Thursday, March 5, 2009

User Satisfaction With Your Social Media Site

In last week's post about objectives for social media marketing programs I argued strongly for program-specific behavioral objectives over marketing/branding objectives. I’ve seen no reason to back off that position; the program-specific metrics provide a direct assessment of customer activity, if not the achievement of overall marketing goals, which are affected by many channels and many programs.

In the discussion, however, one of my students argued for a customer satisfaction measure. I’m accustomed to thinking about customer satisfaction in terms of the more global measures of the ACSI or the annual Accenture survey that recently became available for 2008. It took me awhile to wrap my head around site satisfaction as an important objective, but the more I thought about it the better idea I thought it was—thanks, Ted!

The tip he gave me was to Avinash Kaushik’s free tool. Yes, it’s a pop-up and those are annoying. But it’s free, easy and allows the user to do a reasonable amount of editing within the basic 4-question template. So I set up an account and took the tool for a test drive.

It’s easy to revise the basic 4-question survey template, but you can’t add additional questions DIY. They do offer custom surveys if you need more. The “reasons why I came to the site” question didn’t offer exactly the reason I would have preferred “free content,” but “research” and some of the other options were close. When I was satisfied with it, I submitted it and waited for the code to show up on my results page.

My only real annoyance with the system was that I got a marketing email from 4Q before the survey was even processed and available. They have a clever approach, though. If you’ve had a bad experience with the site, send them the URL and they’ll try to get the site to install the satisfaction tool. Good thinking!

I installed it on my website so you could try it yourself if you’re interested. The installation was easy. Having set the frequency on 100% it should show up whenever you go there. The survey seems to work on both IE and Firefox but to be very sensitive to pop-up blockers, which is good. It also may set a session cookie so it doesn’t show up if you go back to the site. If I’m right about that, that’s good for the visitor, although I found it annoying when I was trying to get this screen capture!

In the process I found an interesting article. Dan Greenfield is arguing for a ranking system that would allow benchmarking of social media efforts. As he notes, we’re pretty far from that sort of a standard for social media metrics, but it’s an interesting concept to watch.

In the meantime, serious thinking about how to measure the success of your social media efforts is in order!

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