Wherever I go, the question I hear most often is this: “What is the ROI of social media?” Even though most companies we’ve surveyed have a brand monitoring solution in place, few have yet to crack the measurement code. It remains one of the most stubborn challenges for the social business.
During the past several months, I’ve spoken with nearly forty industry experts, including brands, agencies and vendors, to learn about their approaches to monitoring and measuring social media. It is a snapshot of a moment in time; one in which the market is fragmented, messy and chaotic.
Listening and analytics tools have begun to converge, while engagement and content management tools (social media management systems, about which Jeremiah Owyang has written) remain largely separate. It’s a symptom of the immaturity of this market that the tools we need to listen and measure are separate from the tools we need to publish and engage, but there you are. Social analytics is still largely aspirational.
This report is intended to offer a framework and set of use cases that demonstrate how social media is being used in business today. It includes examples, caveats and pragmatic recommendations to help you plan, execute and evaluate your own social measurement program. Here is the main framework, the “Social Media Measurement Compass,” which lays out six use cases for social media (and therefore measurement):
Over the next several months, I will be updating this research and diving deeper into the use cases to paint a more detailed picture of social media measurement as it evolves. The focus, as it is in this report, will be on listening, insights, measurement and, most importantly, action.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many companies and individuals who contributed their time and insights to this report, as well as to everyone at Altimeter who provided guidance and data throughout. I’d also like to thank Andy Nguyen and Christine Tran, who produced the final document. Our intention with all our research is to be open and transparent, so please check our disclosures page for the most recent list of Altimeter Group clients.
I look forward to your comments, ideas and questions and will cross-link to anyone who posts about the report here. If you’d like to cite the graphics, please see this Flickr set. The Creative Commons license is Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States.
- Here’s Brian Solis’ thoughtful review of the report
- Steffan Konrath of News 3.0 Media:Lab published a brief here.
- David Wesson of Scoop.it did a brief on the report here.
- Client Visible Technologies posted about the report on their blog.
- My colleague Jeremiah Owyang’s take on the report here at Web Strategist.
- Here’s a quick take from the 451 Group.
- Jesse Booth of National Instruments highlighted Jeremiah’s post on his blog.
- Stuart Bruce posted a brief on his blog.
- Here’s a summary and link from Tweetreach.
- Marius Alexander is doing a master’s thesis on creating a social media brand scorecard. He asks for input here.
- Justin Wise posted what he learned from the recent webinar I did with Coremetrics.
- Keith Paul, Chief Listener at EMC, posted a summary on his blog, Listen Completely.
- Converseon quotes the report on their blog, here.
- CIPR posted a brief on their blog here.
- Here is a quick take from Social Insights.
- Crowdbooster linked the report on their blog.
- Gabe Bevilacqua of Tout discusses the conversion of social tools here.
- A post from Facebookbiz.de [in German] reminds us of the famous Gary Vaynerchuk question: “What is the ROI of your mother?”