Drive Results for your Cause

How do you measure the importance of social media for your cause?

by Stephen Flemings

Many organizations are on social media because they “have to be.” But building a social media audience should not be a goal for its own sake. Social media should drive action, and action comes from emotionally invested and engaged fans.

One of our clients' social media audiences is made up of millennials 18-35, predominantly women, who are interested in diamonds. Every month we ask that audience to read a story about diamond production’s positive impact in the world. Thousands of our audience members click away from their “entertainment zone” on social media to spend an average of five minutes reading about diamonds doing good. Create a dialog with your audience, curate its members, and cultivate interest: then they'll respond to your call to action.

Driving real-world actions is possible, but it isn’t guesswork. Create a strategy based on who you want to reach and what actions you want them to take. Just like our diamond client -- they know they want millennials, because young people are still the most likely to get married and spend on a diamond. The action they are driving is web clickthroughs to their articles, people reading their deeper content, forming ideas, and sharing the messages.

One of my favorite lines is that you should have emotional content and soulless strategy. Hook your audience by the heart with a good story and direct their energy with an “ask.” Disciplined strategy and great story turns the 'necessity' of social media presence into an action engine that drives leads, event participation, donations, or systemic advocacy.

Ask your audience to take real-world action for your cause.  Real results should be your core measurement of success. Look for outcomes like leads, email sign-ups, donations, event sign-ups, volunteer sign-ups, website traffic, and whatever else you most want to ask your fans to do. The traditional metrics like reach and engagement are health indicators for your audience, but the audience itself is a means to an end.

Good story and disciplined strategy produce real results. Measure them as your key performance indicator.

Matthew SalisburyComment