Friday, November 11
Data Quality and Measurement Error
Fri, Nov 11, 10:30 AM - 11:55 AM
Orchid AB
Issues and Uses of Administrative Data and Paradata

It's All About That Face: Designing and Implementing a Social Media Evaluation (303547)

*Sondra M LoRe, University of Tennessee 
Jennifer Morrow, University of Tennessee 

Keywords: social media, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, evaluation, web analytics

Consumers use social media to make informed decisions about how to spend their money, time, and resources on products and programs that satisfy their needs. Smart phones enable us to carry around a mobile evaluation tool for nearly every choice we make. Companies are engaging in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect with consumers and gauge their interests. Designers often struggle to design and implement an evaluation system that measures something as fluid as social media. In addition, how can one evaluate engagement with websites especially those containing free downloadable curriculum and training resources? This paper explores multiple ways evaluators can demonstrate meaning in website traffic and use of media platforms. Using readily available and often free tools such as Google Analytic, along with analytics for Facebook and Twitter, evaluators can design and implement evaluation measures to examine the effectiveness of social media for a program or industry. Evaluators may find that stakeholders' have misconceptions as to the effectiveness of their customer social media. Posts are often haphazard and inconsistent with a focus on quantity of "likes" rather than purposeful platform engagement. With a systematic methodology, a social media campaign can be designed to illicit a measured and meaningful customer response. Strategies are needed to plan for the utilization of social media as a measurement tool and to design desired outcomes for the program.

The design of a social media survey also needs to incorporate an alignment with the program’s website to measure cross traffic. Google Analytics offers free and low cost options for measurement and analysis of website traffic to assist in effective evaluation measures. In this session evaluators will learn best practices for designing social media evaluations by taking a systematic approach to connect media platforms and website analytics.