A year ago, my company (KDPaine & Partners) and I were called in to conduct a measurement program for Goodwill International’s social media efforts. Their notion of measurement at the time was pretty much confined to monitoring what was being said about them. So we benchmarked them against other non-profits as well as consumer companies. We also gave them suggestions and directions as to how to improve their presence in social media.
A few weeks ago, I met with Goodwill International’s social media team again, but now it had grown to eight — including Director of Online Media Arlene McCrehan, a content analysis specialist, a web metrics dude, and a bunch of other sharp people who totally “get” measurement. And they really use the numbers.
My, what a difference a year makes: This is a group who went back to school and redefined measurement entirely. They’ve assembled a team that loves numbers and metrics and actually uses them to make decisions.
We constantly tell people: “It’s not enough to look at the big picture, you need to have enough granularity to your program to be able to make decisions on how to launch the next initiative, or make that next announcement.” And that’s exactly what Goodwill is doing.
They’re tracking success on an individual program basis, and they’re not just looking at “hits” but rather at click-throughs, traffic, and, ultimately, store traffic and donations. While their measurement program continues to evolve, it’s enormously gratifying to see just how much progress an organization can make so quickly.
--Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement.