Tag Archives: social networks

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”?

10 Most Popular Tweets of 2009

2009 has been an interesting year for marketing.  Social media seems to have quickly created a place for itself, even while marketers are still trying to figure it out.  That’s why I thought it would be interesting to track just what topics received the most attention from my Twitter postings at http://www.twitter.com/srufo . Personally, I still love the “Martini Marketing” article.

Top 10 news stories clicked by Twitter readers in the past year.

1. Social media emerging as key to ski-industry marketing according to Mountain Travel Symposium. http://ow.ly/25Vs
2. MUST READ. MySpace becomes social-media “ghetto” http://ow.ly/uSJ5
3. Social media challenges social rules. Old social rules don’t seem to work online http://ow.ly/BTle
4. Can your loyalty be bought? Microsoft wants to pay publishers to leave Google. http://ow.ly/FeeX
5. Vail Resorts’ Top Exec Acknowledges Huge Decline in Ski Season. Retail & Ski School hardest hit. http://ow.ly/21mh
6. Martini Marketing. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of this? http://ow.ly/4i0b
7. What do spa guests want in these uncertain economic times? Over 1,300 active spa-goers responded to this poll. http://ow.ly/FdHr
8. Good reminder. How to Not Go Out of Business – from BusinessWeek http://ow.ly/EjL1
9. VIDEO: Tapping marketing potential of your site’s press page http://ow.ly/4Deu
10. Did social networks kill Second Life? Anyone still using SL? http://ow.ly/HtQE

Return on Engagement

So, maybe I have been hiding under a rock, but today was the first time I’ve heard the expression that “ROE” or “Return on Engagement” has replaced “ROI” or “Return on Investment” (in the marketing universe).

Active vs. passive

So what is ROE?  It’s about focusing on engagement, and relationships, and attracting and rewarding the right kind of brand advocates to help spread your message.  It is getting people involved in what you do and how you do it.  Or at least that’s what I believe it means.  The term is so new, it doesn’t even have a place in Wikipedia yet.

With social media and the new social networks it has changed how we build a marketing plan.  Although social media does not have an upfront price tag like radio or TV, it is labor intensive and has a reputation (just for kids, not business worthy, etc)  it still needs to get past.  Using social networks for business practices is still new.  There are stumbling blocks.  But, for those that figure it out, the return can be big (as the early adopter that everyone else will try to mirror).

Should ROI ever have been used when it applied to marketing?  Probably not.  How do you really determine the ROI of a radio spot?  Isn’t it more about the response?  That’s why I think ROE is brilliant.  It allows us as marketers to clarify a business who our best customers are and what we can do to continue to excite and engage them.  No matter what the means or marketing channel.


Here’s the start of my check list for ROE.  Should these be here?  What others should be added & why?

* Value for advocacy: what is the cost per action as applied to advocacy or outreach (branding, education, etc) campaigns. Including being able to access as many people as possible when your version of a Katrina hits or you have a window of opportunity where the issue you’re working on hits the headlines.

* Recruitment: how many friends per week have been acquired?  How many lost?

* Opportunity cost: how many hours per week have my staff or volunteers devoted to spending time in social networks?

* Viral benefit of social networks: if you have a network in place, you might increase your chances of reaching a lot of people to spread your news. Most social networks are set up to enable communications with a lot of people quickly.

* Demographics: is the audience you’re recruiting from the social network appropriate for your organization?

* Message control: your message is likely to get picked up by others, and to be successful, some amount of message control will likely need to be sacrificed.

* Investing in the future: Maybe the younger demographic of the social networks will be interested in your organization in the future, so start building awareness now.

Marketing in a virtual world

It seems like today marketers need to be a cross between creative geniuses, writers, and tech geeks to be able to survive in our digital age.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the age we now live in.  It’s like  the “wild west” for marketers.  We get to go to unknown places (mobile marketing, twitter, social networks, search engines) and carve out our own niche.

As a creative person, I’m never thrilled when I must work in a confined space.  I like to stretch my right brain.  I like to try new things.  I like to succeed.  That is easy to do when few road maps exist for business models in cyberspace.

Here’s my five ways to be successful in a virtual world:

1. Be open to learn. Although the thought of learning yet another new program or having to remember one more login can seem daunting, it is important to be open to trying new things.  As marketers we know that people get bored or loose interest quickly, so it is critical to look forward and not back.  Here’s a trick I learned, that seems to work well with men, women, young and old.  When learning some new technology, work in three’s.  Learn three things that are critical for use.  Once you know those three things inside and out, learn three more.  Keep going until you feel comfortable or have found all the things you feel are useful to your goals and objectives for using the software/technology.

2. Watch and learn. Some people can jump right in.  Some need some time to get used to the temperature of the water.  I believe is is human nature to learn by watching others.  So, if you decide to set up a new account in a social network, watch what others are doing at least 30 days.  Then, start to post comments, build your network, or whatever it is you want to do.  By then you should have a good feel for how it works and how you want to participate.

3. Be consistent. If you are going to do something, do it right.  Many people start blogs, few people keep them more than a few months.  Why?  It takes work and commitment.  Rome was not built overnight, and neither are great marketing campaigns.

4. Socialize. The great thing about the virtual world on the web is that you can connect with your peers both locally and half way across the world.  In no other time could you build a social network of business contacts that spans the globe as easy as you can today.  By socializing on the web you can expand your thinking and even build better marketing programs with the help of your new networks.  All you need to do is ask.

5. Don’t mess it up for the rest of us. Email was a wonderful tool until spammers took over.  The social networks allow us to connect in new and wonderful ways, unless hackers steal our accounts.  My only wish is that people would just use the cool tools for what they were meant to do.

Your thoughts?  Have any points to add?