Sunday, January 23, 2011

Social Media Goals

This week I will be presenting and participating in two different sessions on evaluating efforts in social media. Measuring and articulating value and understanding social media costs are the focus of the upcoming web conferences. Here are my thoughts on the one of the first steps of evaluation--defining the goals.

Understand why you are using social media tools. If you do not understand why you’re using these social media tools, setting expectations will difficult and probably will end with disappointment.

Set goals. Setting goals gives you focus and motivation to keep working. Take time to explore and ponder what your goals are. Think of goals that align with your organization’s goals and how using social media accomplishes your organization’s mission. Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, recently described Ford’s social media efforts to Shel Israel in an interview .

We look for the brands that are the most respected in the social media space and aim to be part of that elite group. Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company.

Ford also looks at volume, news coverage, and consistency of impact, and listens to customers and fans.

Social media goals should not be separate from the organization’s goals, but should be integrated and aligned with the organization’s mission.

Understand what can be measured and compared. Measuring progress means understanding what should be measured and compared. Evaluating the impact of being social is difficult, at best, and some times impossible. There is not a measurement for connecting and building relationships that result in learning, becoming more confident, and building your credibility. Social media is not a stand-alone broadcast moment. The benefits, value and potential of integration and of others cannot be easily measured, but are important nevertheless.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein.

Decide goals and think about the objectives and tactics. Think of business goals. Articulate higher level goals and consider the objectives that might get you there. Do not choose only easy-to-measure metrics, such as increasing number of visitors, number of followers, etc. Consider other objectives that match the social component as well as business objectives. An objective of becoming more engaged may include tactics of engaging with a new person every day or blogging about something you learned from your customers every week.

Mt. Shasta, Kevin, Dave, and Darcy

Focus on goals. Over time, you’ll realize benefits of staying focus. Athletic teams’ goals are to win each game. Every batters’ goal is to get on base. Overall, teams win for only 50 percent of the time. An average, batters get on base less than 50% of the time. Preparing for games, playing the games, and attempting to make hits result in other benefits such as making progress in learning, adjusting, and long term strategies.


My presentation for Social Media Impact Evaluation is on

Ideas for this post came from HOW TO: Manage Social Media Goals and Expectations.

Photo Credit: Darcy McCarty Tags: ,,


Vince Verbeke said...


Good as always.

Might I suggest that you add a new last slide? Take the current final slide, duplicate, and switch to positive tone. As in

We are Engaged for Learning
* We Engage a Community of Learners
* We Contribute and Provide Information


Examples could be given of Extension and other ini Ag communities doing these things. Or, you could engagge the audience and ask tem for examples. But maybe you are already doing that with the last slide.

Just my take..

Bob Bertsch said...


Glad to see the Beth Kanter social media diagram in your slideshow. We have been using Aliza Sherman's modification of that diagram (Listen, Promote, Participate, Publish, Build Community) as a backdrop for some of our social media training.

Great post and slideshow. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bob and Vince for you comments.

Vince, I have changed the last slide. Actually this slide was left over from a presentation Karen Jeannette and I did about utilizing networks for learning and performance.

It may be out of place in this presentation, but I wanted to take a stab at helping others understand goals and activities that go beyond providing information, scale, and broadcasting. I am still not convinced it belongs in this slide set. Nevertheless, I have changed it to be more positive. So, thanks Vince for pointing out my "soapbox" tone.

Karen J said...

Anne, thanks for sharing you presentation.

I saw this link off of Beth Kanter's Facebook page this weekend, and thought it might be a good addition to your comments section...basically exercises to visualize your social media strategy @

John Blue said...

Measuring also applies to any marketing activity. "I Know Half My Marketing Works, I Just Don't Know Which Half" is an often quoted marketing mantra. However, you will be get a better understanding of what is working and what is not when you measure your marketing efforts. Thanks for the post:)
John Blue