I had been 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 since Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i, moderated the discussion between Liza Hausman of Gigya, Keith Kilpatrick from Buzzlogic, Jonathan Carson through Nielsen Online and me. We all agreed that we wanted the discussion to become practical and useable.
I dreamed the social media scorecard in vivid color, its clarity overwhelmingly easy, something marketers and agencies can put in their pockets and make use of immediately when next evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of social media marketing channels in an upfront media blend. Sounds easy, right?
Enabling quality conversation (ranked on a ten stage scale) with my consumers? Examine. Possessing pass-along value that motivates influencers to inspire others about my core brand message, directly relatable to product sales? Check. The basic elements of virality, guaranteed to spread such as wildfire through cyberspace? Check. Maintain full control of my brand? Double-check.
Now, I am fully in favor of ratings and scorecards. Without them, how can you know if your efforts are effective, or if you are winning or losing? Yet while we all agreed that dimension must be the cornerstone, we furthermore recognized that there is no silver bullet. Especially in emerging areas that are nevertheless defining the rules of the game, exactly where many marketers are still deciding whether to get in the game to begin with.
So let’s take a 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 it take for you to look back on the campaign and say that it was effective? Perhaps it will be based on the number of coupons downloaded, the number of 18-24 year olds who become fans on Facebook, CRM signups or overall brand effectiveness measures and attitudinal changes… Only you know what is important, but what ever it is, be clear about it so that you can prepare to measure it, plus adjust your campaign on the fly if need be.
2) Keep measurement guaranteed familiar
To break this down, individual quantity questions from quality questions. On the quantity side, keep it easy: know how many people you want to reach, and after that measure how many you actually reached post-campaign. Make these metrics as acquainted as possible – if they are expressed within comparable terms to other parts of your own campaign, they are more likely to be tangible and accepted. Reach and rate of recurrence metrics are not going away any time soon.
The quality question allows for a bit more creativity – here is where you can bring in ‘engagement’ and otherwise tie in your KPI’s through (1) back into your web plan. Basically, you are building a track record along with your brand and making the case that there were quality elements which underscored that social media marketing was a good choice.
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Based on what your success markers had been, these metrics will vary – yet 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 will be
We know, we know… this is a scary premise. But even the best clarity, choreography and execution cannot completely guarantee control in a social media campaign. Therefore let’s imagine for a moment that people can suspend our disbelief regarding relinquishing control and needing to connect, and focus instead on how to be heard — because attention, in the end, is a scarce commodity. How might this be valuable, and what may be the added value of being able to listen straight, and adjust when needed?
The value proposition here is also the trade-off : this is two-way, and frequently one-to-many. Listen to the good. Respond quickly to the poor, and respond even faster to the ugly. Enable the conversation, instead of attempting to put it in a chokehold. Individuals are talking about your brand anyway, which means you may as well get down in the weeds and know what’s going on.