One of the most useful things marketers can do is help colleagues measure the activity and behavior of our users. To that end, two monthly dashboards are recommended: a financial dashboard and a marketing activities dashboard. Both should be put out as close to the beginning of the month as possible, measuring the previous month.

Apart from all the usual, expected measurement metrics about logins, activity, upgrades, and so forth, it’s very interesting to also try to combine social conversation metrics in combination with more traditional metrics.

For example, if a new feature announcement announcement includes blog posts, email blasts, and press releases, try counting the Twitter mentions, influencer blog mentions and Facebook posts right alongside the click through rates on email and ad campaigns. Also measure the increase in numbers of followers, friends, and blog comments.

In addition, one should obviously try to cross reference those measurements against the increase in the number of people actually using the newly announced feature. This all helps to provide a more insightful picture of the success of that feature release, as well as how it is being received in the user community.

A note of caution though: all this requires a lot of work, and a dedicated, experienced resource. Don’t under-estimate the amount of time needed to measure a ‘hit’ on any of these networks. Your results may not hold up perfectly well under close scrutiny — there’s always a bit of a fudge factor in how things are measured. But they are worthwhile nonetheless, and as measurements on these platforms improve, your actionable insights will improve too.