In the sequel movie Crocodile Dundee 2, there is a great line when Mick Dundee visits the US and two guys try to rob him at knife point. He pulls out his outback knife, which is three times larger and says, “Now, that’s a knife!” When Alison Carlman, unmarketing manager for Global Giving, shared her social media measurement spreadsheet during a peer learning session I’m facilitating for Packard Foundation grantees based on “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” I couldn’t help but think, “Now That’s A Spreadsheet!”
Why is this such an awesome digital marketing/social media measurement spreadsheet? The spreadsheet captures strategy, outcomes, tactics, and Key Performance Indicators or metrics. This isn’t a bunch of metrics trivia disconnected from decision-making. Global Giving uses a number of sophisticated metrics tools to collect metrics across channels, but that data is cleaned, organized, and summarized in this worksheet that sets up the team to make good decisions based on their data. Be clear, a fancy program did not automate this dashboard – a human had to use a little elbow grease (approximately a couple hours of work) to assemble it, but the payback insights is well worth the effort.
Collecting data from free or paid measurement tools is easy. And there is no lack of social media metrics tools! The challenge is not finding the perfect metrics tool, but how you pull the right data into excel – and work with it to clean and organize it. Analytics and monitoring tools are great at shoveling data, lots of data, but to make sense of the data and glean valuable insights requires some additional work. That works does not require genius level talent or root-canal-like pain. It can start with thinking about how to best design your spreadsheet!
One caution to point out – as with any technology tool – you have to make sure that you are using it correctly. My colleague, David Geilhufe, pointed out that 85% of spreadsheets contain errors. That’s why it is a good idea to do what Rebecca Krause-Hardie does, “cross check totals and formulas.”
For the Packard Foundation “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit” peer learning group, I’ve been collecting and curating spreadsheets from nonprofits that they use for social media, multi-channel digital campaigns – to both manage and measure. It is much easier to start with a template and modify its design than start with a blank spreadsheet. But, I’ve been struggling with the best low-cost easy way to discover, curate, and share those spreadsheets more broadly.
This past month, I’ve also been curious about Tumblr, having noticed that it is getting more attention from nonprofits. Tumblr blogs are very focused on a topic and the best ones border on being a little bit nerdy and obsessive.And, viola – the perfect learning project for Tumblr! A tumblr blog called “Now That’s A Spreadsheet.” The Tumblr blog showcases examples of nonprofit spreadsheets for online integrated strategies including social media management and measurement. You can download the actual spreadsheet too.
Have an awesome spreadsheet for social media measurement or management or more multi-channel campaigns? Please tell me about it in the comments and your spreadsheet (without the data), could be featured in “Now That’s A Spreadsheet!”