Measuring For Success
In our first and second posts in this series, we discussed both what the owner should be on the lookout for when seeking outside help regarding their social media goals, and how to define those goals, as well as a handful of key insights into what makes a good partner. Now that you have found a partner, established your goals and the strategy to accomplish those goals, you have a little work now to assess what the impact is. Gauging the success of your new partnership should include a look at the following:
- Audience: is your audience growing, i.e. are your followers/likes/subscribers increasing?
- Engagement: is the audience engaged and interactive on your channels?
- Tone: is the vibe upbeat, casual, fun, supportive?
- Content: is the content a good mix for your audience, being both informative and entertaining?
- Responses: are responses generally positive, neutral, or are you getting negative feedback?
- Tracking: where are people finding you and what traffic is showing on your website? Is it from your social media channels or somewhere else?
- Reports: does the vendor provide detailed reports and insights into the progress of the campaign?
As echoed by those over at Mashable, social media success (or failure) becomes easier to understand when thought of in the context of real world conversations; you want to know that they’re talking about you to begin with, then you want to know what they’re saying and how often they’re saying it.
Measuring success is really not black or white. You may be successful in one aspect of the campaign, but struggle in another, but is this due to the work or more towards the actions of your demographic? The key is to pick and choose which metrics are most important to the strategy put forth to execute your goals. There may come a time when your business decides they have gotten all they can out of the vendor, and it is time to transition back into taking full control of the social media marketing efforts internally. Or, it could be that your business is pleased with the results of the partnership, and decide to keep things as they are.
Bottom line: partnering with a vendor should simultaneously make your life and work easier, but also deliver the results you aim for. If the partnership isn’t firing on all cylinders, for whatever reason, it is okay to continue the search for that perfect fit. Your soulmate is out there, don’t settle.