Yes, Social Media Metrics Matter

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Slide Show

Social Media: Measure, Monitor and Mean It

Highlights and suggestions from Burson-Marsteller's Global Social Media Check-up.

A few months ago I wrote a post highlighting one of my favorite points from a webcast on social business that featured Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group's partner Customer Strategy, and Sandy Carter, IBM's VP of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions. Owyang talked about "giving the right metrics to the right audience." Executives couldn't care less about friends or followers and would rather hear about top-line revenue, market sentiment and lower costs.


I was reminded of this while viewing a Social Media Examiner video interview with Kimarie Matthews, vice president of social web for Wells Fargo. Discussing the bank's use of Twitter to provide customer support, Matthews said Wells Fargo has "invested a lot of time in metrics."


Among the metrics tracked by the two full-time employees devoted to monitoring Wells Fargo's two Twitter channels (one serving Wells Fargo customers and one serving customers of Wachovia, which it acquired in 2008): a comparison of customers' initial sentiment with sentiment following a Twitter interaction; whether support issues are escalated to a non-Twitter channel; and whether support issues are resolved. Matthews says the bank developed its own tool because it found off-the-shelf tools lacking in ability to track end-to-end Twitter activity.


There is a "whole set of things you need to attend to beyond just engaging with the customer," Matthews says, reinforcing the idea that engagement alone isn't worth much, unless it results in improved service and/or a stronger customer relationship.


Just like other areas of a business, social media managers need to create and track metrics, Matthews says. "If I'm not recording and sharing metrics on a monthly basis, I can't develop a business case for why two full-time resources should be dedicated to Twitter." Of course it's a good idea to link social media metrics with larger corporate goals, something Wells Fargo has obviously done.


Matthews covers more than metrics in the short interview. She mentions a warmer-and-fuzzier idea that I like a lot and hope other companies will adopt as a best practice: Wells Fargo sends positive tweets to its employees who inspire them. So, for instance, if a customer gives a shout-out to a favorite teller and his/her exceptional service, the bank makes sure the teller sees the tweet.