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Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure

With so much of the social media focus on metrics, it’s startling that few marketing organizations and their PR agencies have the internal resources at hand to measure their social media success. The inability of companies engaged in interactive social media marketing to measure in-house the business impact of their campaigns is putting the cart before the horse.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

“ can a company claim to judge social media on a particular success metric like brand awareness or customer engagement with no ability to actually measure that metric? Do companies think they should measure the impact of social media on brand and engagement metrics but never get around to doing so?” These questions and others like it were raised by in its recent report, “Business Social Media Benchmarking Study. Sixty-five per cent of the survey participants, many of them senior executives, said they have the ability to see the impact of their social media programs using web site traffic as a metric. And 55% said they have a view into the success of their social media programs using “prospect lead volume” and “useful product feedback” as metrics. But at the bottom of the scale, less than 35 percent of respondents using “awareness” and “reputation” as brand metrics say they can measure the impact of their social media campaigns.

Certainly, there’s no shortage of social media measurement resources – from home-grown to “one size fits all” to elaborate customized solutions. Among the challenges associated with social media metrics is identifying the appropriate resources to take on the task. Large organizations have only recently begun adding the staffing power necessary to measure their social media efforts, while smaller organizations either don’t do it – or don’t do it well – or delegate the responsibility to their PR agency who in turn often delegate the task to an outside “specialist” firm.

Marshall Sponder, founder of, an industry blog about web analytics, social media and search marketing, says that clients are beginning to insist that their PR firms bring the social media measurement capabilities in house; that partner-based measurement models don’t work well enough.

At 3Point Communications, measurement is a cornerstone of the communications process. Metrics help clients to better understand their customers’ goals and enable more effective interactive communications results – offline and online. While we may use proven third-party tools when appropriate, such as biz360, 3Point’s measurement capabilities are in house. That’s where we think they belong. How else are we different? We provide all the backup data and charts of a standard analytics report but we also analyze the information to present concrete action-oriented recommendations. We can do this because of 3Point’s unique combination of digital experience, analytics skills and business focus.

How are your social media programs being measured? Are you happy with the results? We'd love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. I've also heard that companies have started using outside companies that specialize in social media.

    A friend of mine has started using eCairn a company based out of Northern, California.

    He's said that the service they sell is extremely reliable. It has enabled the company to listen to their market.