So much has changed in the way of what we measure in our marketing and PR programs with the proliferation of social media. With all the changes and different styles of engagement, how do you know which are the right elements to measure in order to set your strategy and goals? The bottom line is that you want to measure what matters for your company, and to support its specific business goals by circling those measurements back to connect and support those goals. How do you accomplish this?

“Companies that want to take full advantage of better customer engagement, online word of mouth and influence on sales should ask themselves a few key measurement and related questions,” says Lee Odden. He offers these main questions to ask, in making sure you are honing in on the right measurements for your company’s social media strategy that address these points:

10 Questions to Ask for Social Media Measurement Success

1) Ask yourself what goals you want to achieve with a social media marketing effort? This should take into account the various segments of the business, not just the company as a whole.

2) Are your current web and new social media synced? Are your current measurements being used for web analytics going to be enhanced well by the new social media measurements that you are putting into place; will they complement each other?

3) What measures of success – such as KPIs – will you use to define ROI?

4) Will there be a strategic plan of how social media measurements will be gathered across the organization? Will it be in silos by department or companywide?

5) What are the current measurements in place? Is there already a formal method in which different departments are measuring social? If so, are they using a particular system or software; and is there a way to bring the whole company to a point of using the same one?

6)     Where do you start? Is there a particular department or lead person that should become the “model” for others to follow in their measurements?

7) What is the current tactical mix? What are the various social channels already in use by the company, whether it be Twitter, YouTube, wikis, etc.

8) Are you already using a dashboard and social media management tool for content promotion? Will it continue to fit your needs?

9) To move forward with your measurement efforts, are there current disconnected measurement processes and tools in place that need to be better coordinated or consolidated? Are there any key people you will need buy-in from to make this happen?

10) Is there an internal social media team or leaders who are tasked with assessing social media strategy on a regular basis? How will their role affect defining goals and ongoing performance reporting?

Once you have determined your answers to these questions, implementing your plan will be much more strategic and gather much better measurements, specifically tailored for your company. Social media monitoring tools being at the heart of this will be most important for moving in the right direction. And, since every company is different – with different goals and objectives – the resulting programs will look quite different, as well. The important thing, as stated above, is that you align these measurement methods and systems (like a social monitoring tool) with your company’s overall business goals. When you do this, you can ensure that you are measuring what matters for your company or your brand.

What will you do to improve or help manage your current social media measurement processes for your company?