Want Social Media Results? Learn How To Use Data for Decisions | Beth's Blog

Want Social Media Results? Learn How To Use Data for Decisions


I’m really curious about how networked nonprofits can use measurement and make decisions using data to get more impact from networked approaches.   I want to hear about your successes and challenges in making your networked nonprofit more effective using measurement and data to make decisions about effective use of emerging media.   I expect to be blogging more about this topic.

It is a hot topic in the corporate marketing world.  The State of Marketing 2011 report recently released from IBM analyzes over 300 online and direct marketers across a wide range of industries, geographies, and company sizes.  The study found that corporate marketers have become more practical about their expectations for campaigns that use  both mobile and social media technologies.

A key finding:

Nearly 60 percent of respondents listed “measurement, analysis, and learning” as their top information technology bottleneck

Respondents are seeking to find the value that social channels can yield with more targeted insights and actions.

According to this summary,  this theme is not an odd finding, it corresponds to this  Forrester Group report that states that marketers are struggling with both the organization of data as well as how to best measure marketing performance.    This not a problem limited to the for-profit sector or social media specialists as Holly Ross from NTEN suggests in her recent blog post “Four Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Their Impact With Data.”   As Holly points out, we need to get better at transforming data into knowledge and wisdom and using those insights to take action.

Holly offers four principles:
Know What Data You Have and What It Means
Give Your Data Meaning
Make Your Data Tell Stories
Share Your Data

How many nonprofits, in their quest to update their Facebook page or engage with stake holders on Twitter, are implementing tactics based on data and good measurement practice?  How many take the time on the front-end to set up a simple system to collect the essential metrics to figure out what is working or what isn’t?   Or to document results?
It requires a culture or discipline of measurement, not just as a task after the campaign or program concludes.   Networked nonprofits have a culture of measurement and learning and that makes them successful. 
How is your nonprofit using data and measurement to make effective decisions about networked approaches and social media?  Please share your stories in the comments below.

5 Responses

  1. Beth says:

    Counter argument to data driven decisions from Stephen Downes

  2. Beth says:

    Feedback Loops from a Foundation lens via KD Paine

  3. […] Social Media Results? Learn How To Use Data for Decisions | http://bit.ly/mDHeqr Beth’s […]

  4. Jana says:

    Where’s a good place to source data, harvesting it from the Facebook and Twitter direct seems overly laborious or is that the only way short of paying hundreds for a media monitoring company to do it for you?

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