Recipe for success: Facebook, LinkedIn and Xing metrics

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2010/04/14 · 32 comments 12,302 views

in a analytics taking action,e marketing 101 serving a need

Recently you shared some LinkedIn , Xing and Facebook insights with your boss, but he was not amused. In fact, he said something to the effect of, “I think social networks are fun but I consider them pretty much useless in business.”

So who is right, your boss or you, who spends 30 minutes on Xing or LinkedIn each day at work and in the evening? Are those 30 minutes a waste or a wise investment? Whatever the answer, can you back it up with data?

Below we address four critical steps to optimizing your use of social network sites.

    1. What is the purpose of social network participation?

Image - graphic - tweet - @ComMetrics -My boss told me #LinkedIn and #Xing are for the birds, what am I to do? You agree? http://su.pr/1n7gbr #measure #ROISo what are we trying to accomplish on Xing or LinkedIn? Do we list our accomplishments on Xing to brag, and if so, why? Is it to convince a recruiter or headhunter that we are the candidate they need to fill a professional opening for a client?

What is it you wish to accomplish with your membership? It could be to connect with local associates or business people, or to share ideas and learn from others by joining relevant groups.

Whatever the purpose, one should go to the trouble of putting it on paper and revisit the issue about 60 days later. Only then can you assess whether it really is realistic to try realizing the previously chosen purpose.

    2. What are my objectives for social network participation?

For instance, if your main purpose is to increase your network of associates and so-called weak ties, how will you determine your success or failure in realizing that purpose?

Never leave the race starting-block without clear and measurable business goals.

Of course, measurability does not always mean revenue. Nevertheless, focusing on cost-benefits is always a good place to start. To illustrate, why spend part of your day answering a question on one of the forums, instead of talking to a customer?

What are the costs (i.e. being less in touch with your clients) and how do they compare to the benefits (e.g., expanding the social network)? Will one more contact help clinch one more sale?

    3. Leverage your group membership(s)

In one of his comments in the International Business Club group on Xing (main page), Helmut Lauff made two interesting points regarding convincing one’s boss of the merit of social networks. Whenever doing a project, one can present the boss with two options:

    I need the following resources to complete the project; OR
    I suggest we use my network to find suitable options for positive resolutions to our challenges.

Any group that focuses on issues related to your job (e.g., social media measurement) represents a network where you may be able to pose a question and get reliable answers (see point 2). In turn, the crowd may provide valuable insights that can make a real difference (although crowdsourcing does not always provide a solution unless the crowd is very knowledgeable…).

While it may be difficult to measure benefits directly, our experience has been that it helps improve customer service, or as Tim Gier calls it, “a better chance of building customers for life as opposed to adding just a few extra sales in one weekend.”

    4. Where is my overarching set of metrics?

Image - graphic - Social Media Monitoring group on Xing is sixth most active = articles and replies postedMetrics are personal, so a colleague may participate in several social networks that help build their personal brand, as indicated by increasing numbers of first-degree connections on Xing and/or LinkedIn, as well as Facebook friends and so forth.

This may be based on the number of added members to their social media networks and comments on posts made in Xing or LinkedIn groups within a 90-day time frame. But are those metrics right for you?

Unless you both have the same goals, your colleague’s metrics will probably fail you.

Metrics are only effective for you if they are rooted in your own goals and, as importantly, tied to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Yes, once the findings are in, actions must be taken within 30 days – that will never change.

Questions that we should be able to answer with measurement and assessment include:

    a) Who is reading your contributions and what are they saying?
    b) How involved are group members and how quickly will your message spread as a result?
    c) What did participation result in (e.g., traffic increases, purchases and/or referrals)?
    d) How loyal are your group members, readers and fans? How likely will they return, continue participating and reference what you offer?

Take-aways
Image - graphic - tweet - @_SENF_ - the pro-active moderating by moderators of SM Monitoring group on Xing warrants joiningTelling a manager that the company got ’10 favorable tweets’ or ‘5 positive comments on Facebook’ is nowhere near as valuable as the single tweet that recommends a specific action to others (see right).

Besides, we look for:

    optimization: establish a baseline so you know where you are starting from;
    supporting others means we are getting back:  only if you are visible responding to others’ questions with thoughtful comments can you expect others to respond to your requests, give and take is the basis of social-exchange theory or if you do not give, don’t expect anything back; and
    – trend monitoring: watch trends and make comparisons with past results (e.g., April 2010 with April 2009), while taking the necessary actions to improve.

In order to properly measure your baseline and complete future audits that will yield good information, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) must be agreed upon right away, and you must always verify references and data to ensure they are what they seem.

Beware potential fallacies in data, as pointed out by Tim Gier: “I think, though, that often the results that we can measure cause us to chase after goals that are actually at cross purposes with long term success, goals which are not worth having.”

And if your boss likes you to use the words Return on Investment (ROI), please do. However, do not forget to focus on your KPIs and be clear about the metrics to be applied. This will enable you to present information that makes sense to your budget committee.

Let us not forget that learning about metrics and putting an effective measurement system in place is a process, not an event. As Amit Mahajan points out, the metrics we focus on may shift in just a few months. For instance, growing your connections on Xing or LinkedIn might be of interest in only the first six months. Next, you may want to focus on strengthening and getting closer to some of your weak ties. Finally, metrics used to assess the bottom line effects of social networking must focus on your particular situation and context (e.g., what is your business, how big is your company).

More resources

What is your take? What measures have you taken to arrive at actionable metrics that help you improve your effectiveness with social networks? Are you planning any new measures? Are there metrics you measure that we did not mention that you feel are more important for your situation? Please let us know in the comments!

You can get updates for this blog on Twitter by following @ComMetrics, get a free subscription by RSS, or get new posts via email:

Article source: ComMetrics – Recipe for success: Facebook, LinkedIn and Xing metrics

ComMetrics University – coffee break webinarsImage - graphic - tweet - @IFB_Loewenmut - Urs E. Gattiker @ComMetrics bietet wöchentliche Kurz-Webinare zu #SocialMedia Themen an http://ow.ly/1t0FE Lohnt sich!
Webinars are held every Wednesday at 8:45 AM CET for no more than 20 minutes – the time you spend on a coffee break.

If you are quick you might still be able to join today’s session (sorry over by now). Next week, we will discuss:

==> Managing corporate Xing and LinkedIn groups – recipe for success or failure?

  • Pingback: World Economic Forum

  • Pingback: Urs E. Gattiker

  • Pingback: InfoSec

  • Pingback: Bernie Ritchie

  • Pingback: Lee Burman

  • Pingback: Philippe Gadeyne

  • Pingback: Miles Bennett

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Urs,

    That you are committed to representing the value of systematic metrics and benchmarking, is much appreciated. And that you focus on the quantitative and where it intersects the qualitative is a lot to wrap one's head around but it can be done.

    Tonight's webinar was a nice reminder to remember to stick to the basics in this new medium (that is related to the previous medium). And as the current developing media channel that Social Media is, I am happy to educate one person at a time if that is what it takes, AND I'm enthusiastic as I was when I first engaged in Web 2.0 activities, and have respect for those who continue to show up in their blog posts and in their networks and communities.

    Recently I met the first person who shared they were on FB because work expected it and that colored her opinion of being on FB.Can you say resistance? I can see how that would happen if I was expected to be social and professional on a public global site for the sake of commerce, and it wasn't my idea. (Off topic perhaps but there is something relevant underneath to be explored.)

    Overtime the best practices and consistent efforts yield results. So as we describe it at Dale Carnegie in the Sales course, we must get beyond the 6 o'clock valley and stay engaged and active. And to do so authentically and ethically feels really important to me.

    There will be better metrics to measure if we agree to stick with wise activity that is being measured as we go. And yes, I know this sounds circuitous but in a way it is. In a phrase: refine as you go while you stay consistent. This for me has been a recipe for success.

    Another Post Much Appreciated Urs!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Deborah

      Thanks for your lovely comment.  Yes I am glad that this morning's webinar went great and I look forward to do next week's together with you.  That will be so much fun and I hope many will sign up (click on link to sign yourself up now).

      You wrote:

      Over time the best practices and consistent efforts yield results. So as we describe it at Dale Carnegie in the Sales course, we must get beyond the 6 o'clock gulch and stay engaged and active. And to do so authentically and ethically feels really important to me.”

      This is very sound advice because it means that if we want to accomplish something we need to be consistent and take our time to climb the hill.  Only then can we enjoy the view but whilst being on top we should not forget that we could fall down very quick.  Meaning even if we succeed we can not stop contributing valuable content and stay engaged and active.

      Group moderators that leave their group behind like a step-child will loose their following and credibility I think.

      Deborah, thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: mayyasi

  • Pingback: Mohammad Allouh

  • Pingback: textpack

  • Pingback: CyTRAP

  • Pingback: Urs E. Gattiker

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.nnUnderstanding one’s motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah’s comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.nnI am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.nnFor if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers. nnI see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.nnFor companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.nnIt is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans” nnthere is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that’s all for now!

  • Pingback: karen purves

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Interesting seminar and a great way of getting into the subject better.

    Understanding one's motives for doing social media is at the core of marketing – nothing new there. But, as people are encouraged as described in Deborah's comment or want to be “where the party is”, this thinking tends to fall by the wayside.

    I am a real advocate of being clear about what you want form your marketing for it makes monitoring that much easier and you feel better when it is working.

    For if the goal was for reputation building and being seen as an expert, then the audience that you want to exchange with may be lightly different in the beginning than say for building awareness and list building of potential customers.

    I see the reputation building can be a smaller group and the sort of engagement within that group would be higher. For through the relationships, more enquiries can arrive.

    For companies with an establish brand and reputation in the marketplace, the objective of the social media presence could be around deepening brand loyalty. This would mean a larger group at the outset with perhaps less engagement but higher consumption of what is on offer eg coupons etc.

    It is interesting when a group set up for the former starts to become the latter. This is similar to the subtle changes of branding encompassing the style of communications, frequency and the content… but just with all brand-movement projects has to be done slowly to remain inclusive whilst still bringing in those new “fans”

    there is lots more that can be written on this subject, buts that's all for now!

  • Pingback: Lee Johnson

  • Pingback: Social media DOs and DON’Ts: 8 pivotal tips » social media monitoring, social media measurement, marketing metrics, ROI, best metrics, best practice, cost-benefit analysis, benchmark social media, right blog metrics, reputation, brand management » Com

  • http://twitter.com/gergelytabanyi/status/70848216224104448 Tabányi Gergely

    Recipe for success, linkedin, xing… http://dld.bz/aazMJ #uhu_global #bclab

  • http://twitter.com/peter_tabanyi/status/75698189285597184 Peter Tabanyi

    Recipe for success, linkedin, xing… http://dld.bz/aazMJ #uhu_global #bclab

Previous post:

Next post: