Measuring Social Media

Everyone knows by now that social media is important to the work that they’re doing, whether that’s creating a great product or saving the world.

In public relations especially, knowing what one is getting out of a tool, tactic or strategy can be especially complex. Most of the time, we’re faced with multiple, overwhelming needs to prove ourselves: to show that massive culture change is happening around an issue, to demonstrate to our Powers That Be that we’re successful, to engage supporters in a way that avoids confrontation, the list goes on and on. Adding in social media efforts can feel like “just another task,” and without understanding how to measure those efforts, they– and we– can get lost in the shuffle.

Chapter 19 in the book covers some possible ways for public relations practitioners to measure the effectiveness of social media. In 2009 AMEC (the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) partnered with some global public relations bodies, declared the Barcelona Principles. The principles where seven statements detailing how public relations measurement could and should be done as best practices.

Those seven principles are:

  1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR programmers.
  2. Measuring the effect on outcomes is preferred to measuring outputs.
  3. The effect on business results can and should be measured where possible.
  4. Media measurement requires quantity and quality.
  5. AVEs are not the value of public relations.
  6. Social media can and should be measured.
  7. Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement.

The AMEC published its Valid Metrics Framework, which provided a template for communications to be measured.

These are very effective ways to measure the impact of your social media effectiveness, but with technology constantly changing there are many companies emerging with sites and programs that will do it for you, that is if you have the money of course, and for the looks of it there are not cheap. Regardless of the way you choose to measure social media, the fact now is it is a must do for companies and organizations in order to keep up in the fast pace, ever-changing world of social media.