Social Media Measurement. Let’s Talk Tangibles.

Social Media Measurement.  We hear a lot about it.  I constantly see people touting that it should be, and can be done.  But, when you get right down to it, I have a hard time finding people that provide concrete examples of how they are doing it.

Sure, I’ve seen quite a few articles and presentations where people say measurement is about:
“Focusing on listening”
“Facilitating conversions”
“Leveraging relationships”

Let’s be honest, that tells me absolutely nothing.  And instead conjures pictures in my mind of trapping people in a room and telling them the only way out is to say “the magic words”.  Even then, I bet there still would be people that wouldn’t listen.

Social media measurement is a tricky subject, there are quite a few intangibles.  Not everything can or should be measured.  And, getting data is a bit more challenging since the focus is on relationships and value exchange.  Not to mention the limitations within the networks themselves.  In any case, no matter how large or small your business, the first thing you need to do as a social marketer is answer the question, “why are we doing social media”.  The answers you get, will help you determine what to measure.

For example.  At nxtConcepts, we tackled  “why are we doing social media” with a few of the following answers:
1. To learn.
2. To demonstrate in a live scenario the work we can do for clients.
3. Affordable national brand awareness.

Once we wrote that down, it started to make the intangible, tangible and measurement possible.  (Without locking anyone in a room.)

Answer 1. To learn.
Measurement-Engagement (# of comments, retweets, Likes, Photo or video uploads, event participation, poll usage, bookmarks, downloads and discussions)

Answer 2. To demonstrate in a live scenario the work we can do for clients.
Measurement--Application usage (games, landing pages, media players, sign-ups, Foursquare type interactions, plug-in’s that extend social media to an organization’s website)

Answer 3. Affordable national brand awareness.
Measurement--Awareness (# of Fans and followers over time and how it compares to others in the industry, social media sharing)
Measurement--Analytics (profile data, conversions, demographics, page/media views, churn)

What are some ways your organization answers the question, “why are we doing social media”?

15 Practical Tips for Marketing a Business Blog

Just because you build a blog and write good content, doesn’t mean it will become an overnight success.  Like anything worth doing, blogs also need some nurturing and support.  After working with a number of blogs (personal, corporate, and for clients) I’ve assembled a list of blog marketing and optimization tips:

  1. Setup a Google account for Sitemap and statistics for tracking – Google Analytics.
  2. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.
  3. Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.
  4. Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.
  5. If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.
  6. Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.
  7. Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
  8. Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.
  9. Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
  10. Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.
  11. Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.
  12. Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.  If there are other blogs in your industry, ask around and see if they’d allow you to guest post for them. In return, you’d get a link back to your blog in your profile, or post, on their site.
  13. When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name. Use keywords in the blog post title, in the body of the post and use anchor text when you link to previous posts you’ve made.
  14. Print your blog address everywhere you print your phone number.
  15. Give Away – If it’s a product blog, run a promotion on the blog giving away one of your products. Sometimes the value that can come out of giving something away can be more beneficial than all the items above.

Have a few more?  Please add them below.