How To Define KPIs Around Social

Ongoing interview series of digital and business insights, hosted by Fernanda Accorsi of SocialSignIn – a Social Media Management Platform.

Ben Nimmo, SocialSignIn

To elevate social media to the board room, as mentioned in the previous post, one needs to put a strong case forward – and this is something a lot of businesses struggle to articulate with social.

On our second part of the interview with Ben Nimmo, Co-founder and CTO of SocialSignIn, he states it is easy for companies to say social will provide customers with an alternative route for customer service queries or that it could help to drive additional sales, but you will need to present some cold, hard numbers if your proposals are to be considered.

We looked why it’s essential to align your activity with core business objectives. In this blog you will see how to define important processes and KPI’s around social, and how to remove internal cultural barriers that are holding back your digital projects.

Define roles and responsibilities

The use of social media is still fairly new in some organisations, and therefore the processes around it can be unclear. The most common evolution of social within an organisation starts with it being managed ad hoc by someone in the marketing or comms team – usually for fifteen minutes at the end of the day or “when they get chance”. If you are to leverage maximum benefit from social media then it needs to be formalised and treated like any other comms channel.

If you are using social media for customer service, then when a specialist enquiry is passed from your central comms team to another department, it cannot afford to fall into a “black hole” where you might eventually get a response…at some point. You will need to set SLA’s around when you can expect to receive a response from that department. Better still would be to have a designated “social media champion” in each department who will report back to you with the information – or as we see in the most socially-savvy organisations, the “social champion” can directly respond back to the customer on behalf of their department – making it a truly social process.

Part of a wider digital transformation

Changing archaic organizational structures and processes to meet new trends and technologies is one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders. Successfully embedding social media into an organization will not happen if there is not a culture that embraces change and new approaches. That means building out your business based around mobile, social, cloud and analytics. Culture and investment were recently identified as the two main barriers to digital transformation in the UK public sector, but we also see this in the private sector too.

If you’ve made the decision to make social media a key customer service channel going forward, then you need to adequately resource so that your customers receive a great first experience on this channel and use it again and again. One-on-one conversations are how you create powerful experiences on social – the essence of relevance and being human. But in marcomms, one-on-one conversations at scale are costly and impractical. This is where paid social can help. At a time of changing algorithms, when social has become “pay to play”, the opportunity to connect at scale with a defined, relevant segment of your audience is now very real – but it requires budget. It’s strategy and not technology that drives digital transformation, so identify and remove your internal barriers – because companies that do not innovate and avoid risk-taking are unlikely to thrive. It’s also essential for recruitment, your most talented employees want to work for businesses committed to digital progress.

The very best new businesses are built around adaptability, sharing of information and data-driven decisions. So start small when testing new approaches, achieve some quick wins and build a business case to take to the board for future investment. In an age of accelerated evolution, many leading brands have already moved on from mobile-first to social-first – creating clear audience segments based on deep insights and crafting contextualized content for them – but to bring us back to the opening point, only if your audience is there.


The Digital culture must be installed in the organization as a vital part to engage with the customer. Do not look just for “likes”, “shares” and “fans”. There is much more out there to be achieved. Social Media is the key to listen, talk, act and re-act faster and more effectively.



Author: Fernanda

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