When we conducted the 2008 Tribalization of Business Study, we discovered that those companies that were most satisfied with their community efforts were those that measured the impact of their community programs on their business processes the same way they would measure the impact of any other program on those same business processes.
So if you measure the impact of a certain program by increased store sales, or by improved customer satisfaction – then measure the impact of social media programs on those business processes the same way. Even if you think the current measurements are wrong. If you do not like how customer service is being measured by the average time people spend on the phone – it does not matter. Don’t try to change it when you roll out a social media program. The fact that the current measurements are well understood and often hardwired within the company culture will ensure that people will understand and embrace your social media programs rather than marginalize them as exotic new hype-driven non-mainstream programs.
Taking this a step further – the faster you can get the various departments that benefit from your programs to co-fund them, the faster your programs will become mainstream.
All that being said – how do you measure the impact of your social media programs? What works? What doesn’t work? As we are gearing up for the next iteration of the Tribalization of Business Study, what would you like to find out?