A lot of Kenyan companies are now experimenting with social media. Many of these businesses have come to understand the potential value of social media and have gone ahead to act on it. From creation of Facebook Fanpages, a presence on Twitter, and even blogging for some, these businesses are now active in social channels but to what end. I am always happy to see a business active on social networks but increasingly, I am more compelled to document what these companies are doing on these social networks and the benefits that have accrued to them.
So a month or so back, I started asking community managers or whoever is behind some of the more notable Kenyan companies with a social presence about how far they have come. The answers have been vague to say the least. Engaging in social media without planning is what leads to such vagueness when it comes to analysing impact. Whatever the endgame is for engaging in social media, it absolutely makes no sense not to track to see whether you are meeting those goals. How do you know whether you are involved in a valuable venture or an exercise in futility?
What I had in mind when seeking to document the impact of social media to Kenyan businesses was based on the premise that all these businesses have their social media goals and a reporting mechanism in place. Whether the goal is engagement, increase in number of followers, increase in number of fans, increase in sales, increase in traffic to your website, increase in downloads of your products, or whatever other goals you have based on your objectives, it is critical to know whether you making any gains towards any of these goals. Otherwise, what are you busy about online? What you don’t measure you can’t improve. And that is the other lesson here.
So as you lead your company on the social media front as the community manager or internet marketing manager or whatever your title may be, please benchmark your goals so that you can improve on them. It is also for your own good. When anybody asks you “what you have done since you took up the job as the community manager, you should be able to extract data of month on month growth in whichever of the goals you have benchmarked against. And that is the very data that I would like to compile as I write reports on local case-studies and make a case for the value of community managers.
Have you benchmarked your social media efforts?