I talk often about ROR, Return on Relationship™(hashtag #RonR)… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations and sharing. But don’t let that lead you to believe that I do not think metrics are incredibly important. What are the numbers we’re aiming for? What will tell us if it (the implementation and use of the tool / process) was a success? How will we get that information and make sense of it in a way that can inform our business strategy?

Defining metrics around social media advertising and marketing campaigns has been challenging enough that for a while many people said it simply could not be done. Now, however, we are learning that social media measurement (re: use and impact) IS possible – just not always using traditional metrics and methodologies.

One of the most important ways to establish social media metrics is to set “conditions of satisfaction.” In other words, what are the specific outcomes that will bring satisfaction to you, your brand, your business, and your customers? Notice how the word “satisfaction” here requires you to think not just about actions, but about the whole experience resulting from the outcomes. This is absolutely critical for successful social branding!

It is crucially important to set conditions of satisfaction in this emerging world of social media where standard metrics may or may not apply. Social media marketing campaigns need to be built on relationships, and metrics include words like “trust” and “engage” and “authentic conversation” and “online reputation” – all things that are at the heart of what a brand/company wants and needs … and all things that can be defined by setting up conditions of satisfaction.

Conditions of satisfaction around social media need to be different for every organization. They need to be based on the each company’s specific and unique GOALS and VISION and VALUES to ensure that the information gathered can strategically inform the marketers and the C-level Suite. Aligning your conditions of satisfaction with the heart of the company gives you the blueprint for plans that will go far in creating a genuine brand, and brand experience that connects with your customers.

BUT NEVER FORGET…  Analytics shouldn’t replace judgment! Let judgement, learning, and inspiration be your guides, not simply the numbers.

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