Measuring Social Media

Great post by Chris Kenton on social media metrics. Figuring out ways to measure things like engagement and relevancy in the Web 2.0 world is a major challenge to online marketers used to more tangible metrics like click-throughs and page views. Kenton on engagement:

If you’re going to have a social medium, it’s useful to know just how social it is. Are people actively commenting, debating, sharing ideas? If this becomes the metric of a successful channel, what does that really mean, and how will that narrow the perception of, and investment in, different types of social media channels? Some topics, and some communities, drive tremendous levels of dialog and engagement. The audience is comfortable engaging online, and passionate about their views. But some topics and communities attract a lot of “lurkers”, people who will hang out and listen, but not step out on a limb and comment, for any number of reasons ranging from fear of a slap-down, to concern over having their comments Googled when they apply for a job. One of the interesting things about SecondLife is that unlike a forum or blog, you can physically see all the lurkers watching from the sidelines. If your goal is to drive brand awareness, these lurkers are tremendously valuable, and just because they’re not engaged in the verbal discussion, doesn’t mean their presence isn’t valuable to a marketer. How should a metric of “engagement” be valued alongside “presence”?

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5 thoughts on “Measuring Social Media”

  1. Hi Rob. Like me, you’ve got background in print media, so you’ve got a good perspective on the relationship between editorial content, public relations, circulation and the ad dollars that allow a publication to survive. It’s fascinating watching this all play out in social media. I suspect many of the old school metrics are going to be the same currency of social media, even though expectations right now are much higher–after all, you can measure everything on the Web, right? I launched another round of this discussion today. Always interested in your insights.

  2. thanks for the link, Brooks. Clickprints are scary, since the group that these types of analytics would be so helpful in defining – the lurkers that Chris refers to – are by their nature the ones that DON’T want to be tracked or recognized. They are in the background for a reason, and marketers and web geeks need to understand and respect that.

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