Excellent post from Jeremiah Owyang called "Why Your Social Media Plan Should Include Success Metrics" that shares some examples of success metrics for social media. These look like what we in the nonprofit sector might call "short term outcomes." I've translated his list for nonprofits:
We were able to learn something about stakeholders we’ve never know before We were able to tell our story to donors or audiences and they shared it with others A blogging program where there are more clients or stakeholders talking back in comments than posts An online community where clients served are self-supporting each other and costs are reduced We learn a lot from this experimental program, and pave the way for future projects, that could still be a success metric We gain experience with a new way of two-way communication We connect with a handful of advocates or donors like never before as they talk back and we listen
This is the way I'm viewed my current and past forays into social fundraising - yet the dollars raised is THE success metric, but there are also some important learnings:
- What is the flow of a networked fundraising drive?
- What is the degree of influence or motivation of donors once you start getting past one degree of separation between donor and cause?
- Is there any best practice that works best for connecting with "wired activists"?
- When does donor fatigue happen in socially networked fundraising campaign? Does it happen faster or slower?
- How does the ladder of engagement work (or not) as a networked fundraising campaign unfolds?
- What are some of the best ways to convince the .org's stakeholder group that may not be familiar with social media/networking that the learning is as valuable as the dollars raised?
- What triggers the networked effect and inspires others to carry your message to their networks?
- What's more important to the success of the campaign - an highly networked person who isn't as engaged in your cause to message out to their network or a highly passionate person about your cause with a smaller network? Which one will encourage more spreading?
- How does strategy differ between a sprint type campaign versus a marathon? Are marathons not best the fit for socially networked fundraising? How long does it take to build and leverage momentum?
Still time to donate!