You can’t deny the appeal of MySpace and Facebook if you’re trying to organize thought and action around an issue or project – unless you’re a corporate IT manager (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
Social sites command large audiences whose members potentially can become your advocates. And by listening to their conversations, you can get ideas and feedback on how to improve your outreach and advocacy.
But how do you know that you’re making a real impact with Facebook, et al? And how do you get the numbers and analysis that enables you to report back results that are meaningful and understandable to other, perhaps less Web 2.0-savvy members of your organizations.
At least some answers to those questions can be found in this article from The Measurement Standard. It provides some simple benchmarks, as well as a framework for how to go about measuring your social site presence.
It also underscores implicitly a key point about social media’s impact on most organizations and their communicators.
Most issues, most groups, aren’t going to move the needle on an issue by sheer numbers. The real value comes from the insights and analysis gained from relatively unfiltered access to people who’ve just proven they care enough, or are interested enough, to act. And action is the most important attribute you want from potential allies or coalition members when pressing for change.