Sunday, November 11, 2012

How are we doing out there?

That is the question of the hour, or even the minute, for social web managers, bloggers - anyone who has a presence on the web. How are we doing out there? Who is interested in us? Can this information be measured, and if so, how? Three words, known as the three A’s: action, attitude, and attention, may provide the answer to these questions.

image courtesy of

For organizations that have, or are developing a social media presence, just having a company profile online and checking on occasion to see if the site is visited, isn't enough to determine if the company has created a solid online presence. To determine a company's social web value and find out what is (or isn't) being said about it, regular monitoring is not only necessary, but some would say it’s mandatory. How else are you going to keep on top of what is being said in the social web world? The difficulty in maintaining a social web presence, however, is that someone has to tend to it on a daily basis. Monitoring and measuring an online presence is a huge task that some companies aren't willing to invest in, but there are three good reasons to reconsider that investment opportunity: action, attitude and attention.

As previously mentioned, the three A's are concepts that can help determine if a social web program(s) is meeting company objectives: Action: is the most important and least measured of the three A's. This is where campaigns can be tied to key performance indicators (KPIs) or other organizational goals for action. Return on investment can also be measured in terms of actions. Attitude: is the overall sentiment and relationship measure. 3) Attention: the overall volume of interest, which includes fans, traffic and other analytics.

These are not just theories. The three ‘A’s are proven winners in helping organizations fully understand the importance of social media measurement. A great example of an organization with a successful social web program that utilises the three A's, while simultaneously helping it meet its business objectives, is Starbucks.

This company is consistently held up as an example of social media excellence. Starbucks seems to have a much better grasp of the importance of social media, and has proven to be a leader in understanding how social media can indeed have a positive investment impact when it comes to return on investment (ROI). Starbucks developed and launched “My Starbucks Idea.”

The site actively encourages users to join and submit product suggestions or improvements, which are voted on by Starbucks consumers. The most popular suggestions are highlighted and reviewed. Starbucks then takes it a step further with the “Ideas in Action” blog, providing up to the minute updates to all users on the status of the suggested changes. In one swoop, Starbucks has provided all the three A's: intensifying its relationship with its customers; receiving the necessary feedback it needs and wants on its products, plus opening the floor to suggestions - any suggestion, which in turn empowers the consumer and brings them back to the site. Starbucks understands the importance of social media and it’s not afraid to engage with its users, an understanding that many organizations will need to invest in if they hope to emulate the social media success of Starbucks.


  1. Hey Steve, I completely agree, Starbucks really does have it down when it comes to looking at social media as a positive investment. I never knew they had "Ideas in Action." It's an amazing tool of monitoring what is being said about them online. Anyway great post! - Simone

  2. Thanks Simone. I was never a big Starbucks fan before, but now I am, and is because of its extremely impressive approach regarding social media. The more you learn about the way Starbucks has taken control of its social media presence, and turned it into something that truly benefits the company , you can't help but take notice and compare them to other large corporations who still haven't managed to grasp or understand the significance of social media! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Thanks Boyd, I appreciate your comments!