Today’s post will be about the importance of evaluation as putting more emphasis on that social media can and should be measured.
These days, more and more PR practitioners underestimate the need of evaluation. It is part of the planning process and it is the last stage, which should not be missed. There are a lot of advantages of evaluating at the end of the campaign such as demonstrating how effective the communications were or where you need to focus your efforts. However, people do not realise this and do not practice it due to lack of time (it is time consuming process), there is a lack of knowledge of techniques and sometimes lack of budget because it is known as an expensive process. Evaluation demonstrates results, whether they’re bad or good, receiving feedback, which will be helpful in the future.
This year, we had a whole separate topic for evaluation and we looked through the Barcelona Principles. The 6th principle stated that: ‘Social media can and should be measured.’
Actually, why it is so important to measure it?
First of all, to understand the effectiveness of what you are doing and knowing where to invest and concentrate your efforts. Evaluating the activities and the campaigns helps PR practitioners and gives them insights. Organisations and people are out there on social media, they can share and comment or like no matter what or where. Afterwards measuring the quality and the quantity is critical.
Second of all, evaluating give us insight on the behavioural change we are seeking to influence. Measuring social media assists us to understand our audience and its perceptions towards campaign/product/initiative. The audience on social media is a key stakeholder (part of the Gregory’s planning model), however we need to be aware that sometimes people are sharing things on social media that could not be prevented and which are inevitable part, such as the value of a tweet.
Thirdly, as PR has moved online, the opportunity to measure results and effectiveness has increased. Now, it is not all about evaluating coverage such as press cuttings, PR practitioners moved to a new different level to real time planning and evaluation.
And last, but not least, conducting social media audit will help to analyse the consumer insights deeper and find out more of what people think about the organisation you represent. Evaluating and gaining inights will help to plan your communications for the next campaign.
Share what do you think – is it important to evaluate, and more specifically do you need to measure social media or not?