Task Force on Social Networking Software

Medical Library Association

Can you put a rainbow in your pocket? Measuring social media

Filed under: IL2008,TF — Molly Knapp at 10:45 pm on Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jeff Wisniewski was back at IL2008 today talking about measuring social media. Notes behind the cut. Sea lion
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Measuring Social Media – Why ?
For one reason, a recent study on Facebook & university freshmen reported that more than half responded positively to the idea of using Facebook to engage in academic learning. For another, it’s good to know whether your social media efforts are reaching your users, and having qualitative and quantitative information is something you can take to administration to prove your worth.

Steps in developing a social media plan
1. Listen

  • Is there a conversation going on about your library right now? What’s being said? What’s the tone? Do you have an active or passive dialogue?

2. Prepare

  • Define a strategy & concrete goals (i.e.: “increase awareness of library services”, “expose collection ‘gems’ to a wider audience”, “decrease the number of calls to tech help desk”)
  • Pick a particular platform (or 2) – depends on your goals/strategy
  • Check out this slideshare presentation on choosing and using social media platforms

3. Engage

  • Start blogging, respond to posts, leave comments on other blogs, build your Facebook community, set up your wiki, etc. (PS: this is the fun part)

4. Meaure

  • Are we getting anything out of this? What’s the return on investment (ROI)? In a Prospero social media survey of large corporations, 41% don’t really know how to measure that ROI other than by engagement.
  • However, unless you have a stats-genius like Melissa Rethlefsen on your staff, traditional online metrics are not exactly easy
  • Social Media measurement needs a combination of quantitative & qualitative measurement

Approaches to Measurement

  • The “Trinity Approach” Vinash Kaushik – Social Media metrics
    • Behavior (the “what”)
      • quantitative
      • the number of blog posts
      • Boyd’s conversation index: the number of posts divided by (# comments + trackbacks)
        • Result should be greater than 1
      • Number Facebook friends/fans
      • Number of views/visits
    • Outcome = tangible benefit of your Socal Media activity
    • Experience = listen, engage, converse → take action
  • “Stars, scars or neutral?” –the experience metric – take these & produce a number “of the 15 comments we’ve r’cvd, x were posititive, x were negative, x were neutral

    Monitor general search engine results – Google is good at integrating Social Media objects into search results

    Things to get started

      • Monitor social media search engine results
        • Why? It’s used by high value, highly connected, highly influential users
        • Authority score (# blogs linking to your blog, favorites (fans) & blogs rank (qualitative)
      • Del.icio.us has built in stats – how many people bookmarked your library (quantitative)? any comments? (qualitative)
      • Twitter – do you show up? how often?
      • Google alerts – set up your library’s name (in quotes) i.e.: “Univ of Pittsburg” library, then choose ‘comprehensive’ to get results from news, blogs, web video & groups, can be notified ‘as it happens’, daily or weekly
    • analytics
      • Google analytics & Clicky
        • both create “conversion funnel” to measure a social media action chain
        • clicky ‘dashboard’ – measures referrers to your site from SM sources
        • Assess nature/sentiment of activity
        • what’s the strength & tone?

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