Measurement in PR has always been a challenge and that hasn’t changed with social media. Understanding and showing the value of what we do isn’t always easy for communicators.
There is a good article on Socialtimes.com that addresses measurement in social media. It’s more from a marketing viewpoint, but it applies to the use of social media in PR or communications efforts.
One of the points in this article talks about bounce rates. It asks: Are people coming to your website from social media sites or networks, but leaving quickly? This is a good question and one that is worth talking about.
Participating in social media is a great thing for some organizations. However, if your website is out-of-date, stagnant and doesn’t engage the community you want to connect with—social media might not be of much support to your efforts. There are many organizations that jump on the social media bandwagon before they make sure that the foundation of their online outreach—their website—works.
A good website is an important tool for both marketing and public relations. It is, most likely, the first contact that a potential client or customer will have with your organization. It is important to have a website that provides interesting and engaging information to the people who visit.
If your website hasn’t been updated in the past year or two for design and style, if you don’t update content on a regular basis, and if your web stats are telling you that people arrive at your site and immediately leave, it may be time to have an audit done on your site. This will tell you what the best practices in your industry/field are, will showcase the dos and don’ts, and will give you an idea of what the people that matter to your organization think about how you are communicating with them through your site.
Take social media one step at a time. The first step should be to have a great website that is of interest to your stakeholders.