Dr. Alan Roseblatt published two articles on FrogLoop.com in October 2010, which to this day remains relevant. In the first article, Measuring the Impact of Your Social Media Program, he discuss the critical assessment of Return on Investment, for both non-profits and advocacy campaigns. For social media campaigns/programs, the ability to measure your engagement can be crucial to the success of your campaign. It allows you to determine what works well and what can be altered. In Measuring Social Madia Reach, Rosenblatt looks at the audience size, hashtags, impressions, and an analysis of your followers/fans. He opens the article by discussing how influence is comprised of three main categories of metrics: reach, engagement and driving traffic to your website.
“Simply put, reach is about the size of your audience and how many people see your social advocacy messages. Reach features your largest success metric number—the number of people who see (potentially) your message. Since more people will see your social media posts than will click on any links within them, it is imperative that the posts contain your key message points. That way, just reading the posts will deliver value to your audience and to your programmatic goals,” opens Rosenblatt when discussing reach. This leads to his second article, Rules of Social Media Engagement, in which Rosenblatt discusses ways in which to track what’s trending through social media (ie. re-tweets and hashtags). He looks at top websites that offer link shorteners and the ability to track who clicks on and shares your link, such as bit.ly or hootsuite.com. By far, the largest takeaway from this duo of articles, is his Final Thoughts on Metrics of Success, “The metrics discussed here provide a good set of indicators to help you identify the general performance of your social media program. But in and of themselves, they leave out some important performance metrics. For example, you still want to know if you are improving your brand recognition and reputation, are you creating enduring memes and raising public awareness of your issues, and did the policy you pushed for pass or fail as you hoped it would. These remain important metrics, but inevitably are the most difficult to use. They are easy to measure, but attributing causality to your social media program will be as difficult as saying a commercial caused a person to buy a product. You can correlate them to each other, but assigning the causal relationship is tough”.
From these articles, we learn the importance of hashtags, where to find out what they mean, why they’re being used and how you can start trending. We also learn some metrics of measuring engagement and reach and how those figures can help drive traffic to your website. Finally, we’ve learned that the resulting affect of measuring social media performance is that these statistics generated can be used to influence those that allow the social media manager to continue engaging users for an advocacy group or non-profit, which in todays environment may carry the largest benefit due to the earned media, costing little to nothing for these groups that already have little funds to allocate to campaign advertising.
Recently, I came across an article by Lauren Drell titled, “How Social Media Is Changing Paid, Earned & Owned Media“. The take away from this article is definitely the benefit of each type of media coverage. In the Internet Politics course at Georgetown University, we had a guest speaker, Simon Owens from Jess3 on July 18, 2011. Owens, the Director of Public Relations, discussed how the agency he works at differs in that they operate through earned media for their clients. Drell says that media that is earned is “squarely social”. “A YouTube channel will succeed only if consumers watch and share the videos they see. A brand needs to earn those eyeballs with creative execution of content”.
Drell and Owen discussed earned media in that same context, in order to be successful through earned media, the publisher must produce content that appeals to the widest range of users possible. Not only must this appeal to a wide range of people, they must also want to share it with others, therefor they must also be an influencer or at least have a range of influence where they can reach other influencers. “So, the goal of the modern agency is to connect the dots and integrate all media for maximum results. Of the three buckets, the holy grail is earned media. Earned media can be most easily described as the result of paid and media — you buy a Super Bowl ad (paid) or you run a promotion on your brand’s Facebook Page (owned), and then and then people in the media talk about it (earned) and the Twitterverse erupts into conversation about that topic. You may shell out big bucks to flash an ad before a consumer, but you can’t force them to buy anything or tweet about it — you have to earn that consumer’s dollars and tweets, you have to engage and empower him to become your evangelist, says Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester“.
Also within this article, Drell discusses paid and owned media. Owned being media that which is published by and on a company’s website. Paid being media that which is purchased (usually at a much higher price than the other two) and presented on the purchased space. The article goes further to discuss the value of using each type of media and how they work together to promote the overall package, if applied concurrently. “As more consumers get on board with social media, generating earned media through social shares will become an even higher priority. And that means paid and owned media — and the teams that manage each — will need to work together even more seamlessly. The barriers of the silos are broken, and they’re only going to crumble more”.