It’s 2018, and things feel different. It’s been deeply, terrifyingly cold in much of the country. (This electric blanket comes highly recommended, New Yorkers!) Oprah is maybe running for president. And it’s time for all of us to shed our bad habits and emerge as the best, healthiest, most glowing version of ourselves.

New Yorkers stand in Central Park. LOL JK.

That means a rearranging of priorities, for our own lives and for everything we touch. (Yes, I realize my goals are pretty lofty—so sue me.)

And that means we need to take a hard look at how we’re running our businesses and managing our brands.

Which takes me to our blog topic for this month: New year, new approach.

Today, we’re talking about KPIs—yes, again, because so many agencies and brands aren’t identifying KPIs to work toward for the month, quarter and year. Blogging about KPIs may not be a new approach for us at Sprocket—read here, here and here—but we’re only beating you over the head with it because we love you.

So: if you haven’t yet identified measurable PR and social media KPIs to track, now’s the time.

But how do you start measuring KPIs?

First, you need to sit down with your client to identify their goals. Do they want more sales? (This one is generally safe to assume.) Do they want more web traffic? Getting to the bottom of their overall business goals helps you put together the most effective plan of attack for their PR and social media strategy.

You’ll also need to look at baseline results so you can note improvements in metrics as you begin to execute on your strategy.

Next, you’ll choose which KPIs and metrics to keep an eye on as you launch your execution phase. We talked about it at greater length HERE, but a few important ones: monthly web sessions and conversion rate; referral traffic (like, for example, whether that news hit referred any customers to your clients’ website, where they made a purchase); social media referrals; and more.

But more than anything, you’ll need to embrace a change in mindset from a focus on impressions and the dreaded (and wholly irrelevant) Ad Value Equivalent to a focus on concrete metrics that genuinely tell the story of your client’s business. It’s time to start seeing metrics as an opportunity to prove your value to clients—which is crucial when it’s time to renew that contract.