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Third Gear: Define KPIs in every channel Odometers track the distance traveled but a speedometer adds the concept of time, and the tachometer a measure of effort. Likewise, think across all channels while considering multiple dimensions of measurement. Volume measures that demonstrate effort might include number of unique visitors to your overall domain, number of inbound links and visits from search engines. Depth KPIs that demonstrate quality of audience could include number of blog RSS/ email subscribers, share of voice (percentage of online articles on your key topic that include your brand) or number of articles that include your organization’s key messages. Engagement metrics might include number of Facebook or blog comments, retweets and @ replies. Some organizations even want a gauge for sentiment, often using the KPI of proportion of positive or neutral reaction to content.

14 | The Changing Face of Communications

To get the full picture, absolutely do define KPIs in every channel in which you market – but absolutely don’t create too many KPIs per channel! If you’re not certain how performance against a particular KPI will affect the business goals you are pursuing, you shouldn’t be using it to measure performance. And the more KPIs measured the less time there is left for teams to do the actual communicating.

Fourth Gear: Set goals for each KPI and each tactic Create a way to look into historical performance across the KPIs you’ve chosen and set expectations based on your organization’s size, reach, and level of adoption of social marketing tactics. Scrutinize competitor performance against these KPIs as well. Set your course with an intended speed, an estimated time of arrival and a desired destination that indicates your message has been received. And, don’t forget to keep an eye on that odometer as you conquer the world.