“How do we report on all of this stuff?” is a question frequently heard from all corners of the sandbox. Customer service wants to know how their activities on the social web can tie back in with their existing metrics, sales wants to see how it impacts their lead times, sales cycles, and other sales-related metrics, and marketers want to know how to get the information out of the system (as a first step) to funnel to the other groups, as well as know what information they should be looking for as a department.
Phew. That’s a lot of wants!
To help you break it down, here are some steps to help you get started with your marketing and communications-focused reporting plan:
What programs are included in your strategic plan over the next 6 or 12 months?
Social media reporting shouldn’t JUST be used to report on social programs. Identify which campaigns you’ll be running, shows you’ll be attending, and other activities you’ll be starting (or continuing) over the next 6-12 months. What are the keywords associated with these activities? Do people pick up on things and talk about themon the social web before/during/after? Are they reacting positively or negatively to your campaigns or events? Do you see correlation or cross-pollination from offline program to online channels?
What keywords are associated with your brand?
It may sound simple, but a lot of people track things like @ mentions, Twitter followers, and other statistics, but don’t track keywords associated with their brand. What does your mission statement say? What are your brand attributes? How are you ranking both for share of voice and share of conversation for these keywords, as well as your market?
How many people are talking about you during your reporting period? Is this number growing? Do you notice the same people talking about you week after week or month after month? Can you track sentiment over time and see if a growth in conversation volume also corresponds to a growth in positive sentiment?
No report is going to be “standard” or the same as everyone elses. The key to is to make your reporting plan reflect your business goals, objectives, and tactics. What is trackable? What do you currently report on? Start there and the social metrics will become apparent far more quickly than starting from “what metrics should we track” and working backwards to applying those to your activities and objectives.