Social media for public engagement and consultation. Can you justify it?

Marketers are often asked about the return on investment from the effort they put into social media. They consider things like:

  • Financial: Has revenue or profit increased or costs decreased?
  • Digital: Has the company enhanced its owned and earned digital assets?
  • Brand: Have consumer attitudes about the brand improved?
  • Risk management: Is the organization better prepared to note and respond to attacks or problems that affect reputation?

(Forrester 2012)

We reckon the same goes when using social media for public engagement and consultation, but the language and the detail of what we measure will change.  So what things should a manager using social media this way be measuring? How about starting with these?

  • Financial: Has the transaction costs associated with public engagement and consultation decreased? Have we reduced the burden of taking part on consultees?
  • Digital: Has the company enhanced its owned and earned digital assets? [Yes it’s the same as above, but the detail will be different.]
  • Brand: Have stakeholder attitudes’ about the consultation or your organisation’s approach to engagement improved?
  • Risk management: Is the organization better prepared to note and respond to attacks or problems that affect reputation, or unfairly undermine their consultation and engagement work?

Factoring in perspectives like this when managing public engagement or running a consultation is very important; especially in financially tough times when we need to justify everything we do and demonstrate the value we bring.

So what are you measuring?

PS: Want to increase your public engagement ROI?  Like our Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get access to tons of tips. Or attend this course that we developed with The Consultation Institute.

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