Case Study: Metrics Make the World Go ’Round: How One Nonprofit Measures the Impact of Its Social Media Marketing

Company: EarthShare Agency: Virilion, Inc. Timeframe: Dec 2008-April 2009 When your PR efforts create a measurable impact on your organization’s goals, you will be at the head of the line for budget and staff. If you can’t measure your contributions to the organization’s goals, then you are at risk of being thought of as “one those communications people we have to keep around” by senior management. Accordingly, there are a number of “social media experts” who would tell you that you should measure your social media efforts by the numbers of friends you garner, or by the number of times people interact with your brand on social media sites, but these metrics won’t save your job or increase your budget. Rather, you must understand how to set up and examine your online PR and marketing activities for effectiveness, and how to use that information to request more resources in the next budget cycle for efforts that are lagging—two lessons the executives at EarthShare (a nonprofit that manages workplace giving campaigns for national environmental charities) learned when they partnered with Virilion to measure the effectiveness of their online PR and marketing efforts.

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