By Ted Rubin
Many people are finally realizing that social media is serious business. Not “serious” as in stuffy, fun-resistant, and devoid of personality, but “serious” as in something that is of great value to our companies and needs to be treated as such.
What is one of the first things that come up when a new tool or process is introduced to a company? Metrics… what are the numbers we’re aiming for? What will tell us if it (the implementation and use of the tool / process) was a success? How will we get that information and make sense of it in a way that can inform our business strategy? These same questions – plus a few new ones — need to be asked as we begin taking social media integration seriously in our businesses and marketing strategies.
Defining metrics around social media advertising and marketing campaigns has been challenging enough that for a while many people said it simply could not be done. Now, however, we are learning that social media measurement (re: use and impact) IS possible – just not always using traditional metrics and methodologies.
One of the most important new ways to establish social media metrics is to set “conditions of satisfaction” (a concept promoted by Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak and the author of best seller… The Mirror Test). In other words, what are the specific outcomes that will bring satisfaction to you, your brand, your business, and your customers? Notice how the word “satisfaction” here requires you to think not just about actions, but about the whole experience resulting from the outcomes. This is absolutely critical for successful social branding!
While Jeffrey applies this concept primarily to employees, vendor services, etc., it is equally important to set conditions of satisfaction in this emerging world of social media where standard metrics may or may not apply. Social media marketing campaigns need to be built on relationships, and metrics include words like “trust” and “engage” and “authentic conversation” and “online reputation” – all things that are at the heart of what a brand/company wants and needs … and all things that can be defined by setting up conditions of satisfaction.
Conditions of satisfaction around social media need to be different for every organization. They need to be based on the each company’s specific and unique GOALS and VISION and VALUES to ensure that the information gathered can strategically inform the marketers and the C-level Suite. Aligning your conditions of satisfaction with the heart of the company gives you the blueprint for plans that will go far in creating a genuine brand, and brand experience that connects with your customers.
Bottom line: Metrics matter and social media for business gets no exception. Don’t take another step until your conditions of satisfaction are set.