Panel 3 – Digital PR Summit – Measuring ROI for Digital PR Efforts

Panel 3 here.  Best panel of the day.  This is from the mind’s of “doers,” not “talkers.”  It’s good.

How to Measure ROI for Your Digital PR Efforts – Tim Markein (Weber Shandwick), Johna Burke (BurrellesLuce), Danielle Brigida (National Wildlife Federation)

Tim up first –

Step 1 – Define the Outcome.  Start by defining clear, precise, measurable goals.  Even if you don’t know HOW you can do it, you know WHAT needs to be done.  If it’s to sell X product, that’s your goal.  It’s the best place to start.  Then, it’s about getting the right type of data to measure it.  (Easier said than done.)

Step 2 – Assess channels and audience.  There are not many tools that effectively look across various channels.  Need to look channel by channel and see how we’re doing in this particular channel and how we’re engaging specific audience in this channel.

Step 3 – ID your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).  There are number of things you can measure like traditional PR – impressions, sentiment, etc…  It’s about measuring content and how content is accessed and shared and amplified.  Traditionally, people measure traffic on website.  Search is important.  Syndication is often overlooked.  Are people seeing your brand/messages someplace else?  That’s equally as important to how much traffic you drive to your site.

Content measures, Conversation measures, Community measures, Outcome measures.

Step 4 – Build your dashboard.  There are way too many metrics.  There’s no single metric.  So, which are the 5-10-15 metrics that are important to you and how do they fit together?

Step 5 – Get “inline” with your analytics.  Integration of traditional, digital, and social media, WOM and other new influence patterns, too.  Measurement – meet Strategy.

He showed example of the wedding dance on YouTube, then how it was used on The Office.  Online and offline worlds are very integrated in the way they work together.

Takeaway – There are a lot of challenges ahead.  We need to be open minded.  We need to challenge traditional assumptions around these metrics.  Ultimately shift from impressions to engagement.  What are the business outcomes?

Danielle – they don’t measure Facebook fans b/c they see organic growth.  OK, that doesn’t do us any good.  We know we’ve got that.  What now?  How do we need to measure now?

This is a process.  You have to be invested in it.  The more you invest, the more progress you’ll see.

What she usually does – compare traditional metrics with social metrics.  You can measure friends, fans – they’re good to track and to a point, helpful.  Another focus is how many people are seeing it?  Impressions are OK.  But most important – what are people doing with your content and how are they sharing?

Check this tool out – PostRank Analytics – rate blog posts and content based on ENGAGEMENT.  Looks pretty useful for blogs, not any other channels.

It is about building relationships.  When you invest in people, they’ll invest right back into you.  Investing takes time.  Just like friendships.

Now up Johna – re: URL shortners – highly encourage brands to go out and pay for own account because otherwise, competitors/anyone can see results.

Most effective people are those who can explain in simple terms how this social media activity is impacting their business.  C-suite might not talk our language.  Need to talk theirs.

The one drawback to social – there’s a reason why corporations have offices and everyone doesn’t sit in cubes – there are decisions that need to be made by the right people, not by everyone.  Be careful about opening things up to everyone – “social.”

Personnel are one of the biggest groups of any brand’s influencers.

Listening is a very active sport.  Just because your monitoring doesn’t mean your listening.

Lead generation is something that C-suite absolutely understands.  Yes.

Questions – How do you determine what success looks like?  Johna – first need to understand where your audience is and how you’re affecting them.  It’s no good if you’re not affecting them.

Danielle – it’s all about the small victories.  It’s good to have goals and goals change.  That’s OK.  You’re never “done” with social media.

Tim – invest the time to figure out what this data means to who you’re showing it to.  Translate them into business terms, appropriate for brands, as much as you can.

Question – you say social media is not free.  What are the costs involved?  Tim – social media is about relationships.  Relationships require people.

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