Social Media Metrics Monitoring – The Secret Sauce

10 Social Media Experts Comment on Monitoring Social Media

Social media metrics don’t exist in a vacuum. You must determine your business goals, devise strategies and processes to achieve those objectives, then develop the metrics appropriate for the social media you choose.

Monitoring the social media landscape yields significant quantities of data that must be converted to useful information, contributing to CMOs’ data overload. To help you navigate these data intensive options, here are the recommendations and insights of ten social media experts.

  1. It’s important to choose a tool that aggregates all of the channels into one dashboard. This allows one to see the trends for daily volume, share of voice, keywords, demographics, sentiment, etc. Connie Benson
  2. Before you monitor and measure  your social media marketing results, set social media marketing goals aligned with your organization’s objectives. From those business goals, develop realistic, effective marketing strategies and related tactics. Then develop appropriate social media metrics that track real progress towards achieving your goals. Concurrently, assess your competitors and the environment to understand the context in which this activity occurs and to help you assess changes in overall competitive landscape. Heidi Cohen – Riverside Marketing Strategies
  3. If a person/team is savvy, they also can add tracking through the customer relationship management software. Gini Dietrich – Spin Sucks blog
  4. The advice I would give anyone beginning to embark on monitoring their organization’s social program is be patient and consistent. Your social metrics will be ridden with error.  All tools will require human intervention. That is a given. Sentiment, for example, is not perfect as a number on its own; it needs to be compared to your sentiment figures for prior periods to see the meaning and value. Perry Drake – Drake DirectAssistant Professor at NYU
  5. Social media measurement is a lot like web metrics was 10 – 15 years ago when everyone conspired to deliver as many “clicks” or “hits” to their sites as possible. Eventually, clearer heads prevailed. it’s not just the quantity, but the quality of the traffic. The ability to get them to take desired actions. Social media is no different. You don’t just want people to “like” you (that and a nickel will buy you the proverbial cup of coffee). There must be strategic underpinnings to the social media initiative, and clear business goals that are both actionable and measurable. Once all that’s defined, you can start spending money on measurement tools and resources. Not before. Rebecca Lieb – Altimeter Group, author of Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher – How to Use Content to Market Online and in Social Media (Affiliate link)
  6. Motive, motive, motive. Do NOT launch a social media campaign just to get fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter or views on YouTube. If you don’t have a clearly defined purpose and strategy for being there, success is just an intangible, immeasurable ego boost.  All that effort won’t actually yield anything financially tangible if you don’t figure out ahead of time what you’re going to do with those likes, followers, or views. John Marshall – Market Motive
  7. How can you get good at social media in a more measurable way? Start with email, the biggest social medium on the planet. Develop a team that knows how to do email well first, and your social media program will flourish. Tweets are just subject lines. Email, like social media is content-driven. Opt-outs are the best measure of sentiment. Email offers more reliable and measurable data. Start your social media journey with email. Brian Massey – Conversion Scientist
  8. Common sense is the best tool to add to social monitoring. While there are many technologies out there that can deliver robust and efficient results, there’s nothing that can replace human thinking and logic when it comes to consumer behavior. Kate Paulin – 360i
  9. Metrics are great but they don’t replace smart planning and clearly articulated goals. As Laurence Peter says: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” Rob Petersen – Barn Raisers
  10. Make sure you have the proper tools to measure: How much is being said about you out there; in context with the rest of the industry conversation (competition); with a feel for polarity (positive/negative); and the impact of your own participation. That makes for a good social media metrics program Jim Sterne – eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, author of Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing(Affiliate link)

Regardless of the social media monitoring tools you choose to use and the metrics you choose to measure, it’s critical to assess them in the context of your overall social media marketing program. To this end, understand the importance of having corporate goals and related metrics that are easy to measure. Further, you must integrate a measure of common sense to ensure that your tracking makes sense.

Is there an element that you think must be incorporated into a corporate social media program?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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  • http://www.beevolve.com Samuel

    I work at a Social Media Monitoring company so we do have to advise our clients who are just getting started with Social Media Measurement and Marketing. This is excellent advise for them and I am going to ask them to read this while thinking about what they want to achieve with their social media marketing/measurement strategy.

    Sam