Downtowns down with measuring social media

Business Improvement Districts don’t just focus on foot traffic anymore.

These local organizations also aim for social media buzz and web traffic to further their mission to promote downtown areas.  So the International Downtown Association invited me to their conference in Fort Worth to answer: Which Tools are Reaching Audiences and Driving Results?

I teamed with Jim Blakeslee of Geocentric – makers of location-aware content management software for destination districts – for the session, and Jim showcased best practices among these organizations for leveraging Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and FourSquare.

My presentation – please download the PDF here – addressed a clear theme running through attendees’ comments and questions: how does an organization decide how much time to invest in social media?  I showcased social media monitoring tools, from Google Alerts and HootSuite, to Radian6 and Sysomos.  Then I laid out how to distinguish website activity due to “organic” social media – which just happens – from that due to paid, or “purposeful,” social media, which the organization drives.

Like every audience, these busy people groaned at the effort that campaign tagging seems to require, but appreciated the insight from tying not just site visits, but also new memberships, views of maps, and other conversions, back to social media channels and topics.  They also saw the value of putting metrics in context when we revealed a benchmarking effort showing Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and other publicly available social media metrics for every BID in attendance.  Partnership for Downtown St. Louis’ 34,000+ Facebook Likes definitely gave everyone else a stretch goal!

Please read more about how we helped a university measure its social media outreach or about other not-for-profit and government results we’ve delivered.

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