Measuring social media can appear to be a daunting job or even a boring one but is necessary in determining if what you’re doing on your social media site is making business or wasting time. In this post we will look at three articles I found and try to analyze what they are saying. We have already talked about many of the analytic tools you can use for many of the social media platforms but here we will go beyond these. The first article we will be look at is by New Media and Marketing.com.
In the article by Marketing.com the author talks about the biggest challenge for most brands and marketers is “what exactly is social media doing for our brand and business objective?” Vague metrics such as the number of people who like our page or the number of people following us on Twitter is one thing you don’t want to get to swept up in, these can be a false positive for what your company is trying to achieve. In this article the author expresses the importance of the human element, hiring professionals who understand how eMarketing works and that this person should be “part Geek”as well and have an understanding of trends in new media and how consumers make a decision. The article also says that IT department and the marketing department need to have a great working relationship with one another. The author talks about many more positions that will make your social media endeavor that much easier. In addition, don’t view social media marketing as the be all end all of your organizations marketing campaign, it is part of a whole and depending on what you are selling may different for many different organizations. Suppose you sell “electronic devices,” your main purpose in social media platforms may be customer service for common issues consumers face, not necessarily selling. This article calls for a big investment in a Social Media team, which is a good thing, so often many social media team leaders are wearing many “hats” and their first hat wasn’t social media. Having a dedication to social media can be the difference between staying in business 2 or 3 more years or becoming a fortune 500 company.
The second article I looked at was by Enterprise Irregulars, who talks about some of the tools and how to strategize with them. The first interesting thing I noticed in this article, which makes an excellent point, stay soft with your social analytic tools and keep and keep a bunch of social analytic tools to call upon, because you never know which ones will fall apart and if you committed heavily to one tool that fails your organization could be in trouble. The next key point made is knowing how to analyze the data collected with these tools, its easy to collect the date, in fact more so now than ever before, the key is understanding what it all means. The article points to a social media team that can apply its own measurements of the date based on the organizations specific industry, products, and marketing efforts, a similar comparison to the first article we looked at. This article also says we should be in the conversation with consumers in a positive way to steer them towards useful business outcomes, which I have mentioned many times in earlier blog posts. This articles gets pretty deep into measurement of social media marketing like analyzing the relevance of a conversation, most of these conversations about your product don’t affect the business at all but in some cases they will in a dramatic way and knowing when they have sprung up is crucial, site an earlier article of mine about how Dominos handled a disaster on social media. This article is full of a ton of great things to get any business on the verge of jumping into social media or is already in social media but not moving like they expected they would be, to a place where they understand how to use social media effectively rather than just vomiting their business onto a Twitter and Facebook account.
The last article I looked at was by Tina Kyei on Ezine @rticles, she talks about measuring your return on investment from social media marketing activities. The article talks about measuring the amount of traffic you receive from your social media sites. She also says you need to track the amount of time and money spent on these social networking sites. She recommends using Google analytics as a tool that gives great statistics on the traffic you receive and shows which social media platform people are coming from and can help make decisions on which social media site to put extra effort into. This article has some good tidbits of information for that company just getting started but might not work well for a bigger company. The article makes reference to “…you measure your ROI on Social Media by finding out how many likes you received, how many people are commenting about it, and also how many people shared your information. Sharing of information is very important because it determines the quality of information that you are spreading online.” This is a well and good for that small company where, “any publicity is good publicity,” the last line about sharing of information based on quality is a good point though, making great tweets or posts about your business is very important. Overall the article is a good jumping off point into deeper waters of analyzing social media.
My understanding of measuring social media is hard to describe, in most cases your measurement is dependent on the organization doing said measurement. The best advice I can give for any company just starting off is KISS, keep it simple stupid, the stupid on the end isn’t meant to be mean it’s just to grab your attention for when you’re getting over encumbered by your outlandish ideas of “taking over the world.” When just starting off stick with the big social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, later rolling in YouTube when you have video content to share and use the analytic tools provided by these platforms. When the company gets bigger then move on to more in-depth tools to link all of it together and remember if you need to change directions it’s not a failure it shows you’re either adapting to change or found the mistake you were making. But truly after everything I talked about in all my articles to this point I have not found the magic recipe to social media success don’t forget you don’t control social media, the over 1 billion users do.