I hosted a panel last night with Beth Kanter and KD Paine, authors of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. They offered seven important steps to creating a social media plan that drives results you can actually measure:
1. Set a goal. What are you actually trying to do with social media to advance your mission?
2. Define your stakeholders. Who are the people you want to help or stand in the way of change? Know who you need to engage.
Don’t skip #1 and #2! How else can you measure your impact on the people that matter?
3. Decide the investment you have to make.
4. Define your benchmarks. As you get results, what are you comparing them to? Peer organizations? Last year? Direct mail results?
5. Pick a tool that makes sense to use. Don’t skip to this step before you work through the first four.
6. Look at your results.
7. Figure out what is and is not working for you and adjust accordingly.