My post on Mashable today is about measuring social media ROI for business. This was a difficult post to write for several reasons.
First, I know there are a lot of smart people already talking about this and I wanted to make sure I added to the conversation. It’s hard to do that when there hasn’t been a ton of progress or much movement in the last 12 months. In the research I conducted, I found the same themes in blogs tackling the subject today as I found in those from a year ago.
Second, there’s still no answer. It depends on the tactic, the audience, the objectives, the measurement tools and the department (i.e. PR or Marketing) conducting said measurement. That’s just one of the reasons I feel in large organizations, social media fall under the guidance of the PR team. I’ll address that in another post.
Finally, communicators or experts in this space need to come up with a set of measurement guidelines for the value of a conversation. In the absence of any proposed guidelines for social media measurement, we’ll see the regurgitation of the same points time and again. For example, PR firms generally agree that the value of an article placed in a newspaper is three times that of the value of an advertisement in the same paper of roughly the same size. I’m sure there’s some sort of study out there that supports it, but it seems pretty arbitrary as a rule of thumb. But it’s something.
So here’s my question: who should be tasked with developing standards for social media measurement? What organizations are already working on it? How do you measure social media success for your company?