How do you Measure the Impact of a Social Media Initiative?

While there’s a widespread usage of digital and social media within organizations’ value chains, there are several questions that I hear often. E.g.,

  1. How  do you measure the impact of these initiatives?
  2. There are several use cases for which social media can be used. How do you actually prioritize these and decide what you want to use social media for?

Of course, there are many mechanisms – such as measuring financial impact (RoI etc) — to measure the impact of any initiative,  it’s not really trivial to apply these measures for something like social media.

One way to measure the impact or to be able to prioritize is by using some other outcome – a performance outcome or something similar.

 “Competitive Advantage” is one such outcome

A social media initiative can be analyzed in the context of whether or not you are you able to achieve competitive advantage by using social media. Again, there are many ways to define competitive advantage but for the purpose of this post, let us consider the concept of competitive advantage based on Michael Porter’s Value Chain Analysis (VCA).

There are numerous examples of social media usage in an organizations’s value chain activities. Some of these are shown in the figure below.

social media usage and its impactFigure: Social media usage and its impact on different sources of competitive advantage

The figure  above also provides an example of how an analysis of social media for competitive advantage could look like. For each activity in the value chain, the table shows examples of how social media can contribute to that activity and resulting impact on cost, differentiation and focus (the factors of competitive advantage, as described by Porter) for an example organization. Note that this figure only shows the summary of a sample analysis. In practice, an organization will typically use a detailed methodology and tools to access the cost, differentiation and focus impact of each of the activities and outcome will vary from one organization to another.

Once such an analysis is done, an organization can find out what are the most important activities in terms of their impact on different sources of competitive advantage. Based on organization’s own strategy and vision, appropriate activities can then be chosen as a use case for social media implementation.

In next few posts, i’ll go into details and describe how to analyze social media in context of competitive advantage. It’s all part of my PhD work in which I define several constructs (or factors) that have an impact on usage of social media and ultimately on competitive advantage. We’ll also explore how these different constructs play with each other, and finally look at a framework (and an excel-based tool) that can help you with any digital initiatives in your organizations.

PhD update – invitation to participate in my research

As you might be aware, I am currently doing my PhD from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi. The topic of my PhD is: Social Media for Competitive Advantage. Basically, the idea is to understand usage of Social Media, and map it to Porter’s concept of Competitive Advantage. Here are some details.

I’d like to invite you to participate in my survey.

The objectives of this survey are to understand:

  • How social media is used within organisations?
  • Social media’s impact on an organisation’s competitive advantage.

Your responses will remain confidential. Data from this research will be kept securely and reported only as a collective combined total. No one other than me will know your individual answers to this questionnaire. And if you like, i’d be happy to share my findings.

If you agree to participate in this project, please answer the questions as best you can. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the survey. Here is the link to survey:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2320776/smblog

Thank you for your assistance in this important endeavour.

Categorizing IoT Devices and Wearables Part 2 – Screen Dependency

In an earlier post, we looked at how digital workplace and marketing professionals can categorize the IoT marketplace based on device dependencies.
Another way to categorize the marketplace is in terms of device screens.
Absence or presence of a screen
Most Internet devices that users have so far interacted with — computers, mobile phones, tablets and even handheld devices — have a scr…

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Post abstract cross-posted from Real Story Group.

Categorizing IoT Devices and Wearables Part 1 – Phone Dependency

Many enterprises have begun to experiment with Internet-connected devices, such as hand-held devices, wearables, and other so-called "Internet of Things” (IoT) devices. If you want to include such devices as part of a broader digital workplace and marketing landscape, many questions arise.

Can mobile middleware tools support IoT use cases?
Should WCM be used to deliver content…

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Post abstract cross-posted from Real Story Group.

B2E Mobile Apps: If you build, will they come?

Consumer ecommerce companies increasingly give additional discounts to people who make a purchase via mobile apps instead of from a desktop site session. They want to incentivize more customers to download that company’s app.
An interesting question came up the other day with one of RSG’s subscribers: can this logic be extended to the enterprise?  Should we incent employees to use mobile work…

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Post abstract cross-posted from Real Story Group.

Updated Enterprise Mobile Technology Evaluations Available

RSG has just released an update to our Enterprise Mobile Technology vendor evaluations.
The new release includes updates to our detailed reviews of IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, FeedHenry/Red Hat, July, Motorola/Zebra, Verivo, Xamarin, and Kinvey.
Enterprise Mobile Technology is a rapidly evolving marketplace and has seen a number of acquisitions. As a result, some vendor names have changed (e.g.,…

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Post abstract cross-posted from Real Story Group.

New Roles for WCM Technology in an Age of Wearables

In the good old days, WCM technology primarily served to deliver content to a website — hence the name "Web Content Management". At best, "multi-channel" referred to the ability to deliver content to more than one type of website; e.g., an intranet and a public-facing website.
Of course, things have changed drastically from there. You not only have to think of delivering conte…

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Post abstract cross-posted from Real Story Group.