We draw a social media temperature curve

When my daughter is running a temperature, I usually know without using a thermometer. I see it in her eyes feel the fever in the crooks of her arms, and I can feel her body heating up even through her clothes. Nonetheless, I do the measuring. It makes a difference, you see, whether her temperature is 39 or 40, and I also, of course, want to know whether her temperature’s rising or falling or even remaining constant.

That’s more or less what it’s like at work too. Since I’m surfing the social media non-stop for Krones every day, I can naturally enough say suite intuitively and using my common sense how our activities in the various channels concerned are rated. Inside the team, every post is discussed, so as in the future to collect maximally interesting, unusual and relevant contents. Our team sees its role as a miniature online media firm, and we want to be a dependable address for good content. But how can we hold fast to this aspiration through a plethora of continually changing channels, online fashions and hypes? How do I explain to my colleagues who aren’t all that familiar with social media how successful or unsuccessful we currently are?

Charles Schmidt and I have been and I have been repeatedly asked at presentations what kind of quantifiable performance indicators we have. How, people inquire, do we know whether our posts are appreciated, how can we meaningfully communicate the value of our work. Up to now, our answers have tended to be rather prosaic. “We believe in common sense, our own observations, and the feedback we’re getting.” That (at first glance) seemed plausible enough, but the questioners nonetheless always looked rather disappointed. They had hoped for more. And we always took this silent feedback home with us, and brooded about performance indicators. And talked about performance indicators. Since I’ve been with Krones, then, I regularly sit down with Charles Schmidt and talk to him about quantification and those ominous performance indicators, Our key question has always been: how can the value of communication be quantified? On the telephone, you know, no one asks about an ROI.

So we’re talking figures here … I still get nightmares today about various math lessons, and just the thought of thinking about figures triggers an instinctive aversion. But somehow the issue refused to go away. Above all, because every day we increasingly felt we would like to have more transparency and quantifiability for our work.

We started off slowly, and began to devote progressively more attention to how our channels were being reported, tried to analyse the feedback to optimise our content and improve the blog articles. Then we focused additionally on the subject of monitoring, and drew up regular status reports on how all the channels are developing. One of the team’s members at some point was dealing exclusively with monitoring and reporting. We spent months, for example, comparing three monitoring tool, in order to find the ideal one for our own particular needs.

Finally, we identifie which performance indicators are relevant for our channels. In the team, we discussed the basic idea of quantifiability and comparability for social media activities, and thus filtered the most important performance indicators out of the pool in order to render the figures comparable for all channels. Our interns finally worked on a mathematical model. We supported their work, yes, made notes, set goals, contributed a few corrections, but their results went far beyond our original expectations. And since a few days go we can safely state:

We now have performance indicators: ones designed specifically for social media. In an upcoming article, we shall then be fleshing out the details of the precise procedure involved and the project as such. After that, we’ll be keeping you informed on how quantification is progressing. Whether the social media’s temperature is rising or falling.

And since performance indicators mostly have an abbreviation, we’re thinking about a nice name for Krones’ social media performance indicator. Any ideas?