, so the platforms measure information in different ways. The different representations of information make for a richer and more in-depth statistical analysis.Using the analytics tools of each platform can help an organization measure and demonstrate the usefulness of a social media platform, or highlight the success of a specific social media campaign.

Social Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsFacebook provides an insights tab, where page administrators can evaluate how their page, and the content posted to the page, is performing.In Facebooks insights tab, an administrator can review total interactions, impressions, number of likes, number of comments and a wide variety of other valuable metrics. These numbers help administrators view what messages are resonating and how the page following is growing.

Social Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsFlickr provides metrics that help administrators evaluate what photos are performing well. These numbers help administrators get a better feel for what photo subjects pull in views.

Social Media FactFlickr is a great resource for gaining new visitors who are intrigued by a compelling photo and want to learn more. A good way to capitalize on this curiosity is to provide a link to a related Army story on the organization website or the website.Social Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsYouTubes insight function helps show more than just how many views a video receives. It shows what days the video received the most views and it can also illustrate where in the world the video was viewed.

Social Media RoundupUsing organic analytics toolsTwitter performs a more basic function, so its metric tools are limited.With each tweet, administrators can determine how many people retweeted the content, but to truly evaluate the reach of a tweet, one should use URL shortners, or other external measurement programs.

Social Media RoundupOther analytics programsTaking advantage of free resources to track success

Social Media RoundupOther resourcesSocial media teams are not required to rely primarily on organic analytics tools provided by social media platforms.There are dozens of sites dedicated to helping users find out what people are talking about. These sites can help administrators gauge the success and reach of their social media message.Researching trends and determining how often your organizations message is repurposed can be incredibly valuable when measuring the success of a teams social media presence.

Social Media RoundupOther resourcesThere are both free and paid measurement services out there. Some measurement sites help determine how far a tweet travels, because its not about how many retweets a tweet gets, its about how many people follow the user who retweeted the content. If a tweet is retweeted by someone with 10 followers, its impact is minimal, but if a tweet is retweeted by someone with 30,000 followers, the reach is substantial. Others sites can help users determine which topics are gaining the most traction online.The resources both on the left and on the prior slide are some of the more popular external measurement and research applications. Social media administrators are encouraged to check these out in addition to other resources in the social media space.

Social Media RoundupUsing URL ShortenersTracking clicks with, TinyURL,

Social Media RoundupURL ShortenersURL shorteners serve multiple purposes. URL shortener applications shrink a URL so its less cumbersome and more visually appealing. Shortened URLs provide for more space in a post and also help Twitter users to fit commentary within the 140 character limit of a tweet.In addition to leaving more space on a tweet or a post, websites that offer URL shorteners provide valuable metrics.URL shorteners like and provide detailed analytics that can compliment the metrics collected on social media platforms.

Social Media RoundupMeasuring sentimentListening to the public to determine how messages resonate

Social Media RoundupMeasuring sentimentIf properly executed, organizational messages and themes will appear in all posts, tweets, video posts and photo posts.While measuring site traffic or photo views is easy, measuring sentiment can be slightly more difficult. Sentiment is more about user feedback than numbers.When measuring sentiment, administrators need to post content that reflects unit messages and then watch user comments and posts to determine how the messages are resonating with the online population.

Social Media RoundupMeasuring sentimentListening to the public through social media platforms can assist administrators in determining what the public is most interested in.Organizational social media posts should be a balance between fun posts and command message posts, but all should contain key organizational themes.Keep in mind that not all feedback will be favorable. Sometimes, if a message is pushed too hard, the public will kick back with negative feedback. This indicates that its time to change a social media approach.

Social Media RoundupPresenting dataHow to effectively display social media data

Social Media RoundupPresenting dataCollecting data helps social media managers evaluate the success of their social media efforts, but the real challenge is presenting this data in a digestible and visually stimulating manner. The social media movement is already generating leader buy-in, but leaders want to see results. Creating an effective social media measurement slide is critical in explaining the results of a social media campaign.

Social Media RoundupPresenting dataSocial media is different than traditional media. With all the measurement tools at the disposal of social media managers, its possible to create a comprehensive overview of all social media efforts.When creating a social media measurement slide, its important to include numbers, but its equally as important to explain what the numbers mean. Not everyone digests information the same way, so its important to present social media analytics in a clear and concise manner.

Social Media RoundupSummaryMeasurement is the key to evaluating social media success. Today, measurement is about more than just numbers. Its about trends and human feedback.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube allow for administrators to track views, impressions and comments. Many sites provide analytics tools so its important to use these resources when evaluating the success of social media efforts.

URL shorteners provide valuable metrics in addition to leaving more space for commentary in a tweet or a post.

Measuring sentiment is an important way for social media administrators to determine how organization messages are resonating with the online population.

Creating effective social media measurement slides and presentations is critical to displaying social media success and generating command buy-in.

Social Media Roundup25Contact information

Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to us at the Online and Social Media DivisionOFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON1/5/

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