The Social Media Balanced Scorecard: Balanced External and Internal Social Media Metrics – Critical Components of a World-Class Social Media Program

by Steven Jeffes

In my previous blog entry titled “Social Media Pitfalls and Mistakes – the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Programs”, I covered the major mistakes companies make when developing and managing enterprise level Social Media programs.  One of the points that I focused on was not utilizing the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) in measuring the success of a social media program. This blog post will highlight the critical components in developing a highly effective social media measurement system and how to craft an effective social media balanced (measurement) scorecard.

Based on my firm’s SMARTE methodology (SMARTE stands for “Social Media Adaptive/Responsive/Transcendent Enterprise”) and direct client experience, I have found that, in order for a large-scale social media program to be successful, a balance must be struck between the internal success metrics and the external success metrics.  By simultaneously establishing and tracking metrics in the following areas, a program can be built on the balanced scorecard concept so that the most effective social media program is delivered externally via the optimal internal delivery model:

External Balanced Scorecard Metrics – How the program is perceived by external stakeholders and participants to be fair, engaging, referable, worth following, responsive, etc.

Internal Balanced Scorecard Metrics: How the program is perceived by internal company stakeholders to be efficient, effective, systemic, consistent, compliant, repeatable, etc.

If we place the external scorecard metrics in the numerator of the Equation and the internal scorecard metrics in the denominator the result is the Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard.

Before we demonstrate an example how this balanced scorecard can be used, let’s take a look at some of the specific measures for both the external success metrics (balanced scorecard numerator) as well as the internal success metrics (balanced scorecard denominator) for this balanced social media measurement scorecard.

Top 10 Market & Stakeholder Focused/External Social Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
1. Forum Engagement Score: Rating by stakeholders in each forum on how creative the program is in terms of engaging and interacting with the overall community
2. Forum Referral Score: How often program followers and stakeholders refer other people to follow the forum of interest
3. Forum Audience Score (Relative to Other Community Audiences): Rating by forum participants on how fair the program is in terms of consistent responses
4. Forum Responsiveness/Quality Metric: Rating by stakeholders on how responsive the social media program is to their needs and sentiment
5. Content Quality Score: Rating by stakeholders on how engaging the content is perceived
6. Content Relevancy Score:  Rating on how relevant the content and engagement is to forum participant’s needs and preferences
7. Content Timeliness Score: Rating by forum participants on how timely the content and engagement is to forum participants
8. Content Referral Score: Rating by forum participants on how likely they are to refer people to the company forums, initiatives, contests, etc.
9. Brand Quality Score: Rating by stakeholders on how brand perceptions are increasing/decreasing based on their social media interactions
10. Overall Program Quality/Appeal Score: How program participants perceive the quality and appeal of this program relative to all other social media programs they’ve been exposed to and/or interacted with

The top five benefits of measuring these external social media success metrics are as follows:
1)  Allows program participants to feel empowered to provide input into the programs’ design
2)  Enables companies to govern program delivery based on external/objective measures
3)  Enables development of best-in-class social media programs as rated by their constituencies
4)  Facilitates the development of a dynamic, exciting, engaging program
5)  Enables maximized creativity for program interaction and delivery

Top 10 Company Efficiency & Effectiveness Focused/Internal Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
1. Social Media Process Efficiency: Cycle time by which major program components (contests, new offerings, special topics, new forums, etc) are developed, deployed and adapted. This would include meeting critical process excellence Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for sign-off and completion of program materials as part of a social media process excellence model
2. Social Media Engagement Timeliness Score: Cycle time to address stakeholder concerns, comments, sentiment, needs, preferences, etc.
3. Social Media Sentiment Analytic Score: Effectiveness in locating and performing analytics on sentiment trends, issues, critical response items (i.e. product defect early warnings)
4. Social Media Forum Coverage Score: Coverage metrics on how comprehensively analytic platforms are sourcing data from social media forums and how well the company is responding to forum sentiment (both positive and negative) from all applicable forums
5. Social Media Internal Engagement Score: Metrics on how well  internal employees feel engaged with and empowered to act as an effective component in the social media program delivery
6. Brand and Forum Consistency Score: Rating by brand management on how well all of the social media participants are maintaining brand and forum consistency as to engage stakeholders and participants in a highly qualitative and consistent manner
7. Social Converter Score – Metrics on how well the company converts social engagers, social brand detractors and ‘brand interested’ into traditional prospects, brand advocates and brand customers respectively?
8. Social Media Program Value Score: Based on the Social Converter Score as a baseline, what is the current and cumulative value of the social media program and how has it delivered tangible value from a brand perception/value, prospect conversion, or customer (cross-sell, up-sell, higher share of wallet, etc) perspective.
9. Social Media  Service Line Contribution Score: From a service line perspective (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Management, etc), how much has the social media program contributed in terms of sales lead increases, increased marketing reach and customer conversions,  new product ideas (i.e. via Crowd Sourcing), customer service improvement suggestions or actionable feedback, etc.  –Refer to service line specific metrics** below.
10. Overall Program Quality/Appeal Score: How well is the social media program perceived by internal stakeholders and constituencies relative to all other social media program these departments/employees have been exposed to and/or interacted with

The top five benefits of measuring these internal social media success metrics are as follows:
1)  Allows companies to deliver cost-effective social media programs
2)  Enables companies to deliver consistent, repeatable program content
3)  Enables companies to convert social media interactions into prospects, customers and sales for bottom line results
4)  Enables companies to rate the comprehensiveness of their social media program coverage
5)  Enables company employees to feel excited about the program and to be engaged for brand, company and constituency benefit

Now back to the Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard. If we were to weight each of the ten external and internal measures at 10% (or 10 points each) , we would have 100 maximum score for external measures and a 100 maximum score for internal measures.  Here are some example scores and their potential meaning as an example:

External Social Media Score – 100
Internal Social Media Score  – 50 
   or a Balanced Scorecard result of 2 (100/50).
This typically means that stakeholders consider the company’s program to be great, but the company is struggling internally to deliver the program
External Social Media Score – 40
Internal Social Media Score  – 100 
   or a Balanced Scorecard result of .4 (40/80).
This typically means that stakeholders consider the company’s program to be weak, but the company is effective and efficient in its delivery

The bottom line here is the best (balanced) score is when the program has a 1 to 1 ratio or a score of 100 for both external and internal metrics. This mirror effect indicates a well-balanced social media program that is considered world-class by the external program participants, yet is (internally) efficiently and effectively delivered by the company. Obtaining a Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard score of 100, while somewhat demanding, can have a dramatic impact on the ability of your company to increase sales and market share.
The following is a list of other best practices to follow on developing a highly effective social media measurement capability:
1. Monitor success via social media dashboards – Track social media metrics via organizational dashboards for various company levels and functions to ensure everyone has a view into the success of the program
2. Institutionalize the metrics – Ensure that achievement of the metrics identified for social media are tied to departmental and individual performance measures
3. Establish preliminary metric benchmarks – Establish early performance success benchmarks to gauge the success of the program from day one
4. Evolve metrics via continuous improvement – Evolve the metrics each year as to improve year-over-year performance in each metric category.
5. Operationalize the business case – Ensure that a business case is built and maintained for the social media program and ensure corporate stakeholders take ownership for achievement of the projected benefits

** Function Specific Metrics:  Here is a small sample of the service line metrics I establish for my clients in terms of measuring the impact social media has on individual company functions:

1) Sales (sample):
• Social Media Lead Generation Score: Number and value of Sales Leads generated via social media
• Social Media Event Sales Score: Number of company event attendees that are attending the event as a direct result of social media marketing activities
• Social Media Sales Closure Score:  The number of sales closed as a direct result of a social media lead
• Social Media Sales Referral Score:  The number of sales generated as a direct result of a referral from an existing social media participant

2) Marketing (sample):
• Social Media Ad Effectiveness Score: Additional prospects or customers sourced as a direct result of social media advertising
• Social Media Campaign Management Lift: Additional prospects or customers sourced as a direct result of social media campaigns (i.e. direct marketing)
•  Social Media Community Lift: Number of community members acquired over a period of time into company community forums, communities, sites, etc.

3) Customer Service (sample):
• Customer Service Delivery Efficiency Score:  Rating on how effectively customer service is administered via social media venues and forums (internal/external)
• Brand Issue / Concern Resolution Satisfaction & Cycle Time Score: Rating on how responsive customer service is administered on brand specific issues or concerns via social media venues and forums (internally & externally measured)
• Brand Issues / Defect Analytic Score: Rating on how well customer service can develop trend analysis in order to correlate a number of customer service complaints to specific brand and/or product defects and serious issues (manufacturing issues, chemical contamination, safety issues, assembly issues, etc.).  (internally measured)

4) Brands/Products (sample):
• Product Insight & Engagement Score:  Score on the engagement with social media communities to source product ideas, implement feedback and suggestions for improvement and  how well this feedback is incorporated back into the product life-cycle.
• Brand Positive Perception Score (BPPS):  From a brand perspective, how well is each brand regarded from a social media perspective (externally measured)

Questions for Readers of this Blog:
1) What are some of the critical social media measures, metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you use to gauge the success of your company’s social media program?
2) How do you judge a great social media program?
3) What types of impressions do you have (i.e. what are the words come to your mind) of a company that delivers a great social media program?
4) What are some other things companies can do to enhance the measurement of their social media program(s)?

About StevenJeffes
About Steve Jeffes: Steven Jeffes is a thought leader in developing world-class marketing, digital marketing, e-commerce, corporate innovation, CRM, social media, loyalty, customer loyalty/retention and customer service excellence programs. The recipient of many awards (, Steve is expert marketing strategy design & optimization: design, development and launch of world-class and best practice marketing and social media programs; change management organizational design and process excellence in marketing, sales, customer service, engineering, product management; and development of successful sales and sales management programs for Fortune 100 companies and government entities. He holds dual B.B.A. degrees in Computer Science and Finance from Temple University and a Master’s in Organizational Design and Excellence from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton. Steve can be e-mailed at or contacted via phone at 518-339-5857.

7 Responses to The Social Media Balanced Scorecard: Balanced External and Internal Social Media Metrics – Critical Components of a World-Class Social Media Program

  1. Thanks a lot for writing on all these issues. I learnt a lot from you and from your article.

  2. BI_Analyst says:

    This is a very helpful. Thanks for details and insights.

  3. Jake says:

    Great article Steven!

    The next step after building a list or “scorecard” of strategic measures is to automate it for easy updates and leadership review meetings.

    The world of balanced scorecard software is an incredibly interesting field especially as more and more social and nonprofit sector organizations begin to utilize these powerful tools.

    We recommend that every potential buyer should sample and demo a few alternatives to fully understand each systems capabilities and to build internal momentum behind implementing and using a new method of communication, collaboration, and management.

    One option you might try is ClearPoint Strategy.

    ClearPoint Strategy is a web-based balanced scorecard, dashboard, and performance management solution. ClearPoint has a highly effective US based support team that is eager to help you get started. We also offer a number of example templates to browse and can add your strategic plan, charts, or even add other users while you get comfortable using the software.

    Visit us at:

    Best of luck!

  4. Great reading! Taking input from this when developing a social media metrics scorecard in excel…

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