Four Rules for Measuring Social Media

At Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco  today, Margaret Francis (@margaretfrancis), former VP Product Development at Scout Labs (acquired by Lithium Technology)  discussed the new metrics generated by social media in the context of a recent Ford Explorer campaign.  At first glance, the numbers are impressive: 50,00 likes, and 25,000 potential buyers built and priced new Explorers on the company’s web site, and it was a top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S.  [Data courtesy of Mashable.]

Many brands would be thrilled with these numbers, Francis says, but the real question is what Ford thought of them. Was this campaign successful? How did it compare to previous campaigns? Only Ford can evaluate that, based on its business strategy.

Here are the highlights from Francis’ talk. Let’s call them “Three Rules for Measuring the Future”:

1. Measure strategy, not stuff. In other words, think KPI, not ROI. Here are four categories of applied metrics:

  • Brand perception
  • Marketing efficiency
  • Revenue growth
  • Support savings

2. Consider what is paid, earned and owned media. Remember to filter out the media that you paid for, for example, promoted tweets, so you’re not “double-counting” the media you yourself placed but only the media that your brand actually earned.

3. Quantitative complements qualitative. THe numbers are meaningless unless you know what’s driving them. Look for the qualitative data that provides critical context.

4. Being pretty never hurts. Pay attention to the presentation of your data. Beautiful infographics that illustrate your data are, “like crack to the marketing department,” Francis says.  Don’t underestimate the power of visualizing your data.

Francis will be posting her deck on Slideshare. I’ll update this post with the link when it’s live. [UPDATE: here is the Slideshare link: http://slidesha.re/et0gIb.]

Disclosure: Lithium Technology is a client of Altimeter Group.

About susanetlinger

Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group
This entry was posted in Social media, Social media measurement. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Four Rules for Measuring Social Media

  1. Pingback: Four Rules for Measuring Social Media | Thought Experiments

  2. Pingback: Bits & Pieces – March 31, 2011 | Fredrik Stenbeck - Bits & Pieces

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