This past week I was at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston. Before Alistair Croll started his session he apologized with a quick forewarning, “I’m going to be beating up on Community Managers”. I’m fine with that! I think that we need to be pushed out of our comfort zone.
Alistair started his presentation with – Community gardening is going to change. It’s about capitalism. Companies are concerned with the bottom line & everything needs to be measured. He wasn’t hard on community managers at all. His challenge was simply: We need to take it to the next level for it to be taken seriously in the Enterprise.
I totally agree & echoed the importance of measurement at my session on the day before. His presentation took it to the next level with a focus on measurement and is aligned with the book that he’s co-authored with Sean Powers, Complete Web Monitoring.
Measurement & reporting are key to building value around the community/social media role. The only way to grow the position is to provide concrete data supporting how it’s contributing to the goals of the organization. And in most cases that’s to increase revenue.
The Big Quandary – I can’t measure social media, right?
Everything is measureable now. Web analytics are mainstream and provide the statistics related to your site. Now conversations online can also be gathered, measured & analyzed in a number of ways. There are many free tools as well as professional ones. I work with Techrigy SM2 & we offer a Freemium version so you can get a feel for aggregating the conversations. (Many use it for their consulting businesses).
Alistair took it one step further. He shared ideas that make it easier for your web analytics software (Google Analytics in particular & it’s free) to track your ‘campaigns’. I’ve also been helping my Techrigy customers do likewise so they can maximize their measurement capabilities.
Why is this so important?
1. Show Value – Quantitative data is the proof in the pudding. Every other department has reporting requirements, so this isn’t any different.
2. Grow your role – The only way that you’re going to get more resources (ie: time & people) is by providing concrete numbers on your progress.
3. Increased budget – Budgets are only provided to those that can justify them.
5. Expand the benefit to the company across more departments. We already know that there are huge benefits to talking with the customers across the touchpoints of the organization. The only way that more people will be empowered to work directly with the customers is by proving the value of that with numbers.
6. Job security – If you’re providing excellent service your organization will sense that. But how will they know what impact you’re having?
I look forward to reading their book! I predict that it will be a key read for anyone in a social media role.
Check out Alistair’s slide deck from his presentation.
What are you measuring? Is it showing the value of your role?