We’re all trying to find ways to improve evaluation of our social media efforts. It’s fun to count the number of retweets, and the number of ‘likes’ warms our hearts. But there’s a nagging concern to evaluators – are these numbers meaningful?
Your intrepid OERC Team, Cindy and Karen, attended a program at the American Evaluation Association conference in Chicago called “Do Likes Save Lives? Measuring What Really Matters in Social Media and Digital Advocacy Efforts,” presented by Lisa Hilt and Rebecca Perlmutter of Oxfam. The purpose of their presentation was to build knowledge and skills in planning and measuring social media strategies, setting digital objectives, selecting meaningful indicators and choosing the right tools and approaches for analyzing social media data.
What was interesting about this presentation is that the presenters did not want to rely solely on what they called “vanity metrics,” for example the number of “impressions” or “likes.” Alone these metrics show very little actual engagement with the information. Instead they chose to focus on specific social media objectives based on their overall digital strategy.
Develop a digital strategy
Develop social media objectives
Collect specific information based on objectives
The presenters suggested some types of more meaningful metrics:
Overall, your goal is to have a plan for how you would like to see people interact with your messages in relation to your overall organizational and digital strategies, and find metrics to see if your plan worked.