I had been on a measurement panel at the IAB Social Media Conference lately, and we spoke a great deal about the social media’scorecard.’ There were a variety of viewpoints represented as Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i, moderated the dialogue between Liza Hausman of Gigya, Keith Kilpatrick from Buzzlogic, Jonathan Carson out of Nielsen Online and me.
I envisioned the social media scorecard in vivid colour, its own clarity overwhelmingly simple, something agencies and marketers can place in their pockets and use immediately when next evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of social media channels in an upfront media mix. Sounds easy, right?
Allowing quality dialog (rated on a ten-point scale) together with my customers? Check. Possessing pass-along value that motivates influencers to inspire others about my heart brand message, directly relatable to merchandise sales? Check. The basic elements of virality, certain to spread like wildfire through cyberspace? Check. Keep complete control of my brand? Double-check.
Now, I’m completely in favor of scores and scorecards. Without them, how can you know whether your efforts are effective, or if you’re winning or losing? But while we all agreed that measurement has to be the cornerstone, we also recognized that there’s not any silver bullet smm panel. Especially in emerging areas which are still defining the principles of the game, where many entrepreneurs are still determining whether to get from the game to begin with.
So let’s put away our scorecards and magic bullets only for just a little while, and chat about what we will need to know to get started.
1) Clarity is vital: Establish your success
As with all media, before diving in, ask yourself: what does it take for one to return in the effort and state it was successful? Perhaps it will be based on the number of coupons downloaded, the amount of all 18-24-year-olds who become lovers on Facebook, CRM signups or overall brand efficacy measures and attitudinal shifts… Just you know what’s crucial, but whatever it is, be clear about it so you can prepare to measure it, and fix your campaign on the fly if need be.
2) Keep measurement simple and familiar
To break this down, separate quantity questions from quality questions. On the quantity side, keep it simple: know how many people that you want to achieve, then measure how many you actually attained post-campaign. Make these metrics as familiar as you can – if they’re expressed in similar terms to other pieces of your campaign, they are more likely to be tangible and approved. Reach and frequency metrics aren’t going away anytime soon.
The quality question allows for a bit more creativity – here is where you can bring in’engagement’ and tie in your KPI’s from (1) into your web program. Basically, you are building a track record with your brand and making the case that there were quality components that underscored that social media marketing was a good choice. Depending on what your success markers have been, these metrics may fluctuate – but can range from’branding” metrics (e.g. as measured through comScore’s Brand Metrix research ) all the way into the lift in offline purchasing.
3) Control is not the stage, listening is
We know we know… this is a scary assumption. But the best clarity, choreography and implementation cannot completely guarantee control in a social media campaign. So let us imagine for a moment that we can suspend our disbelief about relinquishing control and having to convey, and focus rather on how to be noticed — because attention, after all, is a scarce commodity. How could this be valuable, and what is the extra value of having the ability to listen right, and adjust if needed?
The value proposition here is also the trade-off – this is two-way, and often one-to-many. Listen to this great. Respond quickly into the poor, and react even quicker to the ugly. Permit the conversation, instead of trying to set it into a chokehold. Folks are talking about your brand anyhow, so you might too get down in the weeds and know what’s going on.