Best Practice #3: Define Your Digital Goals

Oct 24, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Best Practice #3

5 Best Practices for Public Health Departments' Social Media Strategy

Best Practice #3: Define Your Digital Goals

The best ways to define success in social media campaigns are still being discovered and created.  Some campaigns use the number of followers or fans they develop.We recommend measuring succses by measuring how many people mention your campaign in a post or tweet, or actively participate in your campaigns by signing an online pledge or participating in a contest. Few PHDs have had the resources to track their social media activity all the way through to outcome measures, although this would be a particularly worthy goal.  

Ultimately, PHDs will have to define success for themselves, primarily taking into account their financial and staff resources.  Specific and measurable goals, however defined, will lead to a department-wide understanding of what a successful social media campaign looks like.  

Since goals are the broadest desired outcomes of a campaign, PHDs need to set objectives that are specific in nature and will help them gauge progress toward achieving the broader goal. For example, if the goal is to use social media to get people to stop smoking, an objective could be to get 50 people per month to sign an online anti-smoking pledge via Facebook by the end of the calendar year. Another objective could be to get 300 people to re-tweet the smoking cessation tip of the day every month for the next year.

Although PHDs do not have to share every detail of their goals or objectives with the audience, it is advisable that PHDs at least provide brief information about the content they will be presenting. This maintains a level of transparency and authenticity. Both are essential for organizations, especially in the digital realm.

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