Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Measurement is Not a Strategy

Yo. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, U.S. readers. All the rest of you, what is the deal with importing our Black Friday sales idea? Isn't shopping tough enough? LOL.

So, I came across this very interesting piece of writing about measurements - or what biz folk like to call 'metrics' and how they should be collected in an effort to support your social media strategy, not be the strategy itself.

What Does THAT Mean?

First, let's note that Mr. Boggie is talking about journalism, and journalism content is somewhat different from what you - and your small NGO - are offering. But it's not all that different.

What we all want is to produce content that people want to engage with. And we say 'engage' because these days, you don't just read content, you also watch it or listen to it or both. You may even, in the case of a webcast, be a part of producing it through the questions you ask during the presentation.

In order to gauge how your content is doing out there in the world, you need metrics. And there are a whole lot of those to be had. And lots of tools for gathering them. This is where you can run into trouble. You can collect lots of data and present it in new and interesting ways, but you must always ask yourself, "Does this information really support what we're trying to accomplish by using social media?"

Strategy First

The strategy comes first and you collect the data that can tell you how that strategy is doing. For example, it may be useful at some point to know that most of the people who engage with your content are online at a certain time. But if your aim is to get people to stay on your page for any length of time, this data may not help much. Instead, it would be better to be able to measure the length of time any individual viewer spends looking at that specific url. Going further, if your aim is to (as Mr. Boggie says) convince people that your content is worthwhile, then you need a way to measure how well you are doing that, which might involve time spent, whether or not the piece was shared, whether and how many comments were made, etc.

Mr. Boggie's article also addresses the quality of content, and I recommend reading the whole thing, but if you can't, at least take this away: You're competing with a lot more voices to get your stories heard. and in this environment, "analytics and measurement should be used to refine and correct your message, not to decide what to say."

New Tool

In my inbox this week was an invitation to look at a new method for helping you choose a social media tool. It's called socialpiq. Using it is a 3 step process. First you focus you want, then set the size of your organization, then identify the social media platforms you use. It will then come back with information about what tools may help you best. Here's what I entered:

This is what I got back:

Be aware that socialpiq is in beta and may not have as many choices as it will later, so you might actually enter your parameters and get back a "nothing matches" message. If this happens frequently, you may want to make a note to come back and look at it when it's a little more robust.

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