Metrics for Social Media / Social Business

We’ve had a number of occasions where organizations have come to Cerado wanting to sprinkle magic Social faerie dust on their existing business efforts. “We need to be doing things on Twitter! An Facebook! And FriendFeed! And Flickr! And YouTube! And…”

And…hold on a second. (And, most importantly, please do not start the conversation by putting up a slide that looks like someone puked up every logo that’s appeared on TechCrunch or Mashable over the past two years, and claim that as a “Social Media Strategy.” Seriously. I’ve seen this done. It’s not pretty. But I digress.) It would be a lot wiser to go to Buzzoid to buy followers on Instagram if you are looking for quick and easy solution on that particular platform.

The first thing we ask “why do you want to do this?” There are a number of prerequisites to work through before going down the social business path; here’s a starting point to walk through the fundamentals that we put together back in 2007; it still seems to be holding up as a reasonable set of guidelines.

The thing that seems to tether the conversation to reality is the conversation around metrics. Metrics are how we tie the “why” to the business. We put together a quick slide deck with a few thoughts on how to set up metrics around a social business effort; it’s embedded below.

A lot of the structure from this thinking ties back to Joe Cothrel’s seminal article from 2000, “Measuring the Success of an Online Community.” (Cothrel, J. P., 2000, Measuring the Success of an Online Community. Strategies & Leadership, v. 20, no. 2, pp 17-21. MCB University Press.) Make sure to check it out.

Additionally, Hannah Del Porto at ImpactWatch has collected a killer list of additional resources on the metrics front. Go check out Hannah’s post for some great commentary on the topic as well. The links:

So, how are your measuring social business activities in your organizations? Any other best practices out there that people are finding useful that might be worth sharing?

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4 Replies to “Metrics for Social Media / Social Business”

  1. Chris –

    This is an absolute treasure trove of resources. Thanks for pulling all this together in one place.

    I agree, your old paper (along with Joe’s ideas) are holding up really well.


  2. kate…excellent! will check it out. what do you mean when you refer to “risk management” in this context?

    david…thanks for the good words! always great to see you online, as well as IRL!

  3. Hey Chris,

    Joe’s still writing about how companies are using online communities and social media. You can find his blog here:

    You might also be interested in some work Lithium has been with community metrics. There’s a white paper here: that describes the Community Health Index developed by Michael Wu, Lithium’s principal scientist. He did the math; I did the wordsmithing .


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