Practical Social Media Measurement for PR

by Eric Melin on March 22, 2012

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The popularity of social media has given PR professionals huge opportunities to expand their reach. With that shift towards new forms of engagement, however, comes the challenge of measuring the work you have done. What truly defines success?

There are a ton of tools and services out there on the market to help you realize the goal of social media measurement (Spiral16 is certainly one of them), but its extremely important to make sure that your objective for measuring in the first place is top-of-mind when choosing a tool.

Once you have the software in place (you’ll probably want to use something to measure your own website stats in conjunction with the rest of the web), you still have to figure out what path you are going to take to measure social media success clearly. Recently, I posted our six-step process for defining social media success, but yesterday I read a great post from Shonali Burke geared specifically for PR professionals.

Shonali has what she calls a five-step exercise, the do’s of social media measurement if you will, that she uses before she begins any PR undertaking. She is driving home a lot of the same points we try to on this blog and with our clients, and I feel like I’ve been challenged to a game of “Name That Tune” or the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where Shonali says “I can do that in five steps!” Here’s her presentation:


1. Identify what the business objectives for your program/campaign are.
2. Identify how you will measure the success or failure of these objectives.
3. Now outline your communication strategy.
4. Figure out how you’re going to track your efforts.
5. Correlate.

Of course, there are way more things to consider under each bullet point, so you should head on over to the Waxing Unlyrical blog and check out Shonali’s original post for more great advice.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shonali Burke March 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

OMG, it does look as if we were inside each other’s heads, doesn’t it? But I promise I didn’t crib from you – I hadn’t read your post at the time.

What is neat, though, is that a lot of us who focus on practical measurement think the same, which is a good thing. Because it means we are all teaching/saying/trying to impart the same principles. Whew!

Thanks so much for sharing my post and presentation, Eric. I appreciate it very much.


Eric Melin March 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Ha ha–no, I wasn’t approaching it from that route at all! If anything, our preso was a result of helping clients, using our tool, seeing great speakers, and reading all the helpful blogs from you and lots of others in this space. It’s collective knowledge, you know?

The core principles are exactly the same though–and that’s why I dug your post. If anything, it let me know I’m on the right track!


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