How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI by Nichole Kelly ought to bring a sigh of relief to a lot of people who have to persuade their bosses that the company Twitter account is not a waste of time.
Kelly starts in just the right place with a chapter on “Aligning Social Media with Core Business Objectives.” Often, the number of Likes or followers, since it’s the most visible metric available, becomes the focus of social media measurement regardless of the actual goals of the business. This section can help you look past the popularity contest to the real benefits for your company.
This section also contains two of my favorite reminders in the book:
Reality Check No. 1: No One Cares About Your Brand
Reality Check No. 2: You Have Lost Control of Your Brand
Kelly continues with suggestions for metrics that mesh with your company goals, from brand awareness to lead generation. There are hands-on activities for things like “Aligning Social Media Leads to the Sales Funnel” that help make the whole process more concrete and measurable — because sometimes you need that, like when you’re trying to get some room in the budget. This section also has some sensible discussions of the difference between measuring ROI with existing customers and with new business.
The second section of the book is “Tools for Collecting Metrics.” While the book does describe and review some specific tools, there are also discussions about the kinds of obstacles — in systems, attitudes, web design and more — that get in the way of effective measurement.
Kelly discusses various tools, including a combination of Google Analytics and HootSuite, paper and pencil, and Excel. There is a full set of instructions for setting up a Social Media Measurement dashboard with Excel that contains the words “Here comes the fun part,” a phrase I personally cannot associate with Excel in any meaningful way, so you can feel confident that she has the knowledge to make these recommendations.
There is also a discussion of connecting your social media measurement with your CRM, an obstacle that keeps a lot of larger companies from being able to make the most of social media marketing.
There are interesting discussions about a number of companies and how exactly they have succeeded with their social media marketing, but measurement remains the clear focus of the book.
[Disclosure: The publisher of this book sent me a copy for review. I am not paid for reviews, and you know I always tell you the truth.]