The previous chapters have provided a basis for understanding how social media and Web 2.0 technologies are reshaping the relationship between Marketing, where the promise is created, and Operations, where the promise is kept. Building on the basics of managing conversations through decided behavior rather than attempts at control, this chapter presents the fundamentals of actual measurement
Measurement is critical to building social media acceptance within an organization beyond the marketing department. Facebook pages and Twitter profiles are useful as marketing extensions, no doubt about it. However, at this point in the book, it is my hope that the really big levers of social technology (reshaping products and services; creating a robust, two-way, collaborative relationship with customers; and using what is learned throughout your organization) are starting to become apparent.
What should be clear at this point is that without meaningful and quantitative measurement you stand essentially no chance of ever seeing social media and Web 2.0 technologies adopted through your organization. Why not, and why the central role for metrics? Think back to the Good Guide a customer-driven, handheld social application that directly empowers consumers referenced in Chapter 4, “The Social Business Ecosystem.
When your core customer takes the advocate Mom, for example, has an application like the Good Guide and scans your product with her iPhone, comparing your company’s carbon footprint and hiring practices with your competitor’s, what will your marketing program do to ensure that your brand wins in this type of comparison? Without the coordinated, committed help of the entire organization you stand no chance of winning, and without quantitative measurement the universal language throughout most organizations you’ll face an essentially undoable job in trying to rally your larger team to understand why their participation beyond marketing is essential.
The Need to Measure More
The significance of the lack of a formal measurement mindset around social media becomes clear when you consider that too many professionals using social media in business do not measure its effectiveness. A 2009 eMarketer study found that 16 percent of the professionals it surveyed measured the effectiveness of their social media programs. The other 84 percent? It’s unclear why they are even doing the work they are doing, and likely less clear to their CFO that they should be doing it at all. Without a measurement program, social media marketing and its application to business is at best an experiment; at worst, it’s a costly diversion.
From Journalists to Connected Enthusiasts
In traditional PR in particular, there is an established practice of identifying and developing relationships with key journalists and industry experts. These media connections are useful, for example, when rolling out a new product. By communicating in advance with these contacts, you can seed the general market awareness with comments from these individuals as they begin writing about your product launch.
Sometimes this is done confidentially, for example, you may embargo a press release when you want your closest contacts to have this information and be aware of what is coming but not actually talk about it before a certain date. Or, you may want these advance recipients to talk about it first, conveying to them a certain “scoop” value. As a tip, include in your press releases a 140-character statement intended for re-use on Twitter, what Brian Solis calls a “Twitter Pitch.