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Monitoring Social Media Activity and Effectiveness

A monitoring and measurement process can help campaigns track the results of social media warfare efforts. There are two major categories of measurement: hard and soft data. By using these two types of measurements, campaign managers will see what is or is not working within the campaign social media strategy. The data can also help to reveal trends, new influencers in a campaign community, and different online channels and places to connect with supporters. These are some examples of hard and soft data:

  • ? Hard data: Number of newsletter subscribers; number of followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook; staff time saved by using social media; cost savings from using social media; donations; increased rank in Google and Yahoo! search engine results; increased coverage in newspapers, TV news, and online
  • ? Soft data: Engagement and interaction with supporters; reputation; loyalty; satisfaction; sentiment either positive or negative; feedback from supporters

There are several free online tools that can help campaign staff identify data quickly and easily. Examples include Facebook Insights, YouTube Insight, Insights dashboard, Klout, and Social Mention. Tools will continue to evolve, so campaigns staff should evaluate which social media applications the campaign will use and review the tools that can be used to measure activity. Once that is done, an evaluation process can be initiated and data can be generated at a reasonable frequency or after special events [6].

Campaign staff, volunteers, and supporters can also be mobilized to discover and report mentions of the campaign or candidate in social media posts made by other campaigns or the public. A reporting system can be established that allows monitors to send links to posts or a specific account to which the post can be shared. This provides campaign staff with insights into what people are posting about the campaign and reveals sources of false or misleading information.

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