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Social media measurement isn't always about the math

I had the pleasure of listening to Susan Etlinger from Altimeter present at Social Media Week at Adobe just a few days ago. The topic … metrics and ROI. Now, I am certainly not the guy who is going to develop a measurement plan, forecast sales, determine the net present value of some object or provide comprehensive ROI modeling. Heck, I need a calculator when I correct my daughter’s homework and she’s only in 5th grade. I will leave metrics, measurement and ROI analytics to the math wizards like my pal Olivier Blanchard who wrote a book on the subject, Social Media ROI.


But here are a few golden nuggets that I extracted out of Susan’s presentation; as well as some of my own thoughts and experiences from talking with business leaders in the enterprise:

  • Social media measurement isn’t always about the math. Ensuring that the entire marketing organization is measuring social the same way is equally as important as the what and how

  • KPIs, PR measurement goals and ROI modeling should be done BEFORE campaigns and programs are in market

  • There are literally hundreds of ways to measure social; pick just a few that can be used to tell a more broad story of the work being done in social

  • The metrics (whatever they are .. reach, engagement, community growth, revenue) should ALWAYS roll up to business metrics in some way

  • At the end of the day, social media measurement is about change management. We/they/us need to change the way we think, communicate, behave, persuade, lead and act when rolling out and planning for social media measurement; which is a very small component of a more broad social business plan


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