If you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog or some other social media platform, chances are you’re constantly giving it flash evaluations. “How many retweets did I get today? How many views did that post get?” Maybe you compare today’s performance against yesterday’s or last week’s. Maybe you give the brand’s social media presence an informal appraisal — “lookin’ good” or “needs some work.” If you’re really diligent, maybe you send an e-mail off to other employees with your findings. And then you move on with your day, secure in the knowledge that you’re doing your part to monitor your social media progress.
But are those constant mini evaluations doing more harm than good? Are they prompting you to be reactionary instead of strategic? Are they making it harder to spot trends over time?
Ask yourself: If your boss evaluated your job performance the way you evaluate your company’s blog, would you be happy with that system? If your company’s human resource evaluation strategy looked like its social media evaluation strategy, what would the resulting company culture look like? Would the company make good decisions about who to promote and who to the fire? Would it be an effective, strategic organization — or would the whole thing just fall apart?
Your blog, your Facebook page, your Twitter account — they’re all members of your corporate team. They have personalities, strengths and weaknesses. They need guidance to thrive. They deserve the same kind of evaluation your company gives all its employees.
Some quick caveats:
- Evaluating a social media presence is not the same as evaluating the person who maintains it. First, it’s important to be able to evaluate what’s working and what’s not without making anyone defensive. Second, chances are that your social presence is the product of more than one mind, even if it doesn’t immediately seem that way. Third, your blogger already has a regular performance review, there’s no need to put them in double jeopardy.
- Evaluating your social media performance isn’t necessarily the same as having the return-on-investment conversation regarding your social media efforts. The ROI conversation is more akin to your annual budget meeting where every department makes the case for the resources they’ll need for the coming year. These performance evaluations are done more frequently and are more about goals and expectations than dollars and cents.
So how should you get started with evaluating your social media presence? Start by taking a look are your company’s regular employee evaluation form. Chances are the form has some variation on the following questions:
- What are three things the employee does well?
- What are three things the employee needs to improve?
- What are the employee’s goals for the coming period?
- What progress has the employee made on their goals from the previous period?
- How is the employee supporting the company’s mission statement?
They’re not sexy questions. They’re not easy to answer. But they’ll get you to think strategically about the role that social media plays in your organization and they’ll get you to make to make meaningful comparisons over time, which empowers better decision-making. Treat your social media presence like a member of the team and start to see its performance improve.
How are you evaluating your social media efforts?