Thanks to technology, you never have to wonder whether your advocacy campaigns are mobilizing people.
While digital tools do not replace in-person visits to lawmakers’ offices, they do bridge people and advocacy in ways that have never before been possible. The most cost-effective ways for constituents to engage with their lawmakers is through Facebook, Twitter, email, and phone calls.
Even offline events use tech to engage supporters. Live tweeting, text keywords, and more give presenters the tools to engage their audiences.
Whether online or offline, people take actions that can easily be tracked. This gives you access to metrics you can use to see whether your campaigns work.
Here are five to start tracking today.
1. Total Number of Advocates
The power of the grassroots campaign isn’t just in the message. It’s in the fact that people are coming together for a common cause. That’s why your first metric should be the number of advocates engaged. This metric gives you the first glimpse into how effective your message is, how well it spreads, and whether people respond.
The number of advocates you need depends on your campaign’s scope. On the White House “We the People” portal, only petitions with 100,000 signatures receive an official response. If you’re advocating for a local issue, 100 supporters may be enough. It all depends on your campaign’s context and goals.
Whatever your goal, knowing how many advocates you have is the first step to seeing whether your advocacy campaign is working.
2. Total Number of Connections
The next step is to find out how many actions your advocates have taken. This metric is probably going to be different than your number of advocates. Each advocate has multiple legislators and channels at their disposal—email, Facebook, Twitter, phone, and other social networks, too. This means they have the potential to make multiple connections.
Tracking the number of actions taken gives you a better picture of how many connections each relevant legislator has received. That way, you can see your campaign’s real impact.
If the number of actions taken is continually outpacing your number of advocates, it means that at least some of your advocates aren’t just taking action once. They’re engaging in advocacy as a habit—and their advocacy campaign is working.
3. Top Engagement Channels
Advocates have a variety of channels they can use to take action. However, some channels are better than others to convey various messages.
Your campaign goal should determine which channels you use in your campaign. Email is best for sheer volume. Phone is best for sharing personal stories in a private manner. Social is best for making your campaign go viral – and making sure it’s visible everywhere. Using social also ensures that others see your campaign, too.
Knowing your advocates’ most-used channels is how you’ll know whether your campaign is accomplishing its end goal. That’s how you’ll know your advocacy campaign is working.
4. Total Number of Social Shares
A personal referral is the most effective way to convert leads into customers. That rule applies in advocacy as well. The best way to grow your campaign is for your supporters to share it via their social networks and encourage friends and family to take action.
This makes social shares the biggest indicator of organic campaign visibility.
With nearly 2 billion users on Facebook and hundreds of millions on other networks, social has large potential for visibility. Leveraging this potential audience is what is going to set your campaign apart.
Tracking the number of times your campaign is shared on Facebook and Twitter is a powerful way for you to see it grow. Digital advocacy tools like Phone2Action give you the chance to track this data in real time.
5. Conversion Rates
Social shares are just one way to increase your campaign’s visibility. The other way is through paid advertising. To know whether you’re investing in the right ads, you’ll need to know how many advocates each ad brings in.
That makes conversion rates the driving metric behind any paid campaign.
Social platforms will tell you the number of clicks you receive on your ads. Installing a pixel from Facebook or Twitter can help you figure out which social platforms your advocates came from. Fortunately, Phone2Action lets you do this in one step. From there, you can calculate your conversion rate.
A high conversion rate is a sign of an effective message, compelling story, and clear call-to-action.
6. Top Advocacy Campaigns
This last piece of information isn’t actually a metric. However, it’s important to be aware of as you’re building your campaigns.
Public policy is mainstream. Any successful organization should be engaged in advocacy as a long-term practice, not just a one-time action.
There are many ways to do this. Engage in campaigns one at a time. Launch an action center with multiple campaigns. Build daisy chains of campaign after campaign.
However you set it up, regular advocacy campaigns will establish your organization as a leader in your field.
Once you have multiple advocacy campaigns, you can use the metrics listed above to figure out which ones are the most effective. Then use that information to design more in the future.
We know that advocacy works. However, it’s important that you figure out the best ways to create campaigns that work for you. These metrics are the first step toward making that happen.
To take your advocacy to the next level, check out our white paper on 8 Best Practices for Grassroots Advocacy.