Sharing Your Success: Reporting Social Media ROI
December 1, 2010 1 Comment
When the time comes for you to “justify your existence” to the higher ups at your institution, will you be prepared?
One of the most important aspects of using social media to engage and converse with your audiences is to record the impact of those efforts – not just quantitatively, but qualitatively. And eventually, the powers that be will come a knocking. They’ll be asking you to report to the board of directors or the VP or the president on just what you’ve been doing and why it is valuable. This isn’t the time to shrink in fear – this is the time for you to shine!
In a series of upcoming posts, I’ll outline some of the tools I use to gather data, crunch the numbers, and put together cohesive reports on the various social technologies. I’ll specifically highlight Facebook and Twitter, two of the most popular social tools today. Here are a few things to remember as you gather your findings and put together your report(s):
Summarize: you may have the best facts, figures, graphs and charts on earth. But you are presenting your findings to busy people who may not have the time or the inclination to dig deep and fully absorb all of your hard work. Don’t be insulted, just know your audience. Condense your findings into a brief executive summary and place it at the beginning of your document. Include the nitty gritty details after the summary; those who seek more detail will find it at their fingertips.
Highlight: here’s your chance to show off. Directly quote some of the great things people have said about your institution, something interesting you’ve learned, or a new contact you’ve made thanks to your efforts and include it in your report. Share your anecdotal evidence of success.
Benchmark: how do you stack up? While there might not be a lot of public data for you to compare with your institution’s, you can still do internal comparisons. How have things changed from month to month? In the past year? Work with what you know to demonstrate growth.
Clearly state your goals: talking about how great you’re doing is all well and good, but where do you go from here? Be specific. “Our goal is to double our total twitter followers in the next six months” or “we plan to increase admissions applications by 25% this year using Facebook.”
Stay tuned for more as I highlight some of the great (and sometimes free) tools out there to help you collect your data.