Going Beyond Friends and Followers

US Online Consumers & Where They Spend Their Time

In Alexandria, Virginia we have been discussing  whether to add days (2 days) and time (30 min.) to the school year and school day.

With such a small amount, some parents would say “What’s the big deal?”

But the smart ones in our community asked the right questions:

  • What is the objective of the additional time?
  • What research or models are you using?
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Is this beneficial for all our children? (Elementary vs. Secondary)
  • And how do we measure the success?

What is interesting is that these are the same questions we need to ask non-profits, or any organization for that matter, that wants to begin a social media strategy.

  • What is the objective?
  • What  models should we use? (Who has done this well?)
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Is this of value for our audience?
  • And how do we measure the success?

Too many people look at their friends on Facebook or Followers on Twitter and call it a day. And in reality, the ultimate measurement is whether you have convinced that Friend or Follower to “take action.”  In other words, did they download the petition? Did they buy the book? Or did they send a Letter to Editor?  In order to measure social media’s efficacy, and whether you are getting your money’s worth,  you have to track whether the desired action is achieved.

I am a panel liaison next month at the SXSW 2011 conference in Austin and one of the panels is going to be: Measuring Social Media – Let’s Get Serious.

Here are some of the questions they will answer:

  • How can I quickly get started with social media measurement that actually works?
  • What are some of the tools available to me than can make it easy to track my campaigns?
  • Is it really possible to figure out the ROI of social media marketing?
  • Millions of people talk about my company online, how do I figure out which conversations matter?
  • I don’t have the resources to track and measure everything – what should my priorities be?

It should be a really interesting discussion and go way beyond “Friends” and “Followers.” I will make sure to report back.

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