I am a big fan of actionable metrics. In all of my presentations and webinars about social media tracking, measurement, and engagement, I highlight the value of and need for what I call “actionable metrics”, meaning the data we capture and track that actually gives us insight and the opportunity to improve or change the way we use various platforms and the kinds of content we create and share. If the numbers you are tracking don’t give you an action, how valuable are they? For example, if you track just how many people come to your website, it doesn’t give you much action. But, if you were to track the highest in-bound traffic sources of your website (to see where people are coming from when they find you) and which pages most people leave from, you have actions you can take for supporting in-bound traffic and content as well as improving the parts of the website that drop people off.
Fenton just released a terrific guide book focused on actionable metrics: “See, Say, Feel, Do: Social Media Metrics that Matter”.
It is tempting to imagine social media as its own communications island where Twitter Follower counts are valuable currency that can be exchanged for internal high-fives. In this scenario there is no way to exchange social media coins for broader communication or marketing dollars. But who cares when you can boast 50,000 likes on your Facebook Page.
This is the wrong approach for three reasons: 1) it doesn’t acknowledge the complete media consumption behavior of your target audiences; 2) it cuts off feedback loops that can be mined for insights that will improve engagement and returns and 3) it limits the reach and impact of your broader communications.
Fenton’s guide divides up the kinds of metrics you can focus on under the headings See, Say, Feel and Do. As I suggest in my Community Mapping approach, the actions and metrics should be mapped against the segments of the community doing them. I really appreciate that Fenton has included a similar recommendation. I also love that they include both a space for identifying and tracking the data, as well as a place to include the insights and actions associated with it. The best of the guide book, though, is the inclusion of an example reporting form and a template to use in your own organization.
What do you think? If you downloaded the report, did you find the template useful? What aspects of the do/see/say/feel metrics approach were you already using or do you plan to try out?