When I’m in the field and meeting with business professionals, I’m often asked what makes an organizations social media efforts effective. For the most part, they know they need to participate, but the question of how-to in a meaningful way, seems to be the question of the day.
As marketing professionals, we often want to use traditional measurements to evaluate new media and it just doesn’t work. Social media has a wider and much longer sales channel, which takes it out of transactional evaluation.
Director of Strategic Communications for APCO and writer for the Huffington Post, Evan Kraus, answers the question of how to best measure your social media efforts. Instead of measuring the effectiveness by the size or number of likes, friends or connections, which would be our tendency from traditional measurement, APCO identifies power users, called social informants. These individuals spend 200% more time online than average users and of those, 56% have 100+ social connections. More importantly they have the ability to create buzz and controversy within their network, which makes them important influencers and those most important for businesses to engage.
APCO’s research, identified 6 key factors that make an organization’s social media presence effective and worth following, including:
1) Dialogue: Has a visible and active CEO or senior leadership presence online.
2) Customer Service: Offers timely responses to the most critical customer complaints, concerns or queries.
3) Quality Content: Ensures content is accurate and reliable.
4) Platform Diversity: Has links to each of its social media platforms on the home page of its website.
5) Engagement & Interaction: Encourages participation from members of the social networks on which it operates.
6) Optimization: Optimizes its websites for ideal placement or ranking in search engines.