(Originally posted on www.cagilstrap.com
... but with modifications.)
Social Media Measurement
When academic organizations seek social media consultants, I suggest asking the right questions regarding basic and specific needs, determining the communication context for the inquiry, and evaluating the history of (any potential) consultants. This is particularly true for academic institutions who may need consultants VERY familiar with academic needs within institutional settings.
In terms of social media strategy and planning, any consultant and/or design worth their salt should also address the manner by which the strategy and planning will be assessed for effectiveness.
reminds us of this import with a handy dandy list introducing social media measurement as a feature of social media campaign work. Clearly organizations need to ask effectiveness questions, especially the ROI and KPI questions. In pre-planning social media strategy, knowing what behaviors and channels count for positive effect/gain will lead to understanding methods and tools for gathering such social media data. Additionally, (and this is incredibly important) understanding time frame projections will also provide the best opportunity for tracking and making sense of your social media plan's impact.
Of course, executing both the plan and the measurement means there's a great deal of work to be done. But, at least you'll know if what you're doing helps or hurts your organizational goals. Additionally, your academic interests and programs should be assessed as a strong constraint on how you execute any social media plan including recruiting, alumni & development work, and research broadcasting. Without this feature, such plans and their authors should be heavily discounted!