Story: DIY metrics presentations and webinars, talking about actionable data. Push back from participant that data is for evaluation and that’s just passive.That’s when I took a step back to say data, without action, isn’t worth our effort to track it. That’s what actionable means.But then I realized, the reason people didn’t see action tied to their data was because they didn’t see how the data, or even the actions they could indicate, were strategic. Data we don’t want to take action about is even worse. We need strategic data. And, as it turns out, that doesn’t just mean data from your programs and services, but from your social engagement, too.
Organizations have mission statements and organizational goals. From that, we have programs and services. Some may have strategic plans and Theories of Change. Teams or departments have day to day work they can translate from the mission, mapping their work against the whole organization. Why don’t we approach our social technology use the same way?Is there anyone in here who would share what your organization does and how your job relates to the mission?
Social media is in use not just for communications or marketing. The Red Cross successfully manages the distribution of news, updates, and critical information via social media during emergency response. Various cities and municipalities use tools like FixMyStreet and SeeClickFix to coordinate reporting and address public service needs. Epic Change runs it’s entire organization, fundraising, and more via social technology.It’s not a matter of starting now to put social media in our work, it’s a matter of recognizing that it already is.
Most of us on this call probably have an elevator speech or even a few that we use to explain what it is we do as an organization, what our role in the organization is; maybe even why people would want to get involved or donate. That’s where we start. We can use that general or generic even mission statement to start putting our social media use into a strategic place. If your organization has a strategic plan or even a Theory of Change, you are already equipped with even more deliberate language that can help you get started. Most strategic plans include program area or service area specifics and you can use those to help frame why you use social media.
Goal areas, how social supports or proves you’re succeeding.Separate by goal area.Now that we have identified some areas where social media fits with the overall purpose of the organization, we can start putting certain aspects of social engagement into goal areas. We want to be specific here about the why and less specific about the what. For example, our goals with social media should identify the influence or impact we want to make, but not necessarily say we will do it on facebook. You may, actually use facebook for part of your social media activity, but you want to form your goals so that they are impact-specific, and open to either multiple or changing platform use.
What do you want to change, what does the data say you can influence?And the last part, identifying your metrics to track and really tracking it!When it comes to tracking, there are a few things I recommend:Nothing is finished: if you’re tracking something and the number is the same every single week, that’s an indicator that you should see if you are able to influence that area; if you try and no matter what you do, that number is the same, maybe it isn’t the number you really need to track. Remember, you want this data to be actionable for you! You may not have all the numbers you need: it might take you a couple weeks or months of tracking in this way to realize you really need some other numbers to really tell the full picture of your online impact. So, add them! Don’t feel that all your data has to start on the same day. It’s better than you realize it and add in the new metrics as you go, than never add them in for fear of consistency. let the numbers tell stories: use the data in your social media tracking to identify the larger stories of your organization’s work or impact. Look for patterns or activity that comes from other actions in the organization, help identify opportunities for coordinated effort.Tracking and reportingBe sure that you don’t just track and store the data, but you report back out to the organization and even community. Anyone in here currently do weekly or monthly reporting that you’d be willing to share?Get others included even if they aren’t using the organization’s social channels by showing them what the impact is, the kinds of content that get engagement, etc.Context is king – don’t just use social media data
What excuses have I heard before? Everything.We don’t have a strategic plan, TOC, etc.We are going through a transition, reorganization, staff change.We don’t want to have a direction for social yet while we are trying it out.There are multiple people, in multiple departments, using social for different reasons so we want them to be separate.
You are all already using these tools, so there’s data there to capture. You are all also part of organizations with missions and goals. So, aligning those things should happen and does not need to be something that happens only before you start – the chicken came first, after all! Let’s look at what we are doing and why, and start really tracking it!
Webinar: Strong Connections; Linking your strategy to goals to data
StrongConnections Linking strategy, to goals, to data
MissionNTEN aspires to a world where all nonprofitorganizations skillfully and confidently usetechnology to fulfill their missions. We are themembership organization of nonprofit technologyprofessionals. Our members share the common goalof helping nonprofits use all aspects of technologymore effectively.
Mission to GoalNTEN aspires to a world where all nonprofitorganizationsskillfully and confidently usetechnology to fulfill their missions. We are themembership organization of nonprofit technologyprofessionals. Our members share the common goalof helping nonprofits use all aspects of technologymore effectively.
GoalEstablish NTEN Reputation: NTEN is a trusted leaderfor information, resources, and education on allaspects of using technology across your organizationto meet your mission. NTEN is an early adopter;transparent and open with our evaluations andexperience.
Goal for Social Establish NTEN Reputation: NTEN is a trusted leader for information, resources, and education on all aspects of using technology across your organization to meet your mission. NTEN is an early adopter; transparent and open with our evaluations and experience.
Example Metrics• % of Conversation• # of outside articles & speaking engagements•Retweets and shares• # of Member requests for specific information• positive mentions of NTEN and NTC• guest content (NTEN blog) promotion• leading referral sites (external)• leading referral platforms (social media)• referral site with longest on site time
1. Use your mission2. Connect social to your ultimate goals3. Activate your data4. Evaluate, investigate, explo re
Push back onstrategic data = Push back on strategic work.
Getting Started Use the resources you already have (your mission, strategies, goals) Ask staff about the tools they are using (ID new options and applications) Try to move some numbers (evaluate how to influence social media)