Idealware recently published a report about the value of Facebook for nonprofit organizations entitled Using Facebook to Meet Your Mission: Results of a Survey. (If you want to read the full report, you download a free copy here).
One of the more prominent points that came from the research seemed to be that you get what you measure. If your organization does not have specific measurement tools and strategies outlined for social media, you’re never going to know if you’re making an impact. Furthermore, you’ll never know whether social media is a good fit as part of your overall marketing plan. The Idealware survey found that 47% of nonprofits aren’t measuring their Facebook impact AT ALL and only 26% had any type of substantial measurement plan in place.
Beth Kanter wrote a great blog yesterday about the general “malaise” that seems to be occurring in nonprofits when it comes to successfully measuring their social media effectiveness. Beth did a quick survey of her Facebook followers to see what’s going on in the nonprofit world. Why aren’t we measuring our impact? What’s going on here? Read Beth’s blog to see what she found.
Social media can be an incredibly powerful toolbox for nonprofits to connect followers to their mission and to get the word out about the good things they are doing. However, it is absolutely crucial that nonprofits embrace measurement as part of the social media process. Build measurement into your social media plan. Set reasonable goals and outcomes. Research measurement and metrics tools and don’t be afraid to play around with them to see if they are delivering what you need.
Bottom line, you won’t know what your social media impact is until you measure it. It’s time we start combatting the measurement malaise and start being proactive about measuring our success.