By Anna McDermott

Nancy Roberts, program coordinator for marketing and an instructor at the New England School of CommunicationsOn The PR Maven’s® podcast episode with Nancy Roberts – the program coordinator for marketing and an instructor at the New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine – they discussed how Nancy teaches her students to measure social media results on the constantly changing platforms. Nancy’s areas of teaching expertise include public relations, marketing and advertising, making her a total social media pro.

Social media is a blend of PR, marketing and advertising so knowing what to look for in terms of success for your clients or your own business is important. If you create a Facebook post, which is generally a PR or marketing move, but then boost it, you’re adding in an advertising element since you’re paying to get more views, and hopefully, engagement with the post. Nancy said to first identify your objectives, so that you know what you will be measuring at the end. Your objectives must be something that can be quantified, like a target audience, a certain timeframe or an increase in specific numbers or a percentage point.

In social media, your evaluation also needs to include engagement. The number of likes is a valuable piece of data, but shared posts and comments demonstrate that there was a conversation happening and that is always the goal of any social media strategy. Facebook’s algorithm ranks a post higher (and therefore shows it to more people) if there’s a conversation taking place online.

If you’re measuring and evaluating your social media posts, you can see which ones had the best engagement and incorporate what worked into future posts. In PR, we often find ourselves unable to prove ROI but with planning and a strategy in place, you can set up criteria to measure and prove success.

The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is a fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit