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Businesses have always struggled to measure quality. The challenge in social media is no better. In fact, it’s considerably worse.
Even the best attempts at measuring quality of a customer relationship, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), rely on numbers, in the case of NPS a ranking from one to 10, and this has always seemed somehow inadequate to convey the different values and feelings involved.
Google has done a reasonable job of measuring the quality of content published online and ranking it accordingly, yet if you search for “social media quality” you’ll be presented with a list of deeply mediocre, SEO-focused blog posts on the topic.
Perhaps Google’s Authorship will fix this, but the challenge is clear.
So what does quality mean in the context of social media?
Most companies now look at social media as a key part of their marketing and overall business strategies, according to new research by Econsultancy and Adobe.
66% of digital marketers surveyed working for companies with an annual turnover of more than £100m agreed that ‘social media is integral to business strategy’, while 67% said that social media activity was ‘integral to their marketing mix’.
Our Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Managing and Measuring Social looks at social media uses, challenges and needs from companies today. It is based on a survey of 650 marketing professionals.
Here are a few highlights from the report...
This week I overheard a major social media competitor tell a prospective client: "...well, you can't really measure social media commercially can you? It's like gravity, you know it's there even though you can't see it, so you just have to keep working on it, right?"
I hit the proverbial roof...
Firstly Einstein, (not his real name), you can most definitely measure gravity. And you can also measure the commercial value of social media too, if you engaged a brain cell or two.
Within the context of my obvious agitation with this and the sector in general, I wanted to share how we tackle this in the hope that, in some small way, we can start engaging in social media with a structure and level of respect that it deserves.
What follows therefore is a four step process to build a commercial model for social media engagement, part of a much broader internal framework, but I hope still useful to many of you.
It shows how Google Analytics Assisted Conversions can be used to correlate social media traffic with sales, as well as showing some success stories from brands.
Earlier this week a post on the average clickthrough rates for popular Facebook brand pages reminded me of an article I wrote nearly three years ago, which was all about how to measure social media.
At the time I believed that social media sat somewhere between offline and online, as far as measurement was concerned. Yes, you can measure the hard numbers, but what about the softer metrics? Doesn’t there need to be a little room for interpretation?
Well, I still believe all of that. The key to measuring social media is to track all of the usual ‘hard’ metrics, but it’s also to step back and correlate performance against the major business KPIs. That’s pretty much the key to measuring everything. If it an engagement tactic or marketing campaign doesn't move the needle in terms of sales, satisfaction, loyalty or profit then ultimately what's the point of doing it?
Deciding the right way to measure their social media investments is a top priority for the majority (56%) of marketing directors, according to a new study.
The Adobe survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne, polled 500 marketing directors in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia, looking at the usage, measurement and attitudes to social media marketing across the continent.
Owing to the lack of KPIs for social media channels, businesses have struggled to define the metrics to measure return on investment. Although, measuring ROI of any communications effort is relative to the aims and objectives of your social media strategy, there are plenty of universal metrics applicable to the social channels.
This post highlights a few important metrics which help in formalising a marketing strategy for social media.
Twitter is getting into analytics. Finally. This week, the microblogging service announced that it will be updating its URL shortener t.co to help alleviate malware problems and track link sharing on its service.
By the end of the year, t.co links will be more secure, and provide more information to the people that share them. This is good news for marketers.
As more companies introduce social media campaigns, there’s often a real lack of understanding when deciding which numbers really matter, so the default action is often to watch everything.
On the one hand, keeping track of every tweet, post and comment is good practice. However, when it comes to actually interpreting the piles of data, meaningful analysis is sometimes sorely absent.
Ideally you should be able to interpret the figures so that you can both hone your KPIs and make ongoing strategic decisions. By analysing figures in meaningful ways you’ll receive deeper, more useful insights.
Let’s consider a few ways you can sort figurative fact from fiction:
Dell has provided further proof of the potential of Twitter for retailers, revealing that it has earned $6.5m in worldwide revenues from Twitter over the past two years.
I've been looking at the figures, as well as talking to Dell's Richard Binhammer about the company's approach to Twitter and social media in general...
Social media measurement is a tricky subject, not least because not everything can or should be measured, and in some ways social measurement is a bit like measuring the impact of TV ads on brand awareness: it's a slightly softer area than, say, paid search.
But there are lots of things that can be accurately measured, which - when seen through a wide-angled lens - can really help you make sense of what social media can do for your business.
That said, you might want to implement a social strategy but perhaps you haven't yet won the necessary budget? And it's getting harder, right? It has been a difficult year for many firms and a focus on ROI may now be mandatory.
So how can you prove that an investment into social media is going to be worth it? How can you persuade the boss to make some budget available? How can you convince your colleagues that the cultural shift required is a smart idea? And how - and what - will you measure, should you be given some resources?
The following pointers on social media measurement and social media metrics should help you prove that there are lots of things to measure, and can help you outline what the likely effects on the business are likely to be. Good luck!
There’s so much talk about social media that it is easy for people to become cynical, perhaps losing track of the fact that it can have a positive impact on your business.
So how can you determine whether a social media strategy is proving beneficial to your business? How do you know that it is working out for you? And is now really the best time to find out?
Rather than focusing on individual social media campaigns, I’d like to look at social media measurement from the perspective of a business that a) buys into social media, b) commits to it over a period of time, and as such c) has an integrated social media strategy. You people know who you are!