March 26, 2008

Measuring Social Media


Measuring the benefit of social media is a tough one for the PR and the Advertising industry. To get into the debate read a great article on the metrics of Social Media in Adweek written by Brian Morrissey (full article here.)

Many bloggers are weighing in with their comments. I liked the blog “ITS A HARD KNOX LIFE” written by Dave Knox who is a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and part-time marketing consultant. Dave’s comments capture how the larger brands and industry view social media. He notes that “The largest advertisers (like P&G) have embraced the traditional aspects of social media, putting up banner ads on MySpace, etc. We are experimenting in order to figure out how to fully embrace social media but measures are the struggle in order to get total buy-in.”

A gem on Dave’s blog is the interchange in the comments area between him and Marcel LeBrun . Mercel believes there are ways to measure social media. He writes “First, social media actually produces many measurable artifacts… even more than the traditional media. We can count all of the social breadcrumbs such as comments, unique commenters, social bookmarks, on topic links, video views and all these things provide us with valuable insight into the level of engagement around a topic, how it propagates and who the influencer’s are.

The second point, however, is that the industry has not yet agreed upon a standard set of metrics by which to determine ROI or value. This is the point I am referencing in the above quote. The advertising industry has this; it is page views. Now the advertising industry also recognizes that page views provide an incomplete measure, but it is the current standard nonetheless.

The exciting thing for a brand manager is that you can effectively measure your efforts and brand perception in social media without waiting for the industry to agree on standard measures. We measure several of the “digital breadcrumbs” mentioned above related to brands today and then let users look at the data from several angles.”

It’s a great debate. What I took away is that brand trajectory is now more than ever in the hands of the consumer and marketing, advertising and public relations will never be the same. Thanks.



  1. Thanks for the link. Glad you are enjoying HardKnoxLife. The debate of Social Media Metrics is not going to be solved any time soon but the debate in the blogosphere is going to help us get there I think

    Comment by Dave Knox — March 26, 2008 @ 7:27 am

  2. Dave I checked your site and my comment back seemed to be garbled….may be a Canadian thing. By the way I agree with you that the debate will guide the way. Keep me posted on what you see. If Brands are freely commented on this is going to be rocky road for the traditional “bradcast marketers” .

    Comment by trontr — March 27, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

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