Highlights from Measuring the Soft Stuff

October 12, 2011–Attendees gathered at the Brentwood Public Library for a thought-provoking and enthusiastic presentation from Cynthia Hart, Virtual Librarian at Virginia Beach Public Library, who discussed how “Measuring the Soft Stuff” can show Smart ROI of social media marketing.

Cindy provided a number of valuable pointers including:

  • -Figure out what your brand is.  The public thinks our brand is books, so don’t fight it, embrace it & build on it

Examples of Branding:

  • -Put measures in context; without context measures are meaningless
  • -Ask yourself a key question: “if what you’re doing doesn’t bring results, why are you doing it?”

Cindy also provided a system for how to measure the soft stuff–for example, measure the value of social media.  This included:

  • -Establish goals; the library should have strategies that tie in with your strategic plan.
  • -Create a listening post; use Google alerts and other tools to find out what people are saying about the library
  • -Decide what segment or market you want to reach
  • -Identify possible influencers—people who are key influencers, social influencers and known peer influencers (they can encourage others to participate with you through social media)
  • -Recognize sentiment; what do people like but more importantly what do they not like?
  • -Trigger actions; determine if you want people to read it, repeat it, like it, etc.  What actions do you want your users to take?
  • -Measure the results; monitor and measure what matters and what can be tied directly to your goals.

Cindy provided tons of examples and additional free resources for participants to refer to in order to listen and monitor.  Special thanks to the Brentwood Public Library for hosting the event, Cindy Hart, and to all that attended.

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