Whatever you’re doing campaign wise online, you must ride the learning cycle to success. You must be able to track and measure the right outcomes of your activity in order to understand whether you’ve been successful and have delivered the objectives that reflect the vision.

But before you can get on the cycle you must learn to ride it and this means taking care of the first four steps of the campaign cycle (see diagram below).


Ride the campaign cycle to success!

Once the activity has been planned, this is the time to sit down and agree the Key Performance Indicators (KPI). What does success look like for this campaign? How will I tell if my activity has been successful? Key Performance Indicators are derived from the objectives. For example, an objective for a social media campaign could be to foster conversation.

Then, for each objective, there will be at least one or more KPIs.  These are the tracking and measurement of one or more tangible performance metrics which enable us to tell whether the objective has been met.

For instance, the KPIs for fostering conversation would be

  • share of voice of the brand against its competitors
  • conversation reach
  • amount of conversation

We would measure conversation reach by the number of followers a brand has on Twitter, or the number of ‘Likes’ a Facebook page has. These are our metrics. Before the campaign begins all the tracking is put in place to ensure that metrics are tracked. During the campaign, activity can be tweaked and optimised to maximise performance and then once the campaign is finished it’s time to assess the results.

The learning cycle ensures that the results against the KPIs inform the next activity undertaken. By examining the results and looking for areas improvement we ensure a continual optimisation of our processes.

The ongoing monitoring cycle ensures that results are also used to inform the objectives and plans for the next campaign, again ensuring optimisation of processes.

The results can also be used as benchmarks for the level of success of future campaigns of a similar nature.

So that is the campaign cycle containing the ongoing monitoring cycle and the learning cycle. It is like riding a bike; once you’ve mastered it, you never forget.

What do you think? Are you currently employing learning cycles in your social media monitoring activities?