Is Your Use of Social Media Effective?

Before you can utilize social media as a tool for your organization you should always set a goal for its usage.  Knowing what types of impressions you make–positive or negative–and how your social media affects your organization’s image can 1) help gauge your audience’s opinion and 2) indicate when it is time to change course.  Whether you want to gain 1,000 media impressions to state that you’ve made an impact or simply maintain a positive image, it is vital that you set up a way to measure your social media impressions.  In this post we will look at how to measure social media impressions and  ways to utilize the info.

How do I measure impressions? The basic how-to in measuring and recording impressions is counting the number of monthly visits, the number of followers or likes, and the number of shares.  You can easily track these by using a link such as which allows you to view impressions in the form of a chart or table for free.  Depending on the size of the organization, you should typically set up weekly or monthly benchmarks for your measurement.

Analyze your impressions. After setting up a record of your impressions you should analyze how your viewers see the image of your organization.  Are you making a positive or negative impressions on your audience?   To answer this simply go back to your metrics:  How many people liked your post or tweet?  How many people shared or linked your post?  Were there negative comments?  Did you lose followers?  Blogger Becky Olson shares tips on making the most of media measurement and going beyond measurement.

Calls to action. No matter the size of your organization, focusing on media impressions can help you stay in touch with your audience. Use this information to determine whether or not it is time to change course based on audience feedback.   When tracking impressions, individual actions are not as notable as aggregates.  If there is an overwhelming amount of support of a recent post, look into focusing on additional related posts.  On the other hand, if a large portion of your audience reacts negatively to a post or series of posts, you may need to change course.  Basically, if there is a large push for or against a new method you used in your social media, it most likely indicates a call to action.

Release your measurements. Whether you want to use your records as a means to educate your organization internally or externally, transparent efforts do not go unnoticed.  If you are starting a new organization or are just starting to track your social media impressions you may want to limit your records to internal focuses.  This can help you to recruit and expand your organization.  If you are a larger or more established organization, you should publish your records in the form of a newsletter or post to keep everyone in the loop on the direction of your organization.