As I recommend with so many clients, to be successful with any social initiative (a non-automated program that involves engagement between live human beings) often requires changes in areas such as staffing. So the numbers in this chart which I'm fairly proud of are only possible because we chose to create the role of a "community manager" and were fortunate enough to find the perfect candidate to fill that role. The lesson here? Bootstrapping only takes you so far.
A number not on the chart but essential is that we've had 30 contributors in 30 days. Not simply one anointed "company voice", but 30 individuals ranging from new employees to veterans who feel empowered to speak and engage with the support of the company. To be fair, being a communications firm means this is in our heritage, but it's still not easy to execute against regardless of any industry.
At this point you may be asking, "do these numbers matter"? Well, they are metrics—and metrics are signs to be analyzed. But, from a business perspective we work in an industry where attracting the best talent for what we do is critical. The traffic and increase in applicants in the careers section is a good thing. Also, new business leads have been coming in through the site. That's probably the easiest way to cut through the clutter of "is this worth the effort" and also a positive sign.
Well, it's only been a month and I'm proud of these metrics and more importantly the team who powers the results. I'm really happy to see something like this become a contagious effort (with more people raising their hands to contribute). It's only one aspect of my job, but it's also one of the more enjoyable ones. These are the basics—putting in the right infrastructure, getting the strategy right, building things, creating momentum, changing how things work gradually over time and moving forward. It's not as sexy as the latest technology, but it's closer to real life.