Goals and Measurement.

June 27, 2011


Photo by: D Sharon Pruitt

Today marks one year since I began a fitness regimen.  I set a goal to lose 72 pounds, give or take. For the first six months I was diligent. I went to the gym five – six days a week and was very aware of everything that I ate. I weighed myself often. I celebrated small losses and big milestones. I had a support team who cheered me on. I lost about 40 pounds. After a while things slowed down. I wasn’t measuring as often, weighing myself less frequently. I lost sight of my goal. Today, I am back on track because I realized that I didn’t hit my goal in the year time frame that I had outline for myself.  However, it was the date reminder that has given me my jump start back into living a healthy life.

Okay, enough about me. What does my story have to do with social media, marketing, events or whatever business you may be in? It’s very simple.

Goals and Measurement.

Without these two things it is very difficult to see where we are going and to figure out where we have been.  People often ask me what social media channels and technology tools are best for their business, association or event.  My response is almost always the same. What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish? Is it to sell more product? Is it to increase membership number or do you really want to improve the member experience? Are you trying to promote your event to the general public or are you focused on creating a stronger community for the participants?  By asking yourself these questions, you are able to better evaluate the tools that are available and make a sensible choice. “Everyone else is doing it” is not a sustainable business strategy.

The second question thing that I often hear  is about measurement.  Someone will tell me that they have been using “the Twitter” for a month with no results. My follow-up question is, what are you measuring “no results” against?  Did you define how many followers you want? How many interactions you are looking for? How many offline connections you are trying to reach?  Social technology has a unique set of measurement tools (all argued differently by the experts).  If you are using social technology as a business tool then you most likely want to use a mix of social media specific measurement, i.e. number of followers, and traditional measurement like number of proposals submitted from socially-driven leads. Regardless of which method you employ, you cannot track effectiveness without measurement.

When I go to the gym I try different exercises. Some work better than others. Some provide quicker results. Some define different parts of my body. I vary what I do at the gym and what I eat based on both my long and short-term goals. Marketing is no different. You have to be patient and remember that brands take time to build and companies take years to grow. In order to be successful, you must periodically review your goals and evaluate them against your measurement tools.

Have you defined goals for your business, association or event? What tools and methods are you using to measure? How often to you “check in” and evaluate your progress.