It has been an extremely busy week where I have been all over the country from Manchester to London and then Coventry. All the trips appeared to be necessary and useful but how do I evaluate how my time has been spent? Interestingly, one of the trips I made was to a workshop considering how to evaluate the use of social media.
There is so much information that is available now to people using social media. You can analyse the content, the audience, the impact, the engagement, the reach…in fact the list just goes on and on. All the detail you can find through the social networks own analytics and third party apps and programmes is useful. But do you really need it?
For me the key is to go back to the beginning. What is it that you want your social media use to achieve? Is it about engagement, service delivery, increasing customers or showing transparency and building confidence? You need to know what you were setting out to achieve if you are to be able to focus on looking at those statistics that will help you. It may be interesting to know what tweets get the most retweets or what is the best time to post on Facebook but does it really help you demonstrate whether you are making an impact on your aim and objectives?
This is why it makes it so important for me for there to be a clear strategy and plan in place when organisations or businesses are heading into social media. Despite the fact that it is more a part of daily life now then it was five years ago there is still a lot for people to learn about what it can do, what it brings and how it can be used. At one point moving into social media was seen as money saving but now as it becomes more sophisticated it is clear that it needs some investment to really see the returns available.
Of course you can just use social media without a plan or approach and then just see how things go. But for most companies it is vital to know what return you are getting from investment no matter where that investment is. After all if we are not able to show the results then it is right to question why time is being put into using social media.
As for whether my week has been useful. I haven’t got any relevant statistics but I do know that each of the meetings brought results and helped me in some way so that has to be recognition of some success.