I say this all the time; a brand will ask “How will you measure this program?” our response, “How do you currently measure your existing programs?”
Sometimes we get a good answer, but often it’s not a clear answer. If the organization has an existing methodology in place to measure the effectiveness of programs, why not try to plug into this existing system? It’s not always easy though.
There is no lack of data and tools to document activities on external social networks, but what we focus on is crossing the membrane intact. Going from off-domain to on-domain and aligning the data to give real insights and value.
The internal/existing measurement problem is either rooted in technology, or communication. We often see the communication issue. The corporate communications team isn’t always in constant talks with the analytics team and may not know the depth of measurement available to them.
While the social media industry moves forward with new services and richer analytics, linking them back to internal systems is still a hit or miss proposition. Services like WebTrends and Salesforce are paving the way to link on-domain and off-domain activities into a single view and the hope is more vendors get very serious in this space.
The problem is stated in a simple question: How effective is social media compared to other traditional forms of communication? Let’s try to look at the data….if it’s available. The majority of the time social media wins by default since there is more data available, but it’s not always a fair fight.
This get’s back to a previous post of mine, we work off the data we have available, and not the data we don’t have.