"The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself."
- Winston Churchill
In her book "Measure What Matters" Katie Paine focuses on all aspects of social media measurement. In the third chapter of the book, Paine provides seven steps to the perfects measurement program and how to prove and use your results.
Step 1: Define Your Goals and Objectives
In this step, Katie Paine states that for your goals or objectives of your campaign to be measurable, they must have set parameters that include; desired outcome, date of completion, budget and target audience.
Step 2: Define Your Environment, Your Audiences and Your Role in Influencing Them.
When businesses produce campaigns, they may think they are only reaching their target audiences. However, when you put something out in the world, everyone sees it. It is essential to keep every audience in mind when measuring. Two questions need to be asked:
- How does a good relationship benefit the organization?
- How might a lousy relationship threaten it?
Step 3: Define Your Investment, What Will It Cost?
When measuring your overall investment in your social media marketing, Katie Paine recommends that you look at all the resources you are investing in the specific campaign. Not just the physical measurement tools but also the time that is spent on the project.
"Spend five to seven percent of your marketing program's budget on measuring a program."
- Katie Paine
Step 4: Determine Your Benchmarks
Measuring social media is a comparative process. To determine if a program is successful, it is necessary to compare the results to something else. Ideally, there should be a comparison between two or three competitors; one competitor that is ahead of you, one that is equal to you and one that is an underdog.
Step 5: Define Your Key Performance Indicators, What Are the metrics You Will Report?
The one thing from this section that I liked is the difference between awareness and visibility. Katie says that visibility refers to the volume of coverage or to where in a story a brand name was featured. Awareness Refers to the public understanding of a brand or message and is measured by a survey.
Step 6: Select the Right Measurement Tool and Vendors and Collect Data
A measurement tool is not helpful unless it gathers data that will help evaluate progress toward a specific goal. Katie Paine lists the three most popular ways of collecting data:
- Content analysis of social or traditional media.
- Primary research via online, mail, or phone survey.
- Web analytics.
Step 7: Turn Data into Action
After you are done measuring you should take the date and create change in your campaign. This is also the reason why you should always be analyzing your media. If you only measure at the end of a campaign, it will be too late to make a change based on the information that you have gathered. Make sure you are continuously measuring and make changed accordingly.