When even the attendees at South By Southwest are talking about measurement, you know that you’ve arrived. There were at least two panels on measurement. I participated in "Social Media Comes of Age Without the Help of Porn" along with Jason Falls and Jeremiah Owang, moderated by Lisa Joy Rosner of NetBase. And I was also on the panel of the controversial “What’s so [bleeping] hard about social ROI?”
Of course, both had to have somewhat titillating tiles in order to get accepted. From what I can gather, both were healthy discussions of an important topic at very high levels.
Then, there’s the on-the-ground reality. Like the conversations I've hard recently with frustrated clients, in which they and/or their agencies are struggling to come to grips with the truth that, as Amber Naslund so brilliantly put it, “If you aren’t willing to expend the time, effort, and resources to do this properly and comprehensively, you have no room to complain to me when you’re unsuccessful.”
But, as so many clients are finding out, today's data deluge makes it anything but easy. Getting accurate results was one thing back when you got 200 clips a month delivered in manila envelopes. It is very different beast when you have a data stream of 25,000 items from everywhere from Twitter to content farms to the 150 or so blogs on Forbes.com. (And if you'd like some help dealing with all that data, take a look at KD Paine's How-To-Get-Good-Data Checklist.)
It’s time to wake up to the new reality.
Your success is not going to be reduced to one number (despite the machinations of reality-challenged Irishmen). There is no average value of a fan, as Oliver Blanchard points out here. You can’t just hire a vendor and sit back and wait for results.
Good measurement requires commitment — not just of resources, but of time and attention. It comes from statistical analysis, thoughtful research, intelligent insight, and, above all, sound and transparent methodology. Which is why we produced this issue of The Measurement Standard, dedicated to doing measurement right.
Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements. Katie and Beth Kanter are authors of the book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to be published this year by Wiley.
The Measurement Standard is a publication of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, will be glad to talk with you about measurement for your organization.