Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Internet Librarian 2008: Defining & Measuring Social Media Success

Jeff Wisniewski

How do you measure? Is 2 comments a week good, bad?

Why be social?
  • marketing yourself without doing traditional marketing
  • Google page rank improves the more social you are; critical for libraries
  • most of the people using social media, vast majority are anxious to interact with you and your organization online. There is a delicate balancing act, you need to take care to not interject yourself into someone's personal social space. People appreciate brands being in available online and authentic e.g. Zappos.
  • Facebook is the social glue for those coming to university for the first time - see: - there is a lot of potential here for us to do interesting stuff
Developing a social media plan:
  • listen - is there a conversation online about your library? What is the nature of it? If there isn't a converation, that is okay
  • prepare - define a strategy: goals, pick a platform (or two), the right platform depends on your goals - Sun Microsystems has a great presentation on picking a platform:
  • engage - start blogging, leaving comments on blogs, responding, uploading photos to Flickr, etc.
  • measure - this is the hard part! Traditional measurement (ROI) doesn't work very well.
Why measure?

Need to measure success to sell our ideas. What are your goals? What are we getting out of this activity?

What you are not measuring:
  • friendship
  • happiness
  • karma
  • enlightenment
  • girl power!
Need to measure a combination of both the quantitative and qualitative.

Behavior - quantitative:
  • number of blog posts - Boyd's Conversation Index - measures relative success of blog posts and comments + trackbacks - should be greater than 1 - otherwise you may be investing more than you are getting back for your library
  • will depend on your goals e.g. if you add photos to Flickr to increase traffic to your native digital photo collection, don't just look at stats on Flickr but also look to see what kind of traffic was referred from Flickr to your site.
Experience - listening to what people are experience. - "the experience metric" - stars, scars or neutral?

  • monitoring search engine results - focus on Google - Google is search engine used by everyone BUT ALSO they take into account social media results - the only one where they show up with great regularity.
  • technorati - which blogs are linking to your blogs; are they in your target audience? - for blogs and feeds - authority score & qualitative
  • delicious - is your content bookmark-worthy? How many people have bookmarked it? Comments posted?
  • check conversations on twitter - Seattle Public Library has great results on Twitter
  • create Google alerts - e.g. "university of pittsburgh" library and Pitt library - choose "comprehensive" - get results from news, blogs, web, video and groups


Anonymous said...

The post you have made is great. It makes sense and it is educational to those who aren't too familiar with the digital era marketing. It makes me think how far we came from the AOL days until now, where social media is a trend that will be with us for a long time. With the technology advancing so rapidly, it makes me wonder, what's next?

What do you think will be the next big thing?

Connie Crosby said...

The next big thing will be freeing ourselves from our computers, making us mobile. A lot of our online services don't yet take into account our blackberries, iPhones and other devices. But most of the world is using cell phones, not computers. North America has to catch up!