GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

Social media measurement was one of the recurring session themes at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive conference, and one that GroundFloor Media and our clients are constantly tracking to ensure we able to justify our efforts in the online space. From the value of a Facebook fan to finding out which influencer has the most relevant following, here are some of the highlights from the sessions we attended:

§ Social media is not a sales driver, but it does lead to intent-to-purchase.

§ Of all of the measurement tools and systems available, there is still no silver bullet. Understanding your executive’s or client’s goals and then building your measurement system accordingly is the norm.

§ That said, Bill Parkes of nFusion tells us that while measurement vendors are still evolving, the opportunity exists for agencies to work with their vendors and create tailored measurement systems at little to no extra cost.

§ Some things that panelists mentioned that might not always be top of mind:

o Only 8% of U.S. adults are using Twitter

o Social media ROI has to be measured as a part of the greater communications/marketing ROI, not by itself

o Consumers aren’t online 24/7 – when you post is just as important as what you post

§ Since so many metrics tools are measuring so many different things, there are a lot of inconsistencies. You have to measure the value of fans and influencers based on one tool, otherwise its apples to oranges.

§ Jason Falls (one of my favorite panelists) didn’t mince words: Cost per view is worthless, as is measuring short-term results. Real measurement stats and value are found over time (translation: be patient!)

§ Lots of great discussion in “The Value of a Facebook Fan” panel. One panelist said his cost to acquire a Facebook fan is 46 cents. Another said you have to approach fans as if their value is $0. What you do with the fan once you have them is where the value exists.

§ Focusing on brand analytics through social media is more productive than trying to put a dollar value on your ROI.

So what’s the common theme from all of this? I believe it’s finding out what matters most to your executive team, and then building your strategy and measurement method accordingly using the tools that effectively measure those metrics.

That said, I think the most important thing to remind your executives about social media strategy was summed up by Forrester’s Melissa Parish, “To derive value, you need to provide value.” In order to realize true value in social media we need to treat it like a cocktail party, not a broadcast booth.

– Jim

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