Archive for the ‘Module 9’ Category

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Author, Olivier Blanchard, in his book “Social Media ROI” writes:

“It is easy to get sidetracked by typical social media metrics that don’t have much of a bearing on business objectives. Focus on establishing a social media program measurement practice that caters to an organization, not a celebrity. Popularity and popularity metrics are not necessarily what you want to spend alot of time and energy on.” (at p. 195 )

As Blanchard points out, in all areas of  business, including public relations, it’s not about about the level of celebrity (fans and likes or the amount of retweets) unless that celebrity can be converted into a measurable outcome that furthers an organization’s goals.

So, how do we measure the ROI of social media?

The first response to that is that we’re still learning.  The area of social media metrics continues to evolve.  Thanks to sites like “Social Media Monitoring Wiki” or “Social Media Monitoring Review” the latest tools are continually laid at the pr professionals doorstep.  But how do you choose?  Even if money is no object (lucky you) – you still need a way to determine what’s best for your organization.

How do we stay focused?

Again, referring back to Blanchard’s quote above – social media measurement needs to have a bearing on business goals and objectives.  A useful way to keep the pr practitioner “[focused] on establishing a social media program measurement practice that caters to an organization” is to apply the triple A’s: Action, Attitude and Attention.

Action includes: clicks, retweets, shares, wallposts, comments, @replies, webcast attendees, downloads, and RSS feed subscriptions (or whatever replaces it).

Attitude (or influence) includes:  sentiment, share of voice, volume of interest and influencer mentions/reports.

Attention (or exposure) includes: visits, views, followers, fans, subscribers and brand mentions.

(for a slightly different take see: “The Evolution of Social Media MeasurementMarch 21, 2012)

The Triple A’s and conversion

All or some of the metrics listed under the triple A’s may be valuable and should be considered as potentially part of your p.r. social media measurement strategy. But for most organizations they are the means and not the end.  The intangibles that make up actions, attitudes and attentions need to be converted into tangible objectives (such as sales) that in turn allow an organization to achieve their goals –  whether those goals are financial or say, getting re-elected.

By monitoring and tracking actions, attitudes and attentions correlations can be drawn between them and tangible objectives such as frequency (buy rate), reach (number of new customers) and yield (average dollar value of a transaction) (Blanchard at Chapter 16). Decisions can then be made based on patterns that emerge.

Oreo as an example

However, we need to be cautious around the conclusions we draw. Correlations there may be.  Cause and effect – not so clear. Say for example, after Oreo’s brilliant Superbowl tweet that Oreo sales went up.  Based on this, it would be tempting to conclude that your ROI can be directly equated with the number of Twitter followers you have.  But what if it wasn’t the number of followers, but the number of retweets, or what if it was because of the influencers who mentioned the ad.  Or was it a combination? And, were the sales the result of new Oreo cookie buyers or were they loyal buyers who bought more?  We need to drill down like all good researchers do, asking questions, testing hypotheses and measuring over time to truly understand what is having an impact and why, so that we know what’s been successful – and what’s worth further investing in.

It all fits together like a jig-saw puzzle – necessary to expand and grow

As Maggie Fox (Social Media Today) penned, “Every part of the social media measurement evolution journey has brought value to evaluating the impact of Social on Leads and Sales.  Moreover, every measurement remains important but should not be represented on its own; they all fit together like a jig-saw puzzle and provide input necessary to expand and grow engagement and lead generation opportunities.”