It may just be me, but I’ve seen another spike in activity lately about measurement, and the value, of Social Media initiatives. While many are still saying you can’t really measure the ROi, that does nothing to inform and influence organizations looking to invest anything in Social Media.
And the debate is not whether Social Media can be of value, the question remains to be how much value? A hint of not being able to measure is enough to stop most organizations from pursuing Social Media immediately.
I think the answer is looking to trusted methods to understand new information.
I’ve been invited to speak with members of the San Diego Software Industry Council next month, where I’ll be presenting the latest addition to our OASIS Social Media Best Practices: The Social Media Scorecard.
Here’s a peek.
I’ve done many strategic reviews and planning initiatives for clients over the years, and many times used the Kaplan-Norton Balanced Scorecard approach to implementing performance measurement. It’s been around so long that it has gained very wide adoption as a key tool, and even for those who cannot adopt a complete measurement framework (it’s a lot of work), they at least understand the concepts and language.
There are many successful and widely used monitoring tools available to collect a ton of information, but they do not provide understanding. The monitoring tools of today are a throwback to the several times I’ve been asked by clients to help them reduce mountains of monthly departmental status reports into something meaningful for senior management. Too much data to sift through.
And monitoring tools today do not significantly (if at all) assist the interpretation of this data into understanding the achievement (or not) of measurable objectives, which is how organizations run. Monitoring tools don’t talk C-level.
So, we’re developing a framework with clients that represents informationalized data in a familiar grid to organizations: the Balanced Scorecard. Just as this approach can cascade into customized departmental scorecards in the organization, we’re using a custom scorecard developed for Social Media:
You can see the familiar quadrant approach immediately, as well as the central focus on objectives and measures. The x-axis delineates the two important balanced perspectives of a scorecard, internal and external.
Each quadrant is seeking to determine an understanding in an area of focus. Counter clockwise from the upper right quadrant:
- “Community Vitality” seeks to understand the mood and sentiment of the online relationships an organization nurtures with their community members.
- “Integration” examines the people, process, and programs in the organization and where/how Social Media is affecting the inside.
- “Capital” tracks the real resources (financial, human) an organization invests to establish and maintain the community.
- “Social Health” seeks to understand how the organization is perceived where no formal relationship exists, and what information can be determined (think Social Network Analysis) that may be important to the organization.
Where does this data come from? How do you collect, interpret, understand it? That’s largely a customization effort, but for examples, you’ll either have to attend the session next month, or wait until I return and post it here.
Have you designed and/or implemented a comprehensive Social Media measurement system? We’d love to hear about your approach.