I read Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment by Jim Sterne in January as I was researching and writing my graduate course on social media marketing campaigns for SNHU. And in case you’re wondering, I ended up choosing this book along with Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content by Colleen Jones as the text books for this course.
Here’s is my 1-1-1 Express Book Review of Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment by Jim Sterne.
- 1 thing I liked
Jim Sterne is a marketer AND an educator at heart. Not surprisingly, his book offers a very clear road map to understand how to measure social media activities. What I liked about this book is that it goes far beyond a list of metrics and recipies. Sterne helps his readers keep their eyes on business objectives right from the beginning. The book provides many concrete examples and stories as well, but puts all of them in the context of the relationship between an organization and its customer.
The way the book is structured is a testament to this strategic approach. Sterne starts with the goals, goes through all the different stages of audience engagement (the holy grail in higher ed, right now) and wraps up with what really matters at the end of the day: the measurement of business outcomes.
- 1 thing I didn’t like too much
This was tough to find something I didn’t like in the book, so I’ll just note 2 details for the sake of my book review format.
First, most of the examples in the book comes from the corporate or small business world. So, don’t expect to find the perfect higher ed solution although most lessons in the book can be applied to our wonderful (little) world of higher education.
My second point relates to the use of links within the text of the book. I’ve read my fair share of new books since the beginning of this year and I haven’t seen a great way to integrate links in their paper versions. In the case of Social Media Metrics, the main problem lies in the fact that the links included in the text can be very long (that’s the case with most links to blog posts). I think it would have been a good idea to use a URL shortener. I can understand why a book publisher wouldn’t want to use one of the free options available (never know if they would be around in a couple of years), but it wouldn’t be that hard to set up this kind of URL shorteners for the publisher. All book authors could use the in-house URL shortener and they could even get some measurement data on the usage of links mentioned in their book.
- 1 big take-away from the book
One of the big take-aways in this book for professionals working in higher education can be found in Chapter 8 of the book: “Getting Buy-In – Convincing Your Colleagues.” Sterne provides some great advice on the million-dollar question of buy-in and very practical tips – including the copy of an email (see below page 202) making the case for change to higher ups, the kind of email that will probably get you fired ;-)
Sterne explains that success stories are a great way to get buy-in, but goes a bit further:
“Other people’s success stories are good, but if you really want to make an impression, find examples that are specific to your audience. The most important stories are the ones close to home about people and projects within your ogranization. “If Susan can do it, then so can I,” they will think. Or perhaps, “If Henry does that again and I don’t, he’ll get the promotion and I won’t.” Now we’re getting personal.”
That’s one of the reasons why the benchmarking analytics survey initiative was launched, to provide you with some material to tell stories about online analytics at your institution. And, that’s also why Stephane Hamel will use a real case study from the admissions website of the University of British Columbia in his upcoming master class on social media analytics for higher education.
Want to learn how to measure your institution’s social media initiatives?
Register for the Master Class on social media analytics in higher ed presented by Stephane Hamel, analytics instructor at UBC and University of Laval (June 21st, 2011).