The Social Good Summit started a global conversation last weekend, igniting discussions at more than 200 meetups around the globe. Hearing all of the innovative ideas, creative campaigns and motivational stories was certainly an eye-opening experience, and now we at Vanguard are more excited than ever to change the world — one tweet at a time!
We’re motivated, so now what? There were some great examples of what happens when social media compels an audience to act. Some of our favorite examples of social media initiatives from the summit were:
- The Global Good Challenge — The United Nations Foundation’s initiative to offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences (this might be your best chance to meet Lady Gaga) to encourage individuals to use technology to solve global issues
- Rebecca Moore — Google Engineering Manager’s insights on how Google Earth is being used to make a positive impact on the world
- Plant A Fish — Programs that empower local communities to become stewards of their aquatic environments through education
So what drives an audience to act on social media initiatives such as these? While you may have a great video or image that helps to tell your story, what is the missing link between a social media message and action? Our enthusiastic response is EVALUATION!
Evaluation is key in determining your audience, tailoring your message, perfecting your strategy and proving what works. Without it you are sending your tweets into the ether, hoping that one will “go viral” and transform your message into an effective campaign. In reality, the odds of your video becoming the next “Gangnam Style” are slim, and creating social change through social media is much more than having the most hits on YouTube — it means asking for a direct cause/effect relationship. You are asking your social media followers to perform a desired action, for example asking Facebook fans to click on a link to fill out a survey on your website. It wouldn’t be enough if the Facebook post you sent out asking for fans to fill out the survey was super popular would it?
Now that the Social Good Summit has started the conversation, let’s keep the momentum by getting started. Some first steps toward evaluation are:
Know your goals — Wait, why are we evaluating again? Oh, that’s right — our goals! Your goals are broad general statements of what you wish to accomplish in the long run. Write some down today.
Know who does what — There are two steps to evaluating your social media metrics: tracking the data and analyzing the data. These are not always performed by the same person; while there may be several people who can assist in pulling data into a spreadsheet, there should be at least one person who can synthesize the material, offer guidance and apply the data to your campaign. Otherwise, all you have are extra spreadsheets.
Do something — Start small, but try out a change on one of your social platforms and see what happens. For example, have you noticed that your fans seem to like the behind-the-scenes photos from your office space? Try sending out regular posts about office happenings, like “Tuesdays at Vanguard” and see if those develop any following. Track these results and see how your experiment worked with your audience. Over time, you will have a much clearer picture of who your audience is and what they expect of you.