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Andy’s Answers: What social media and word of mouth metrics should I focus on?

Metrics are a fundamental component to all great word-of-mouth and social media programs. Solid measurements help you figure out what works, help you demonstrate value to your organization and help you make long-term strategy decisions.

There are a lot of smart thinkers out there on the topic, but if you’re just looking to get going, you’ve got a few basics you can focus on.

A few measurements to focus on:

  • Actionable measurements. Start by focusing on things you can move. When you define what is actionable — such as sales, traffic, leads or referrals — you can figure out where to focus your efforts.
  • Relative measurements. Make your word of mouth and social media efforts seem less foreign by relating them to existing efforts and measurements. By using familiar numbers and qualitative buckets, you help word of mouth and social media fit into the overall communications strategy.
  • Small “I” measurements. This one’s from the Starbucks team, and it’s always a good rule to follow: If you can keep the “I” in ROI small enough, the “R” isn’t always so critical. Metrics are important for long-term, sustainable word of mouth, but if you keep your investments to a minimum — especially in the beginning — the numbers related to results can often wait while you get up and running.