Going back to the results from my social media survey, Question #6 asked “What has been the biggest problem your company has encountered in using social meda?”
The top response to this question was “Not sure how to measure the effectiveness of our efforts”.
That probably isn’t surprising to many of you. But that ‘sounds’ like an ROI issue, and I don’t think it is.
So I crosstabbed the people that said that “Not sure how to measure the effectiveness of our efforts” was their top concern, and looked at their responses to the other questions.
Then I came to Question #5, which asked “If your company doesn’t have a social media strategy, why not?” The top response to this question (62.1%) was that their company WAS using social media, but did not have a strategy in place.
But a whopping 68.4% of the people that said that ‘Not sure how to measure the effectiveness of our efforts’ was their top concern about social media ALSO said that they do NOT have a strategy in place to guide their social media efforts.
And this is what I think many companies are running into. They are jumping on Twitter and Facebook (because those are the two sites they hear the most buzz about), then a month later they ask ‘Ok I’m looking at our Twitter and Facebook pages…what should I be seeing?’
These companies let BUZZ determine how they were using social media, instead of taking the time to craft a STRATEGY to guide their efforts.
And yes, I get that some companies panic when you say that they need a strategy behind their efforts. The hand-wringing begins, because when you say ‘strategy’, they hear ‘commitment’, and to them, that means money. But the problem is that if you don’t have a strategy guiding your social media efforts, you are going to LOSE time AND money!
Put yourself in the shoes of the average company that has no idea how to get started with social media. If they don’t create a PLAN for their actions, they will likely decide to jump on Twitter and/or Facebook. Because that’s what everyone is talking about.
So once they get on Twitter and Facebook, since they have no strategy in place to guide their efforts, how are they going to determine if their efforts are working? Odds are, they will think they need to get more followers and more friends/fans. Right? Because those are numbers and it’s easy to understand numbers and THINK that as long as the number of followers/friends/fans goes UP, that’s a good thing, right?
Of course since there’s no strategy in place, the company has no idea WHO they should be reaching, or even if the people they want to reach are on Twitter and/or Facebook. So they struggle to determine how to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.
So think of the social media strategy as being your map. Sure, you might make it to your destination eventually on your own, but you’re probably going to waste some time and energy (and money) to get there.