Skip to content

Social Media Metrics

May 8, 2009

metricsYesterday, IAB released a report supposed to bring some clarity to the topic of social media metrics (one of the key issue discussed in the SMM community).

August Ray did a nice analysis of it.  I agree there isn’t anything new in it and it’s kind of missing the point. I first scanned it and was excited by the title then disappointed at the end. The scope being social media advertising gives it the benefit of the doubt. It reminds me of the difference between marketing in social media and social media marketing which we wrote about a while ago.

The key struggle I’ve seen in discussions on SMM metrics or ROI comes with the fact that social media brings the qualitative dimension to the equation of measurement in addition to the quantitative one. Qualitative comes with social.

Social media participants are not keywords, clicks, they’re people. It’s always harder to count, evaluate people’s contribution and actions, especially in the context of conversations which are the DNA of social media. Measuring social media (i.e: through conversations and actions) can become really tricky as 1) nobody talks about the same topic the same way and 2) (borrowed to Nietszche – middle of the page) words are just sounds representing concepts which may carry different meanings and feelings for different people.

It’s easier to count widgets or $. In social media, you have to account for the who, factor the what and why, take into account dimensions like time..There’s also a subjective spin to it.

Earlier this week, I read a post about trying to rank university by the volume of conversations. It made no sense as the count included conversations on student night life and on the quality of the research program which, everybody would agree, are really oranges and apples .

Basically more precision is needed when trying to measure social media.

First, you have to start with a goal; say, ranking university for their research program. Next, understand the audience you will consider in the measurement process (student? professors? consultants?). Last, segment the audience, evaluate the category of conversations, volume, tone… of those conversations (whatever is useful to give enough qualitative spin to the end result) . Then report (with a mix of quantitative and qualitative data).

I’d rather point people to this nice presentation from KD Paine when it comes to measuring social media ROI.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2009 6:18 am

    social-media-metrics

  2. June 27, 2009 6:27 am

    My one recommendation for sandbox style learning is to get each project public as soon as possible. Recognize that 80/20 holds ( you can accomplish 80% of a project in your first 20% time) and make sure your first 20% time produces something people can play with. This will accelerate learning as you can watch how people play in the sandbox with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: