No Golden KPI for Social Media Measurement


Share on LinkedIn

In a recent blog post on Brass Tack Thinking, “The Discipline of Social Media Measurement“, Amber Naslund discusses the difference between social media marketing investments and traditional media spend. She raises some great points. Companies frequently cite an inability to measure social media activities as a reason they shy away from these channels. Ironically, these same companies place heavy investments in traditional media (TV, Radio, Billboards, etc.) based on statistics and “analysis” from trusted sources like Neilson ratings, which amount to little more than a discernable trend from a tiny sample of the total population. Do we really know how if a billboard had an impact on a sale? Do we really know if 700 people out of 1 million should dictate the “most popular shows” for a region or demographic. Of course not, yet companies spend billions of dollars a year to advertise on these traditional channels based on these statistics. Yet, somehow, social media marketing activities are classified as risky and difficult to measure for many organizations.

The return on social media marketing is measurable; it just requires an unconventional approach to justify. Even Top Performing organizations struggle with social media. In the fact, 76% of Top Performers indicated “Making the business case for social media marketing” was a challenge, but by far one of the least compelling challenges for these companies. Best practices from Top Performers suggest there isn’t one golden measurement to justify social media marketing. Interestingly, 80% of Top Performers measured three or more metrics to try to understand the impact of social media performance.

The Gleanster Deep Dive: How Top Performers calculate ROI from Social Media Marketing outlines four different categories of metrics that should be used to understand social media performance; distribution metrics, interaction metrics, influence metrics, and action metrics. While some of the different KPI’s (like # of Followers, or # of Mentions) would be considered weak measures of return on investment, when combined with influence or action metrics, they start to paint a very different picture. Social media isn’t going away, and since some research is even starting to suggest that socially engaged customers spend more than non-socially engaged customers, it stand to reason companies need to stop making excuses and start looking for ways to understand how social media marketing fit’s into the overall marketing mix.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ian Michiels
Ian Michiels is a Principal & CEO at Gleanster Research, a globally known IT Market Research firm covering marketing, sales, voice of the customer, and BI. Michiels is a seasoned analyst, consultant, and speaker responsible for over 350 published analyst reports. He maintains ongoing relationships with hundreds of software executives each year and surveys tens of thousands of industry professionals to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. Michiels has also worked with some of the world's biggest brands including Nike, Sears Holdings, Wells Fargo, Franklin Templeton, and Ceasars.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here