Screen shot 2012-08-01 at 11.44.36 AMA big part of any company’s social transformation is figuring out what metrics you’re going to track and creating visibility for the top and worst performing teams.

In the first post in this series we explained why we settled on subscribers, video views, and blog visits as our top three social metrics for the year. In this post we’re going to talk about how we’re using Salesforce Dashboards to aggregate the data, set clear goals, and drive competition.

Now as anyone who has managed social media channels can attest to, there isn’t one app that tracks every social metric. Radian6 and Buddy Media provide amazing insight, but there are additional data you might want to see including things like blog metrics, web analytic data, stats from your online community, or even CRM data like case volume and sales leads. 

To provide our employees and executives a complete picture of our social channels we decided to build our own social media dashboard in the “62 org.” The “62 org” is our instance of that all of our employees have access to. It is the same place we have our dashboards to track sales pipeline, support cases, and customer adoption.

Step 1: Creating Your Custom Objects

We created two very simple custom objects. One called “Social Media Channels” and the other called “Metrics.” These are custom objects that virtually any salesforce customer could set up with clicks not code. On the metrics object we have a look-up field for channel, a text field for metric name, a date field, and a field for the metric’s value.


Step 2: Populating the Data

The way our dashboard works is on a monthly basis we’ll have someone on our web analytics team login to all of our various accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Omniture...) and using “swivel chair integration.” It is a manual process that takes a couple hours (we have a lot of accounts) but it flows through to dashboards which make it easy for everyone in the company to consume.


Now, in an ideal world all of this would be automated. You’d tap into the APIs, flow it into your Salesforce Dashboards, and you’d have the best of both worlds. Real-time data, easy access, point-and-click customization, and chatter enabled collaboration. Hopefully, someone will build an off-the-shelf product to keep these APIs in sync, but until they do, the manual approach works pretty well. Especially for your top-level metrics, a monthly view is all you need. The people managing the communities day-in-and-day-out have specialized tools where they can dig deeper.

Step 3: Creating Your Reports & Dashboards

Every dashboard will be different, but in most case you'll want to start by creating matrix report that summarizes information by channel, and then by date. You can then set your filters so that the report looks a specific channels and filters for the metrics you want to see. 


So what do we have on our Social Media Dashboard? Well, actually have a number of dashboards that we use to slice the data by channel or by team, but here is an example of a high-level social media dashboard.

Social Media Dashboard

You can see that we’ve got 4 big metrics. We have set out to double our social media subscribers, video views, blog visits, and activity on the community. The green lines represent the targets we set for ourselves for the year and the blue line is how we’re doing against those goals. The great thing about having these dashboards in Chatter is we can discuss what the data is telling us and @mention people on specific elements. It’s been a great way to raise visibility and share best practices.


Now while the high-level social media dashboard is important to create alignment and keep your executives engaged, you also need to create competition amongst teams. We wanted our product teams to feel accountable for the growth of their fan page, for the number of blog posts they were putting out, and the number of video views they were generating.


Having a social media dashboard inside is a great first step towards driving your social transformation, but it is key to come up with your promotional plan. Scheduled email dashboards is one really effective way to make sure you have a monthly or even weekly cadence. The other thing you can do is set up TVs on your marketing floor to loop your most important metrics & social media best practices. We’ve found that’s a great way to raise awareness.

Salesforce lobby
If you’ve found a tool or an approach to aggregating your social media metrics that you think works particularly well, let us know in the comments below. We want to share what’s working and help each other’s companies transform into social enterprises.