Winston Churchill once said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
You have the tools to measure reach and impact on audience, but if you’re not presenting the right data to your board, your efforts in social media and engagement will quickly lose their backing. Here are 3 things you need to track to prove your association is getting value from the time you’re spending on social media.
Ditch Follower Counts/Report on Interaction
While most social media novices want to know raw numbers like how many followers or page likes, this shows nothing. If all you want is numbers go out there and pay for them. It’s faster and your board will be impressed (temporarily).
What you need to present to your board is the interaction you get from your audience. This includes post shares, clicks, comments, and likes. On Twitter it means clicks, retweets and favorites.
Within the realm of interaction, some are silver and some are gold. A like or favorite is not nearly as impressive as a share or a retweet. Shares and retweets increase your audience directly as your content is posted to their streams. Comments are even better. These are the beginnings of conversations.
How many times does your association’s name come up? You should be tracking this, as well as your conference and event references. People discussing you on social media won’t notify you unless they want you to respond. Using Social Mention, Google alerts, or some other service to make you aware of when and where your association is being mentioned is important for a multitude of reasons, one of which is showing your board the traction you’re making.
Referral Traffic from Social Media
While it’s nice to have a lot of followers, it’s even nicer if these followers visit your association’s website. Use Google Analytics to find out how many visitors to your site are being referred from your social media pages. Go into Acquisition/Social/Network Referrals to see the breakdown. If social media is responsible for a lot of your web traffic, your board needs to know.
It’s difficult to prove traction and return on investment in social media to your board, especially if they are numbers driven. To feed them a monthly dose of new followers falls flat and fails to impress quickly. In order to gain their attention you must educate them on the subtle difference between social media and accounting. In accounting numbers matter. You’re bank account is showing an increase or it isn’t.
With association membership, no one is going to see the cost of dues and think, “yes, that’s the proper price, I will renew.” Renewals are based on the member’s opinion of whether she’s receiving enough value for what it is costing her. It’s an emotional decision and you can’t win that with numbers. Make your members feel appreciated and provide value/information they can’t get elsewhere. Social media is a great vehicle in which to do so.