How to design a social media measurement system in 6 steps

Social media measurement is not a branch of algebraic topology or experimental physics, says this expert. It’s a matter of common sense, hard work, and precise, agreed-upon goals.

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The most annoying statement I’ve heard lately (that didn’t come from a presidential candidate) is: “We haven’t figured out how to measure social media.” I want to yell at them: “It’s 2016: I’ve been measuring social media for a decade!” But then I realize how many organizations are just starting to dip their toes in social media. So to them and others, I offer my 6-step program for a perfect social media measurement system:

Step No. 1: Decide: What problem are you using social media to solve?

Sit down with your boss, your boss’s boss, your board, or whoever holds the budgetary sword of Damocles over your head and get agreement on why you are even contemplating social media. What’s the desired outcome? If you can’t answer that, go back to your boss, your boss’s boss, or whoever came up with the bright idea of “doing social media,” and make sure you can all agree on a set of goals and desired outcomes.

Step No. 2: Prioritize your goals.

Chances are, your desired outcome or goal falls into one of three categories:

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