How to measure the effectiveness of social media

Today a new initiative has been launched to measure the impact of social media communications.

The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the global trade body and professional institute for agencies and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research, has unveiled a user guide and social media measurement frameworks.

They were developed by AMEC’s social media measurement committee and are well worth a read. I’ve included links to all the content and resources below and used their definitions to help guide you through.

Running along the top of each of the frameworks are headed columns that reflect the stages of the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is an established model which details the theoretical customer journey from first contact with your brand/organisation through to the ultimate outcome that is desired.

The columns reflect the stages as your audience moves from first awareness of your work through to interest, preference, action and advocacy:

Potential audience exposure to content and messages.Interactions that occur in response to content on an owned channel, i.e. how the audience is engaging with you and also earned social conversations, i.e. talking about you.Ability to cause or contribute to a change in opinion or behaviour.Effect on the target audience. Can include but not limited to any financial impact.Are others making the case for you about something? Includes positive sentiment such as a recommendation, a call to action / call to purchase, suggested usage or change of opinion.

The frameworks and user guide offer practical tools and a consistent, meaningful approach for measuring social media that can be applied in any organisation, regardless of size. I like the fact it’s not restricted to large companies only – these tools are some of the most useful I’ve seen to date and I welcome their introduction.

Well done to everyone involved for getting them to launch today.

AMEC frameworkSo what do they do?
By providing a clear link from the planning stage to setting objectives to measuring results, they provide straightforward advice to social media measurement success.

I also like the fact it’s been supported across the communication disciplines, with The Cabinet Office, Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) all endorsing the initiative.

Below you can listen to Alex Aiken, Executive Director, UK Government Communications talking about the user guide and frameworks:

My fellow CIPR social media panel member Richard Bagnall (pictured) is CEO of PRIME Research UK and Chairman of AMEC’s social media measurement committee.

richardHe said: “This is an important new initiative from AMEC, providing a best practice approach to social media measurement. The Frameworks make it easier for communication professionals to plan, monitor and measure their social and digital media result against their individual, tailored objectives in a credible, meaningful and consistent manner. Tweet this

“Using the frameworks will allow users to show value across all stages of the communications funnel from output to outtake and outcome.”

There is a dedicated website where you can read all about the frameworks and access the resources available.

Access the user guide here.

You can download the resources as a PDF here.

There is a dedicated framework for paid, owned and earned media. To define those, they are:

PAID:Channels you pay to leverage – paid search, display ads, sponsored tweets, etc.
OWNED:Channels you own and control – your website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.
EARNED:Customers and/or stakeholders become the channel with their content – blogs, tweets, YouTube, word of mouth, viral, proactive influencer outreach, etc.

You can download the Paid, Owned and Earned Framework here.

Plus there’s a framework for programme, business and channel metrics. To define those, they are:

PROGRAMME METRICSMetrics directly tied to your programme or campaign objectives.
BUSINESS METRICSMetrics designed to measure the impact to the business / organisation of the campaign or initiative.
CHANNEL METRICSMetrics that are unique to specific social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, etc.,

You can download the programme, business and channels metrics framework here.

If this is a topic you want to know more about, keep an eye on the #SMMstandards hashtag on Twitter.

Further reading on my blog: The Social Media Measurement guide from CIPR social media panel.

I recommend checking out the website for lots more information including a glossary of terms.

I’ll leave you with a video overview (just under 10 mins long):

What do you think? Is this useful? Would you like to read more about measuring social media via my blog?

You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Post author: Rachel Miller.

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Founder of All Things IC communication consultancy. Chartered PR Practitioner and CIPR Fellow.

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