How Do You Measure Social Media Marketing?

    November 28, 2007

Nathania Johnson recently tagged me to respond in her post “A Meme about Measuring Social Media Marketing” – asking me to answer the question that is plaguing us all these days regarding the best way to measure social media marketing.

Measuring social media

 This isn’t the first time that this should be asked, nor shall it be the last (at least I hope). After all, measurement boils down to making sure that money is well spent, audiences are reached, and determining tactics that worked versus those that didn’t. This valuable information should always be at the forefront of a social media marketing campaign.

And yet, unfortunately, I’m afraid that I can’t provide an answer that is a “one size fits all” recommendation- because quite simply one does not exist, nor should it. Instead, I agree with Sam Harrelson’s response that the measurement of social media marketing should be tailored to the business model of the particular company, and I will add to this that in order to measure, a company’s social media marketing objectives must be clearly defined.

Undefined social media marketing objectives are basically blogging just to “start a blog”, or having a Facebook group page to “have a Facebook group page”. Companies that employ this “strategy” going into their social media marketing campaign will likely find it nearly impossible to quantify or measure its success. However, if objectives are set from the beginning, measurement is much clearer and easier to quantify.

Objectives should be inspired from the needs of the company. If an e-commerce company wants to start a blog about “product reviews”, then it should measure the funnel of traffic from the blog to the e-commerce site. Through that, the site should further analyze the percentage of products purchased from this segment, and analyze the value of these purchases against other methods of entry.

To give another example I’ll use Ignite. One of our objectives of this blog is to ultimately to gain more clients and further expand our network in this space. With this clearly stated, we track the source of all business leads, so we can quantify the number that are a result of our blog and the quality of those leads. To measure our network, we monitor and track comments, trackbacks, and the social network activities that we are involved in.

Hope this gives a snapshot of how setting objectives in social media marketing can actually determine the particular tactics of social media measurement. If anybody has a specific question or anything to add, feel free.