Drilling Down to Social Strategies

Our fourth Analytics class focused on the first of two parts on analytics for social media. This first part highlighted facebook, twitter and LinkedIn in terms of what users can do on these sites and “how” you can use these platforms to measure online, as well as offline, initiatives.

As with all analytics, you need to identify your SMART goals, KPIs, metrics and measurement methods in advance to ensure you capture all the relevant data and don’t waste time or lose important stats.

I think it’s interesting to note that if you are running a campaign that includes an offline tactic (e.g. a coupon or redeemable voucher), you can measure its impact online — IF you plan in advance.  The reverse also applies. For example, you can measure the offline response of a Facebook ad by using “offer claims.”

For this week’s in class exercise, we had to develop a social media strategy for promoting Parks Canada’s “Unplugged” campaign. For this, we had to identify SMART Goals and tactics for achieving them, as well as KPIs and metrics to measure progress.  I found this exercise a little confusing because we had just learned that traditionally KPIs are metrics that relate directly to your goals and generally impact the business.  Specifically, KPIs traditionally apply to revenue-related metrics (e.g. cost per lead, return on invest) or direct conversions that impact the business (new memberships).  However, I learned that the KPIs for a social media campaign are an exception to this. That is, they are social, as are the SMART Goals that support the campaign (e.g. generating X number of tweets with a specific hashtag).  This is good to note, as ‘when’ I launch my senior project, I will likely do it with a social campaign to drive traffic to the site and ideally generate conversions (member sign-ups).

In the exercise, we had to create a strategy for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The first two were straightforward, as the campaign was consumer-facing, which both Facebook and Twitter can be.  However, LinkedIn forced us to think ‘outside the box’ as it’s more of a B2B channel.  This was a challenge but good because sometimes clients decide they want to use a specific social media channel and you need to find a way to make it relevant to your marketing needs.

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‘Healthy’ Social Media and UX Influencers to Follow

Photos of influencers: Luke Wroblewski, Dr. Kevin Pho and Beth Kanter.
Influencers to follow: (left to right) Luke Wroblewski, Dr. Kevin Pho and Beth Kanter.

One of the best ways to hone progressive skills is to learn from leaders and build on their best practices. Interactive media is no exception and reading relevant blogs is an effective way to do this. As my senior project is a niche, social media healthcare solution, I want to hear insights from:

  1. Interactive UX design gurus
  2. Healthcare leaders mastering social media
  3. Social media experts in healthcare/not-for-profit sector

1. Interactive UX Design Gurus –

If it existed, my ″ideal″ influencer would focus on UX design for consumer-focused social media networks that improve overall health.  Short of that, I think these UX experts/blogs will offer great tips as my project evolves:

  • Luke Wroblewski, Product Director, GoogleBefore I even look at Luke’s blog, his biography underscores extensive credibility that makes him follow-worthy.  He held lead design roles at Yahoo and eBay; founded and sold two start-ups (to Twitter and Google); co-founded the Interaction Design Association; wrote books on usability and mobile first; and has 113 k followers on Twitter @lukew (including me). What’s more Luke’s regular blog Ideation + Design (which I now follow) features practical articles with visual examples, such as a recent one that clearly explains ‘why’ we should display passwords on login screens, as well as ‘how-to’ UX videos.  He also regularly attends industry conferences and share his notes and learnings with his readers. I think his articles will help inform some of the design decisions I’ll face in developing my senior project and its prototype.
  • Several UX Experts and the UX Booth blog – This robust blog covers various aspects of interactive design for beginner to intermediate designers, neatly organized into various accessible categories, such as: analytics; content strategy; design strategy; interactive design; and resources — to name a few. It is linked to Twitter handle @UXBooth.  I think subscribing to and reading this weekly blog will help me stay on the right course and enable me to incorporate best practices from various aspects of effective interactive design.

2. Healthcare Leaders Mastering Social Media – As one of the latter disciplines to adopt social media (due in no small part to privacy issues), experts in this area are true pioneers, overcoming numerous opposition to achieve success. In this category, I’m going to follow Kevin Pho MD, who practices primary care at the Nashua Medical Group in New Hampshire. An active blogger, Kevin explores where medicine, health care and social media intersect. CNN named @KevinMD as one of its five recommended health care Twitter feeds. He also has profiles on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.  (I’m following/liking him on all his social profiles at this point, except LinkedIn, as doesn’t know me — yet.)  All these accolades make him a solid bet for my attention. More importantly, Dr. Pho is the founder and editor of KevinMD.com, a blog endorsed by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the New York Times.  Although many of this blog’s articles touch on technology/digital, I like the way its social media articles are grouped in one area making them easy to find and check for best practices dealing with this sometimes sensitive topic.

3. Social media experts in healthcare/not-for-profit

Since I need to think ahead on ‘how’ I will bring my senior project solution to market, especially through social media and community-focused strategies.  The best resource for doing this, who I have followed for some time, is Beth Kanter. Beth has written many books, is on the UN’s list of most influential bloggers and both Fast Company and Business Week have endorsed her as a social media expert.

She regularly posts on Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running blogs for nonprofits. It’s filled with practical examples that I can likely apply to my project.  I follow Beth’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and You Tube feeds.

I’m hoping that watching and heeding the advice of these experts will keep me on a track to success with my senior project.