There is No Magic Bullet for Social Media Measurement

by Eric Melin on November 30, 2012

magic bullet social media

What is the most common misstep with companies who engage in active online listening?

From what we’ve seen working with businesses and nonprofits of all sizes, it’s the belief that there’s only one thing you can do with social media and online data. If you have a flexible platform and technology, you should be able to mine all kinds of insight from the public Internet.

Again: Your social media monitoring platform must be flexible.

Working with clients on our social media and web monitoring platform, it’s been really interesting to see the initial reactions to the wide array of functions and web analytics at their fingertips.

Even for marketers who realize the value in monitoring online content for brands and companies, it’s pretty overwhelming at first. That’s why we rolled out a whole set of customized Actionable Analytics reports to meet specific needs.

If anything, it has reinforced the idea that there is no ‘magic bullet’ for social media.

Perhaps more importantly, though, it helped me solidify an analogy that can help clients match the proper tools with their social media strategy:

Just as there is no single methodology that will work for every campaign, there is no single set of metrics that will meet all of your goals.

spiral16-custom-dashboard-reportThis is great news. It means you can quantify your results depending on your objectives.

  • First, you want to decide what your company wants to get out of web and social media monitoring.
  • Next, it’s time to measure the results.

For one campaign, it may be useful to compare web traffic between your company and your competitors. You may want to further slice up the data according to sentiment and see how your respective companies matched up during similar campaigns.

Maybe there is a corollary between a certain site type, such as a rise in blogs and social sites during a specific date range. Were those the targets you were trying to reach?

For another campaign, you may be tracking the spread of a brand message. You might have set a goal to reach a certain depth of linkages between web pages. Did you meet your goal? How many people linked up to the message? How far did the message spread? Who influenced the spread the most? Were they ‘activated’ or engaged by the company beforehand? If not, they should be.

These are all questions that can be answered through web monitoring.

The point is this: Your web monitoring platform needs to give you the flexibility and the customization options that you need to put together your own specific metrics.

 

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