The previous chapters have provided a basis for understanding how social media and Web 2.0 technologies are reshaping the relationship between Marketing, where the promise is created, and Operations, where the promise is kept. Building on the basics of managing conversations through decided behavior rather than attempts at control, this chapter presents the fundamentals of actual measurement.
Measurement is critical to building social media acceptance within an organization beyond the marketing department. Facebook pages and Twitter profiles are useful as marketing extensions, no doubt about it. However, at this point in the book, it is my hope that the really big levers of social technology (reshaping products and services; creating a robust, two-way, collaborative relationship with customers; and using what is learned throughout your organization) are starting to become apparent
What should be clear at this point is that without meaningful and quantitative measurement you stand essentially no chance of ever seeing social media and Web 2.0 technologies adopted through your organization. Why not, and why the central role for metrics? Think back to the Good Guide a customer-driven, handheld social application that directly empowers consumers referenced in Chapter 4, The Social Business Ecosystem.
When your core customer take the advocate Mom for example has an application like the Good Guide and scans your product with her iPhone, comparing your company’s carbon footprint and hiring practices with your competitor’s, what will your marketing program do to ensure that your brand wins in this type of comparison? Without the coordinated, committed help of the entire organization you stand no chance of winning, and without quantitative measurement the universal language throughout most organizations you’ll face an essentially undoable job in trying to rally your larger team to understand why their participation beyond marketing is essential.
The New Media Sings the Old Media
Social media analytics is built around many of the basic practices applied to traditional media who are talking, what are they saying now applied to the (digital) conversations happening on the Social Web. So what’s different? For starters, because social media is defined in some way as leveraging the massively scalable publishing capabilities afforded to each Social Web participant in simple terms, recognizing that it is easy for reasonably well-connected people to command a reach that rivals TV within local markets or to reach more accurately defined niches and social circles.
This means that the well-connected homemaker, hobbyist blogger, or anyone else with a defined passion and a basic command of social media publishing can amass a real audience and can exert real influence within it. Quantitatively measuring this reach and impact is just as important on the Social Web as it is anyplace else. Further, because each conversation is about ROI, KPI, and Intangible Value When defining your metrics program, be clear about the difference in the types of end results you are seeking.
In addition to ROI which is nearly always measured in financial terms like increased revenue, cost savings, or cost avoided as a result of an investment you should also define target KPIs as numerical “key performance indicators” like conversions or new registrations as well as intangible values associated with simply having a presence in specific social channels. 142c h a p t e r 6: SOCIAL ANALYTICS, METRICS, AND MEASUREMENT. literally time and date stamped, signed by what is more often than not a real person and associated with a specific URL that is forever discoverable, these conversations form a robust body of information that is very useful in managing your business. This is what social media analytics is all about.