social media strategy Posts

Simplifying Social Media Metrics

This is a photo I found on GlobalGiving of four women holding four buckets. Cheeky, right? Find out the real story behind the photo here:

This is a photo I found on GlobalGiving of four women holding four buckets. Why the buckets? Read below. Or find out the real story behind the photo here:

For as many social media platforms as there are out there, (hundreds,) there are equally as many social media metrics you could track to figure out if your content works.  How do you break it all down so that you’re only keeping track of the most important stuff (ehemmeasuring what matters)? I’ve found that most important metrics for the content we create can fall into four buckets:

  • APPLAUSE: do people like the content of your post?  
    • Examples: Users click on a URL in your post to read an article, or they like your photo on Instagram.
  • AMPLIFICATION: do your followers share your content with their personal networks?
    • Examples: Twitter users re-tweet your content, Facebook users share.
  • CONVERSATION: does your content spark engagement through back-and-forth conversation?
    • Examples: Twitter users reply to a tweet or Facebook users comment on your post.
  • CONVERSION: does your content move people to act, ultimately helping you meet your objective?
    • Examples: Readers donate, purchase, or sign up as a result of seeing your content.

These four buckets help me make sure I’m looking at the whole picture when measuring the success of my social outreach. Sometimes I just want to focus on one element, amplification, for example, if I’m just trying to get my message seen by as many people as possible. If success seems heavily weighted in one of the buckets, (if I got a lot of likes for example, but no donations) it’s an easy way to see whether I’m meeting my overall goals or not.

The interesting thing about the two middle buckets (amplification and conversation) is that while it’s easiest to track quantitative measuresthe number of likes, or re-tweets, for exampleit’s harder and more interesting to track the quality of the amplification or the conversation. We all know that a thoughtful, engaging reply is worth a lot more to your brand than someone’s cut-and-paste self-promotion on your Facebook wall, (or even a negative reaction to your content) but each response simply counts as one comment if you’re only tracking engagement rates. That’s why I recommend keeping a record of engagement quality with your content using a tool like Storify that can provide color to your numbers.

And one last thing. There’s actually an important fifth bucket that I also use that’s almost purely qualitative. You could call it Brand, or if you’re a nonprofit, perhaps you’d call it Alignment. It’s about how well your content reflects your overall mission. Don’t forget to keep track of qualitative feedbackor even your own gut feelings about how well your content reinforces your ultimate purpose. Did you create a hilarious .gif that virtually went viral, but makes some of your staff feel kind of icky inside? Or are your metrics driving you to create generic inspirational quotes that distract from your mission or doesn’t reflect your organization’s voice? That question is important to consider, too, when determining whether your content is working. So don’t forget to ask for feedback from your own team to make sure that doing what works is still doing what’s best for the people you serve, helping move them and your organization forward.

Facebook Strategy, Part 1 of 3

Guest post from GlobalGiving intern, Brian Karanja:

On Thursday, September 1st, GlobalGiving hosted a webinar that was focused on Facebook strategy in collaboration with Make Me Social. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you can listen to the recording or view the slides. This was part of a three-part series of webinars with each session focusing on a particular topic:

Session 1: Strategy and Planning
Session 2: Best Practices & Implementation
Session 3: Measurement and Monitoring

This blog post is a summary of the first webinar:

Defining Social Media Goals

With over 750 Million active users of Facebook, it’s potentially difficult to get your content to bubble up and get users attention. To make these connections work, we need to think about:

  • Motivating people to be interested in what you have to say and
  • Mobilizing them around your cause.

The most important component to integrating social media into your nonprofit communications or fundraising strategy is to have a plan!  You’ve got to figure out what you want and understand how to motivate the community to do what you want.  We highly recommend that you write out your goals and the objectives you want to achieve through social media and how your audience can get you there.

Identifying Your Audience

The next question to address is: who is your audience? Who are the people who can help you reach your goals? Take some time to define your audience groups.  If you decide that one of the best ways to reach one of those groups is to use Facebook, then great!  Let’s talk about some Facebook strategies:

First, you’ll need to understand the difference on Facebook between a Personal Page and a Branded Page on Facebook.  A personal profile should be used by an individual. People can be “friends” with a personal profile. Alternatively, people “like” branded pages to interact with them.  Content on branded pages should be more structured because they represent the voice of the organization.

Your Facebook followers will generally fall into three segments:

  • Audience segment A – People looking for information and ways to get involved.  These are people who are open to your message but haven’t yet heard all that you have to say.
  • Audience segment B – People who are helping to support those impacted by the causes your organization directly addresses. They might not know all the details about your work – yet.
  • Audience segment C – People who have bought into your mission. These followers are already established and interested in what you have to say. They are your foundation.

Building and Maintaining Relationships

What do you post on Facebook? This is up to you! What messages will help you reach your goals? You should plan to have consistent message that builds engagement and gets your audience to respond. When planning your content, you should keep in mind the “social funnel.”  Not all of your audiences are going to give to your organization based on your first post. They’ll generally fall through the “social funnel”:

  1. Awareness posts get people on the page and get them aware of your cause (targeting Audience Segment A)
  2. Engagement posts are built around whether people are ‘liking’, ‘tagging’, and ‘sharing’ your content with their friends. Interest your audience and make them build an emotional connection with your org (targeting audience segment B)
  3. Donation asks should target engaged and attached people. If they participate and adopt your cause they become ambassadors for your organization (targeting audience segment C).


The key point here is that:


Engaging in Conversations

Zero to Social: GlobalGiving’s Social Media Trainings

Social isn’t just a tactic for marketing; social is how we live. And as a nonprofit, it should be how your supporters give. Social giving only helps your organization by letting your biggest fans be your advocates. Social networks are tools you can use with your overall marketing strategy to make sure you stay relevant to your supporters.

On September 29, 2010, Alison McQuade, GlobalGiving’s Online Marketing Manager and social media guru, hosted beginner and intermediate trainings on social media.