Before you answer that question, you first have to have something to measure it against. Set expectations and goals, then make a plan, execute it and then monitor it. Why are you even playing with social if you’re not looking to reach new prospects. You first need to identify your audience, make them aware of who you are and then engage them. Use metrics to keep you on track but don’t get obsessed with them.
Use measuring devices first of all to help you monitor what you’re doing and secondly to fend off the bean counters as to what are we getting out of this. Are you reaching the people? Are you engaging them and building a relationship? If you have a blog, how is your audience embracing your message? With social you have numerous tools that will help you monitor your progress from Google Analytics to Twitter Search, Technorati or BoardReader.com. With my blog, I know immediately if I’ve hit a home run with a post. With Twitter, you can monitor what people are saying about you or your competitors. LinkedIn lets you participate in groups that gives you the opportunity to gain visibility and credibility and hopefully start engaging new potentials.
Several folks have got their own processes in place. Bill Seaver has a L.A.C.E. method which stands for – Leads, Awareness, Customer Service and Engagement. Tarla Cumming’s method is called M.O.M. – Monitor, Outreach and Measure. The point is everyone’s circumstances are different. Try something and if it doesn’t work or it needs to be revised, then do it.
I’d like to hear what others are doing to measure their effectiveness and whether you’re doing it as a quality control issue for your content, or if you’re doing a numbers thing for management.