How do you measure Social Media?

Ian Schafer points us to a great article/discussion over at Adweek on the metrics of Social Media.  In my opinion, this is one of the biggest issues facing the industry right now.  The largest advertisers (like P&G) have embraced the traditional aspects of social media, putting up banner ads on MySpace, etc.  We are experimenting in order to figure out how to fully embrace social media but measures are the struggle in order to get total buy-in.  As the article points out:

That makes it hard to compare data from social media with other measures, said Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6, a social media tracking firm. “The online ad world has page views, impressions and clicks,” he said. “That kind of thing doesn’t exist yet” in social media. 

I highly encourage you to read the full article here.  Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on how the industry should think about social media metrics?  How can we overcome the hurdle?


6 Responses to How do you measure Social Media?

  1. trontr says:

    Great stuff. I have worked with P&G, Enjoy it and learn as much as you can. Proctor and Gamble were my client in my Grey Advertising stint. I was the CEO in Canada of Grey Interactive.

  2. Hi Dave,
    I can expand a bit on the quote you referenced above. The context of the quote was in discussing two very interesting characteristics of the metrics of social media.

    First, social media actually produces many measurable artifacts… even more than the traditional media. We can count all of the social breadcrumbs such as comments, unique commenters, social bookmarks, on topic links, video views and all these things provide us with valuable insight into the level of engagement around a topic, how it propagates and who the influencers are.

    The second point, however, is that the industry has not yet agreed upon a standard set of metrics by which to determine ROI or value. This is the point I am referencing in the above quote. The advertising industry has this; it is page views. Now the advertising industry also recognizes that pageviews provide an incomplete measure, but it is the current standard nonetheless.

    The exciting thing for a brand manager, is that you can effectively measure your efforts and brand perception in social media without waiting for the industry to agree on standard measures. We measure several of the “digital breadcrumbs” mentioned above related to brands today and then let users look at the data from several angles.

    I’m glad I found your blog and will subscribe to your feed.

  3. Dave Knox says:

    Marcel – Thanks for your input! Great to see more description around the quote. The “breadcrumbs” you talk are interesting. In my eyes, the show the momentum that can result behind a social media effort. What I find particularly interesting is the fact that Social Media isnt just “one and down”. With mass media, I buy what I want and I get just that. Social Media though can be amplified (and frankly it can amplify traditional media). So one campaign keeps leaving more and more breadcrumbs. The tough part with ROI is that for social media, it is just the ROI that occurs at that moment in time when you measure because the impact can keep going and going

  4. Dave,
    Very good points. The phenomenon that you point out is exactly the reason why social media efforts need to be continuously monitored (and tracked over time). The other interesting difference between your mass media buy and social media is that you – as the brand manager – are not the only one generating content & conversation since your customers may initiate things as well which you can then engage with an amplify.

    By the way, we are part of the P&G social media lab.

  5. […] “ITS A HARD KNOX LIFE” written by Dave Knox who is a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and part-time marketing […]

  6. […] I highly encourage you to read the full article here. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on how the industry should think about social media metrics? How can we overcome the hurdle? source: […]

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