I was on a measurement panel at the IAB Social Media Conference recently, and we spoken a lot about the social media ‘scorecard. ‘ There were a variety of perspectives represented as Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i, moderated the discussion between Liza Hausman of Gigya, Keith Kilpatrick from Buzzlogic, Jonathan Carson from Nielsen Online and me. We all agreed that we wanted the discussion to become practical and useable.
I imagined the social media scorecard in brilliant color, its clarity overwhelmingly easy, something marketers and agencies can put in their pockets and use immediately when next evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of social networking channels in an upfront media combine. Sounds easy, right?
Enabling quality conversation (ranked on a ten stage scale) with my consumers? Examine. Possessing pass-along value that inspires influencers to inspire others about my core brand message, straight relatable to product sales? Check. The basic elements of virality, guaranteed to spread such as wildfire through cyberspace? Check. Keep full control of my brand? Double-check.
Now, I am fully in favor of scores and scorecards. Without them, how will you know if your efforts are effective, or even if you are winning or losing? Yet while we all agreed that measurement must be the cornerstone, we furthermore recognized that there is no silver bullet. Especially in emerging areas that are still defining the rules of the game, where many marketers are still deciding whether or not to get in the game to begin with.
So why don’t put away our scorecards and magic bullets just for a little while, and discuss what we need to know to get started.
Three Helpful Points to Consider in Social Media Marketing and Dimension
1) Clarity is key: define your own success
As with all media, prior to diving in, ask yourself: what will this take for you to look back on the campaign and say that it was successful? Perhaps it will be based on the number of discount coupons downloaded, the number of 18-24 year olds who become fans on Fb, CRM signups or overall brand effectiveness measures and attitudinal shifts… Only you know what is important, but no matter what it is, be clear about it so that you can prepare to measure it, plus adjust your campaign on the fly in the event that need be.
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2) Keep measurement guaranteed familiar
To break this down, separate quantity questions from quality queries. On the quantity side, keep it simple: know how many people you want to reach, after which measure how many you actually reached post-campaign. Make these metrics as acquainted as possible – if they are expressed in comparable terms to other parts of your own campaign, they are more likely to be concrete and accepted. Reach and rate of recurrence metrics are not going away any time soon.
The high quality question allows for a bit more creativity — here is where you can bring in ‘engagement’ plus otherwise tie in your KPI’s from (1) back into your web program. Basically, you are building a track record with your brand and making the case there were quality elements which underscored that social media marketing was a good choice. Based on what your success markers had been, these metrics will vary – but can range from ‘branding” metrics (e. g. as measured through comScore’s Brand Metrix studies) all the way towards the lift in offline purchasing.
3) Control is not the point, listening is usually
We know, we know… this is a scary premise. But even the best clarity, choreography and execution cannot completely assure control in a social media campaign. Therefore let’s imagine for a moment that we can suspend our disbelief regarding relinquishing control and needing to connect, and focus instead on how to become heard — because attention, in the end, is a scarce commodity. How might this be valuable, and what will be the added value of being able to listen directly, and adjust when needed?
The value task here is also the trade-off : this is two-way, and frequently one-to-many. Pay attention to the good. Respond quickly to the poor, and respond even faster towards the ugly. Enable the conversation, instead of attempting to put it in a chokehold. People are talking about your brand anyway, so that you may as well get down within the weeds and know what’s going on.