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How best to measure social media?

Justin Herman

Justin Herman, new media manager at the GSA's Center for Excellence in Digital Government, shown speaking earlier this month at GSA's Social Government Summit. (FCW photo by Frank Konkel)

Responding to a story on social-media metrics, a reader dubbed Sam Ok wondered if measuring the use of social tools has any bearing on real performance. I would like not to see a metric on how much someone uses social media but what is their productivity, the reader wrote. We seem to assume that using social media makes people more productive but I agree with the person above [another commenter who had suggested that productivity and social-media use are not related] until you can develop a metric that shows otherwise.

Frank Konkel responds: The recommendations rolled out last week by the GSA-led interagency working group have to do helping agencies improve their digital outreach. The recommendations are designed to help agencies track how information they release is disseminated through their audience on social media – an audience that continues to grow compared to those who browse agency websites for information or announcements.

If you browse online, you can read through many surveys and studies that suggest that while social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter may be distracting to some – college and high school students, for example – it’s become standard operating procedure for many employed in the private and public sectors. Indeed, nearly every federal agency has a presence on at least one social media platform, while many have tens or even hundreds. NASA, for instance, manages 480 social media accounts, used for everything from disseminating press releases to chatting with astronauts onboard the International Space Station.

Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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