Since our last blog post, you should have identified the goals and metrics on the Social Media Strategic Plan template. If you followed the process, it was probably very clarifying for you. I find  that a lot of businesses and professionals don’t go through this exercise.

Let’s review the 3 steps to social media strategy and measurement.

The WHY: Identify Objective and Goals: This is perhaps both the easiest and the most difficult to do. You might be tempted to say “Drive more sales!” but dig a little bit deeper. Go ahead. Do you want to drive sales in a particular region? To a particular audience? The thing with this stage is to be as specific as possible. Being specific makes measurement much, much easier. In the social media strategic plan template, this column is labeled “Goal/Objective.”

The WHAT: Now identify your metrics. Metrics will be the tool by which you evaluate success. The key here is to make WHAT you measure consistent with the WHY. For example, if you are measuring leads, the metric might be conversions (email  opt-ins, downloads, registrations, etc.). But if you are measuring awareness, perhaps your metric is more like reach. Get it? The metric must be quantifiable, otherwise, what will you count? The social media strategic plan template provides a column for “metrics” and even provides you with sample metrics for each sample goal. You can choose to measure track different metrics, just make sure the metrics match the goal. For example, increased followers does not equate directly to more sales, it equates to more reach.

The HOW: The third step in this is identifying Key Performance Indicators,KPI’s, for social media. KPI‘s are measured over time. They are also at-a-glance numbers. Usually things like percentages, dollar values, etc. These are the numbers, based on the metrics, which will support the objectives and goals. Our next blog post will go into more detail about KPI’s and provide you some sample KPI’s for metrics.

Now that you have the WHY (Goals), WHAT (Metrics)  its time to focus on the HOW of measurement, you’ll develop tactics that support each of the goals. Here’s an example I created recently for a client to illustrate how KPI’s are connected to tactics.

First notice how my KPI is an easily, attainable, at-a-glance number. Actually, a KPI should be measured overtime. So I would track each of these KPI’s and see how they evolve throughout the year. But this example is designed for simplification. See how that works? My metrics are based on my priorities, my KPI’s are informed by my metrics and my tactics are informed from both.

The key to remember when developing your KPI’s is to make them measurable and not terribly hard to find. But here’s the other key: don’t let the tactics drive the KPI’s, make the tactics drive the KPI’s. Especially in social media, we often see the tail wagging the dog in this way. You’ll hear people say “Our strategy is Twitter or Pinterest or Facebook.” Actually, that’s not a strategy at all, that’s a platform that supports your tactics. Got it?

You can use our Social Media Strategic Plan Template to help inform your KPI’s. And you can add tabs to the KPI list for each department as we have done.

Download Your Free Social Media Metrics Tool Here