Evaluating social media for classical music organizations

I have been a fan of the communications evaluation guide Are We There Yet? by The Communications Network ever since I learned about it through Issuelab. Designed for philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, the report guides managers through evaluating their communications efforts. The authors warn that it is not a communications planning tool, but I believe a greater understanding of the proposed evaluation process will lead to a better, more focused communications plan.

So naturally for me—combining classical music and social media—the question was: how can orchestras or classical music organizations evaluate their social media efforts using this guide?

Over the next week, I will go through the guide, step by step, to see how it might apply to classical music organizations and their social media efforts. I will take a fairly broad, general approach and perhaps make certain assumptions and create certain hypothetical scenarios that could be typical for classical music or arts organizations around the country.

The steps, according to the guide, include (the steps will become links to each respective article as they are posted):

Step 1. Determine what you will evaluate
Step 2. Define your goal
Step 3. State your objectives
Step 4. Identify your audience
Step 5. Establish your baseline
Step 6. Pose your evaluation questions
Step 7. Draft your measurements
Step 8. Select your evaluation techniques
Step 9. Estimate your budget
Final Word

Although I will be looking at social media in particular, I believe it is important to see these efforts as part of an integrated marketing communications approach and as part of a larger strategy toward an overarching goal.

Even if I don’t go into those elements beyond social media, including offline advertising, promotions or public relations efforts or programmatic supports, keep in mind that the social media efforts should always be seen as part of an integrated approach toward achieving a mission statement-inspired goal. Your offline efforts should always complement your social media efforts, and vice versa.

I hope the walk through will be helpful and insightful. Perhaps you have suggestions or improvements along the way. If so, don’t hesitate to let me know. Likewise, leave a comment if you have an evaluation story to share or if you have any questions on your own evaluation efforts. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy evaluating! Tomorrow, we’ll get started with step one.