In my blog “5 ways to get more followers … or not” a few weeks back I explored the concept of follower numbers not being an all-powerful social media measure, this week I want to explore a little about what are important measure in social media.
Social media is rather like nursing in that it is all about people – so how do we know when nursing if effective? How do we measure nursing? Well we take a wide range of measures from data to feedback from patients and we look at it on a large scale … however sometimes we look at it on a small scale, we look at the individual patient’s stories and how we have or have not made a difference. I really like Patient Opinion, for those of you who have not come across it (where have you been!) it is a fab resource that allows patients to post stories about the care they have received – good and bad. It’s a really fabulous way of measuring nursing as it allows us to concentrate on people and the things that matter to them…. Well worth a look, a read and a follow on Twitter.
But back to Social Media measurement – someone very close to me (and very clever with data) often says “You get the behaviour you measure” and he is very right! If we measure followers we will be focussed on followers so that is what we will get, if we measure Twitter RTs we will be focussed on that so we will see an increase in RTs and so on. So yes we do need to look at data, we need to look at followers, likes, mentions, shares, reach, sentiment and compare that with data of our peers and counterparts but as with nursing we must never lose sight of what is important – PEOPLE. Listening to peoples stories, to their tweets, to their updates and blogs about why they find what you are doing and how you are engaging useful. Listening and responding to feedback is a vital part of becoming a valuable social media resource. As with Patient Opinion stories are a great way to do this and we have collected some really great stories via blogs about the #NurseCommunity and some great micro stories via tweets via @WeNurses. I will most definitely continue to measure via stories the impact that social media is having on people. If we want an engaged communities in health via social media then we need to start to measure the things that matter because as my wise friend says “you get the behaviour you measure”