Think of Facebook, Twitter as your staff

publication date: Apr 3, 2012

Your blog, Facebook page and Twitter account are all members of your organization’s team, according to blogger Jesse Stanchak. They have personalities, strengths and weaknesses. They need guidance to thrive, and they deserve the same kind of evaluation your company gives all its employees.

Separate channel from maintainer

If you’re going to take that approach, he cautions that evaluating a social media presence is not the same as evaluating the person who maintains it. You need to weigh what’s working and what isn’t without making individuals defensive. Remember that even if one person has the official responsibility for social media, other minds are involved intentionally or informally. And of course, your social media person already has a regular performance review, right?

Leave ROI out of it

Unlike many newly-minted social media experts, Stanchak advocates setting return on investment aside during the social media “performance reviews.” ROI is related to budgets, he says, and will rightly come up every year during the budget cycle. Performance reviews focus on goals and expectations, and may come up more frequently.

Borrow from performance evaluation form

Pull out your charity’s personnel evaluation form. Stanchak says most companies use at least some questions that are just as useful for social media evaluation. Look at each channel individually and ask questions like these:

  • What are three things the social media channel does well?
  • What are three things the social media channel needs to improve?
  • What are our goals for this channel in the coming period?
  • What progress have we made on our goals from the previous period for this channel?
  • How does the channel support the company’s mission statement?

Reaching strategic conclusions

That approach is noticeably different from most articles on social media evaluation, with their focus on tracking mentions, likes and retweets. Yes, you probably need the statistics, and fortunately there are many ways to get them. But once you have those figures, Stanchak’s approach helps answer the higher-level questions: what strategic role each social media channel plays in your organization, and what aspects of growth are meaningful enough to track over time. With that information, you’ll make better decisions.

See a list of social media monitoring and engagement tools here; read Stanchak’s original post here.

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