There are as many ways to benchmark social media as there are companies using it, because social is a human quality that will be unique to each and every business.
Today I overheard the comment; “They are doing social media well.”
How do you know you are doing social media well?
All media is designed to facilitate communications, and social media by definition accomplishes that objective in a social context.
This means your business has to guide its social marketing process, while also applying standards for measuring its effectiveness.
This is not as easy as it may seem, because it’s one thing to measure pragmatic social media results such as adding new customers. However, the benchmarks that reliably lead to those results are necessarily personal.
Therefore, give some thought to the social characteristics that best fit your business culture.
#1 – Relationships Grow From Value
The only reason for having a relationship is that both parties derive value from it. Initially, the value exchange may be one-sided, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Everyone likes to give, and most will continue to freely do so for no more than the satisfaction of knowing their shared experience and wisdom is proving useful for others.
There are all kinds of ways to use the social networks to add value, including the creation of valuable content that helps to solve problems, as well as retweeting or otherwise sharing what others have created.
If you take the time to build a blogging practice, you will discover that your business will gain as much or more than those in your community that benefit from your solutions.
More than anything, valuable content serves to both attract and hold the interest of a defined community.
The blogging process liberates the expertise of content marketers, which is personally rewarding, as well as beneficial to your community.
#2 – Purpose Leads to Trust
Social media designed only to further the marketing objectives of the business will quickly fade. Buyers are interested in getting to know businesses, and social media is ideally suited for making that happen.
When your intentions for serving your customers and potential buyers are readily transparent, trust naturally develops that leads to potential business opportunities.
In addition to cultivating relationships, building trust should be a social media benchmark for every business.
But how do you measure trust?
The best measure is probably to trust your gut – yes, literally. Keep the communications channels with your customers open and active, and they will provide signals against which you can benchmark.
#3 – Having Fun Sustains Progress
This blog has always been my social media hub, and for the simple reason that I thoroughly enjoy doing this for anyone that gets a little value from it. As long as you are here, I will be too.
What sustains your social media progress?
It will most likely involve some aspect of having fun doing it.
You simply have to enjoy adding value to the lives of others; because when you reduce social media to a check box, you take away the one thing that makes it work – and that’s you.
What are your social media standards or benchmarks? Share your comments below.
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Released April 15, 2013 (Wiley)