Thursday, March 20, 2008

The New Web 2.0 ROI: Are these tools really delivering value to the sector?

This panel session, moderated by Beth Kanter, is packed to the gills--people are sitting on the floor. I got an outlet, but no chair, so I'll be alternating between blogging and actually seeing the slides.

Beth is using a "case study slam" format--20 slides/about 6 minutes (not sure if I got this right).
Wow, folks can Twitter @Kanter for changes in format, etc. during the presentation and Beth will be following it!

Assumptions in workshop: not explaining what blog/facebook, etc are (basic level of knowledge assumed)--but want to focus on ROI this session. Also, ROI/measurement/results are the focus of this session--not strategy.

Only a handful of the audience actually have a formal ROI business plan for their social media strategy.

ROI: Post evaluation process that uses metrics to understand the costs and benefits of a particular strategy.

Side note: why do so many of the wall outlets in the conference rooms not work???

Not agreement in the field about what standardized metrics should be... audience, engagement, loyalty, action...

Data is hard to collect, though tools getting better. There should be a tool to grab stats from major social media sites!

Intangibles: stories, qualitative information, the learning.

Panelists will talk about low-risk experiments to figure out social media ROI.

Eve Smith, Easter Seals, manage online fundraising campaign and integrated projects. "Do as I say, not as I do" presentation. Maintains Facebook profile. Challenge Foundation competition on Facebook and Parade Magazine for orgs to create the most new supporters/donors; either get the most unique donors in 24 hour period, or raise the most over 50 days. Easter Seals decided to do a Facebook Cause campaign.

Wanted to see how well known Easter Seals brand was known in FB
Hone message/build cause for FB messaging.

Only had 24 hours for people to learn about the cause and donate. Published to their blog and FB page. Because of tight timeframe, decided not to involve affiliates and use houselists (which usually responds in about 3 days.) Did send out message to MySpace friends as well, but getting MySpace folks to move to Facebook is tough.

Did thank folks who contributed, but the orgs that really did this well kept poking, motivating supporters to ask others to get involved. Involved about 24 hours of work (responding to emails.)

Got 68 folks to join the cause.
Easter Seals now measures effectiveness differently. 163 members already. Influencers are more valuable than donors. (My note: Not sure how they identified influencers, or if their outreach strategy was somehow segmented for identified influencers.)

Strategy matters. Picked wrong date to do challenge. Had to carve out more time than anticipated. Needed to have more snippets of content to push out to supporters ahead of time. Learning the tools took more time than anticipated. Small experiments do add up--know how much time, resources required to do this well now.

Side note: It is *packed* in this room! Standing room only!

A number of folks commenting from the audience start experimenting on their own--legal depts, etc. don't know about these efforts because the experiments would be greatly hindered by the processes. Beth Kanter commented that in SXSW, staff often ran small pilot programs under the radar and presented it for broader adoption within the organization once there were preliminary results.

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