One Key to a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Strategy
Are you listening to your constituents and acting on what you learn from them?
Last month I pondered on How Social Media is Like Peanut Buttered Toast – it can lead us into some messy situations if we don’t handle it carefully. A particularly sticky trap is cognitive dissonance – seeing what we want to see; hearing what we want to hear, and any evidence to the contrary be darned.
It’s important to make our social media plans more evidence based. We need to do three things: (1) collect data; (2) analyze data, and (3) act on data . But… what data to collect? What are we trying to learn? Who should be charged with responsibility for acting on the data analytics? A recent interview summary prepared as a lead up to the upcoming Social Media Analytics Summit in San Francisco highlights:
Ways social media analytics can be most/least useful
Think about who could use some social media evidence in your organization, and how this information might inform their next steps. Who’s the best person/department to collect the data? Do you have the tools in place to do so? Who understands the data sufficiently to be able to draw reasonable, logical conclusions from what is collected? Raw data is not useful. If you don’t have the personnel in place to interpret your data, this is an area for growth.
To get an idea of the skills needed, take another look at what Social Media Analytics Experts have to say. There’s also a great tutorial outline from Stanford that highlights some of the best techniques for social media modeling, analytics and optimization. And there are some good books too.
It’s time in the evolution of social media – which has been considered the new frontier of marketing — to bring some discipline to the practice. Let’s remember the purpose of social media: building relationships! We need to measure whether our social media strategies are achieving this outcome. Otherwise, it’s just plain old ‘media’; nothing social about it. If we don’t use social media platforms to shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many information exchange model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and people, then we’re not learning from our constituents. We’re not getting to know them better. We’re missing the whole point.
See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.
Listening to you, I get the music.
— From the Rock Opera Tommy, by The Who