There is no doubt about it, measuring your social media activities is a critical element of your overall plan, strategy and tactics. Without measurement, you are basically flying by the seat of your pants and you’ll never know whether your efforts are meeting the needs of your online community or accomplishing the goals of your organization.
As the practice of social media engagement has exploded, so have the metrics that we are able to track and analyze. On the objective front, there are hard numbers that include friends, followers, tweets, retweets, shares, and a host of other data based on activities. The objective numbers, however, are actually the easiest ones to measure.
The more difficult metrics are the “soft” or subjective ones that come from the day-to-day interactions with the people that make up your online community. How do you measure the value of a conversation with a customer who had an issue, but was able to work with your community manager to solve it? What is the angry-to-happy conversion ratio?
One important “soft” metric you may have missed is the satisfaction – and the excitement level — of your online Community Manager. Engaging with online communities is a tough role and continued passion for serving the community is critical, so community manager burnout can be very costly to an organization.
Why? If your Community Manager isn’t at the top of their game, your customers won’t get the top-notch engagement that they are expecting. And if your community isn’t getting what they need, they tend to raise their voices, creating more discontent and adding to the workload of the Community Manager. If this situation isn’t addressed quickly, it could spiral into a social media crisis.
Here are three things you can do to keep your Community Manager at the top of his or her game:
1.) Look for signs of frustration, overwork or fatigue and most importantly, address it with your Community Manager! Keep an open dialogue going to stay ahead of a building burnout crisis.
2.) Groom a backup for your Community Manager. Many companies may have only one person devoted to working with a community, which means the Community Manager often feels like they can’t take a vacation without abandoning the online community. Training a backup is a win-win. It will allow the community manager to take a well-earned rest while building more internal capacity for social media.
3.) Don’t pile on extra duties without considering the time commitment required. If you are asking your Community Manager to take on extra duties like social media training or creating internal social media policies, consider the level of effort required. Make the deadlines for extra tasks manageable to keep them from interfering with the important daily work of managing communities.
We have a saying around my house: “If Mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.” The same truism applies in social media! If the Community Manager isn’t happy, the Community isn’t happy!
Sean R. Nicholson is the Director of Social Media for a digital marketing agency for the pharmaceutical and health care industry. Sean blogs about social media at www.socmedsean.com and you can follow his updates on Twitter at @socmedsean.