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Measuring success 101: How are we doing?

Created: 06 Mar 2013 • Updated: 07 Mar 2013
Christy Loerzel's picture
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Chances are, you’re used to measuring your success or progress both personally and professionally. Personally, you might measure success by how well you’re doing toward paying down a credit card or mortgage or putting money in savings. Professionally, you may measure success by meeting a sales quota, hitting a deadline or delivering a projected number of leads on an email campaign. Regardless of where and what you measure, success typically comes down to meeting a goal or progressing toward it.

Social media success is the same; it’s about having a goal and meeting that goal or, at least, seeing regular improvement toward that goal.

You can break down measuring your success with social media into a few simple steps:

  • Determining what social goals will contribute to improving your objectives.
  • Identifying benchmarks and setting targets. In other words figuring out:
    • Where you are at today.
    • Where you want to be in six months.

You will likely have separate goals—or at least targets—for your overall social media efforts as well as individual campaigns or posts. Today, I’m going to focus on measuring your overall efforts and what  that might look like as you move forward.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of goals you may have for select objectives.


Social Goal

Raise brand awareness

Increase fans/followers, mentions of feeds, reach impressions

Increase communication with customers

Obtain comments,  retweets, shares.

Create soft sales leads (conversion of download, clicks)

Good click-through rates, direct downloads, referral traffic to landing page

Driving conversions to your media channels (web sites, microsites)

Good referral traffic to sites, click-through rates

Crises communications

Immediate responsiveness, direct positive engagements/commentary; reduction in calls to your call center

Support triage

Number of cases to support, resulting positive/negative engagement ; reduction in calls to your call center

Reputation management

Social media mentions and sentiment analysis

Each of the social goals and objectives above are going to involve slightly different items to measure/track. Let’s look at raising brand awareness as an example. As show, your goals for measuring success for raising brand awareness might be:

To start, you’d want to note how many Facebook fans and/or Twitter or LinkedIn followers you have today. Decide what a reasonable increase in one, three or six months might be and which time span you want to track. Then, regularly revisit your goals (fans and/or followers) and how you’re progressing. Look at the types of content you’re posting/tweeting and how often when you see spikes in fans and/or follower and try and delivery more of that type of content and frequency. If you’re not seeing the results you want, reconsider the content you’re relying on and possible the frequency of your communications—keeping in mind that it is possible to post too often as much as not enough.

As with any social media endeavor, content is king and experimentation a key to success, but I hope this gives you a basic idea of how to start measuring your success.

Comment below to let me know ways you are measuring your social media success and what objectives matter most to you as a Symantec partner company.

See the complete Symantec Partner Social Media Series.