A Better Way To Measure Social Media Marketing?
While Social Media Marketing has seen explosive growth, the tools and metrics necessary to measure the effectiveness of this new medium haven’t seen quite as much innovation.
In fact, the tools I’ve seen discussed are a lot of the same tools that marketers in Search have had success with.
Unfortunately, these tools generally lack the ability to capture the viral nature of programs and campaigns in Social Media.
The chart below is from a study by the Society for New Communications, entitled “New Media, New Influencers, and Implications for the Public Relations Profession” which asked a couple hundred industry professionals a series of questions about Social Media.
This is in response to a question about what Social Media metrics they found most important:
What struck me is that things like search rankings and visitor tracking are the only tools that are seen as being very effective. And I don’t think it is because they truly reflect the nuances of Social Media, it’s just that they are what people are used to measuring when it comes to digital media.
Jeremiah Owyang pointed out a potential measure on his blog that may be more appropriate, something he calls Velocity.
“Velocity, when applied to Social Media, is the measurement of how fast an idea, embed, widget, or other like media spreads over web properties. Benchmarked over time, acceleration and deceleration indicate relevancy.”
He also gives the following example of Velocity in use:
- Week One: A widget was installed on 5,000 Facebook profiles within 7 days, resulting in a weekly velocity of 714.
- Week Two: A widget was installed on 15,000 Facebook profiles within 7 days, resulting in a weekly velocity of 2142.
- You can then look at this over time and benchmark, and then look for accelerations and decelerations, in this case, week two accelerated from week one by 300%.
While the measure itself is very interesting, the challenge for most market researchers trying to work with this new measure will be capturing all the data necessary for analysis in an automated way.
However, at least it is a step towards measuring the concept of relevancy with a measure that is itself relevant.