One sizzling summer afternoon several years ago, as I was sitting on my porch swing here in Dallas, I had a shattering moment of realization. I had totally and completely missed the boat on social media measurement, and was well on my way to becoming a dinosaur if I didn’t do something about it!
You've seen articles like this recent one at Ragan's PR Daily: 10 Top Tools for PR Measurement. Those ten are probably great tools, but I doubt if they are actually the best tools for you to use right now for that project on your desk.
I wish I could tell you the #1 public relations and social media measurement tool for you. But I can't. It's just too complicated.
Vocus has released a new guide, "How to Track and Measure Social Media Marketing." It includes basic, practical information. Measurement newbies will find it a bit inspirational too. Well worth filling out the form to download. You want to know where to start in tracking Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest? Or using Google Analytics? Great, check this out.
On the other hand, this guide won't help you much if you are already past Measurement 101. Or if you are interested in actual strategy, as in what the heck social media is actually supposed to do for your company or organization. It doesn't spend much time on the current hot topics of social media measurement: relationships, engagement, and influence. If you want something a little more indepth but still practical, see Angie Jeffrey's Social Media Measurement, A Step-By-Step Approach.
Also, it's a little heavy on the sales funnel concept. Now I know ye olde sales funnel is often useful, but it's over a hundred years old. The complexity of modern -- especially social -- media makes it an analogy less useful these days. (See "Social Media Is Not a Used Car Lot, So Why Do We Keep Trying to Cram People Into a Sales Funnel?") Isn't it time to update sales models to be less one-dimensional?-- Bill Paarlberg, editor
Below is a brief excerpt from Angela Jeffrey's "Social Media Measurement: A Step-by-Step Approach." This is a very practical and useful guide to social media measurement that will immediately begin to help you improve your social media programs. Click here to download it now at the IPR site and get started. If you want to learn more about it first, read our review here. Be aware that the AMEC Valid Metrics Framework that Ms. Jeffrey builds her guide around is now being updated. When complete, changes will be posted on the AMEC site.
Over at the Ketchum Blog is a post by David Rockland, "What Bill Gates and Measurement have in Common." Mr. Gates says what us measurement types already take as gospel, (but it sounds more profound coming from Him):
“You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal.”
Mr. Rockland passes on some excellent measurement tips from Microsoft, including:
"Think about the end outcome that you are trying to drive and prioritize the measurement of that. It is not the piece of content that matters, it is the change in attitudes and behaviors that the content drives."
Go read the whole article. --WTP
By Bill Paarlberg, editorIPR website and pick up Angela Jeffrey's new and practical "Social Media Measurement: A Step-By-Step Approach." Better yet, just download the pdf here right now, because you'll want it have it on hand. This is a very well-researched and practical guide that is designed to, yes, take you step-by-step through measuring social media. But it's a whole lot more as well.
The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication ((AMEC), the UK Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) have produced an online "Definitive Guide to Measurement." The Guide is a handsome and vibrant compendium of 12 well-written chapters from experts in Europe, North America, Australia, and South Africa. As you read it you get a sense of the tremendous energy and activity of AMEC and its members. Some heavy hitters in the world of measurement have contributed to the Guide, including Giselle Bodie, CEO of Salience Insight, a company owned by News Group International. (The Measurement Standard is a News Group International publication.)
While the Guide claims that it is, "an everyday practical desktop reference source for PR professionals," it is not. Nor is it "Definitive," as its title claims.
Here's a video from IABC Calgary, in which Katie Paine provides some measurement tips. (It takes a minute to get to Ms. Paine's advice, and, yes, that background music is a bit much.) --WTP
Go read this great article by Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks: "How to Measure PR: Use These Tools." It includes an inspirational little case study of a content marketing program with the goal of getting people to a free trial. The nice point she makes is that once you settle on what to measure:
"...we know exactly how many people we need to get to the free trial landing page – through content – in order to get them to take it and then what kinds of content – through email – we need to send them so they’ll convert to a customer. It becomes science and math, combined with art, and it works really, really well."
Go read read it right now.
Here's a great post from Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin at DoSomething.org on the difference between data and metrics. Yep, they got 1.5 million YouTube views for their sports equipment donation video, but totally struck out when it came to donations. The moral of their story is: "...analyzing the data is the easy part. The hard part is deciding what data matters."
Bob Filbin's insights on the use of data by nonprofits are featured in Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, the book published last fall by Beth Kanter and Katie Paine, which devotes Chapter 3 to DoSomething.org. (Thanks for the image to The Musings of an Urban Christian) --WTP
Here are Katie Paine's famous Seven Steps of Measurement, in the form of an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, the new book by Katie and Beth Kanter. (Order the book here.) The cartoon, also from the book, is the work of Rob Cottingham. Click on it to see it larger.
While this excerpt discusses the seven steps in the context of nonprofit social media, the logic behind them applies to any measurement program undertaken by any organization. The steps are the same, and are carried out in the same order, you just have to adapt them to your own program and goals.
by Katie Delahaye Paine
It was the ultimate measurement irony. Twenty of measurement's best and brightest were gathered in my living room for the Conclave on social media measurement standards and the future of measurement. Then, that very morning, the local paper ran a front page story about the "value" of a nearby visit by President Obama. And how did they calculate the value of said visit? In AVEs, of course!
On the IPR website you can download a new paper, "International Media Analysis Made Simple," by Mike Daniels and Angela Jeffrey that presents a straightforward 8-step program for designing an international media measurement program. For each step the authors provide a checklist-like series of decisions and procedures.
The purpose of the paper, as they say, is to answer the following question:
How does an organization structure a media monitoring and measurement program that provides optimal international business intelligence in a cost-effective manner?
Here's the Abstract:
More and more organizations need to measure their media coverage globally, but how can they do this cost effectively? This paper takes a very granular approach to helping the reader define business goals and objectives; determine suitable measures; analyze media content needs; evaluate dashboard systems; determine language and analysis processes; develop measurement scorecards; select provider services; sell the solutions internally; and, evaluate their success. Clear pros and cons to every option are provided, enabling the reader to balance the three competing essentials: quality, speed and cost.
Go download the paper right now. -- Bill Paarlberg, editor
About a year ago, at the AMEC Lisbon Summit on Measurement, Ruth Pestana and Mike Daniels presented the Valid Metrics Framework. This practical system for measuring public relations grew out of the Barcelona Principles and a desire to supplant the simplistic and inaccurate Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) with more sophisticated and valid techniques.
The Valid Metrics Framework walks you through the thought process of setting up a measurement system. By segmenting each primary area of a PR program, you can immediately see what metrics go where. Not quite a cookbook, and not quite actual standards, the Valid Metrics Framework has been adapted to include how and what to measure for different types of public relations campaigns. Read this post at the PRSA blog to learn more.
A couple weeks ago at the AMEC Dublin Summit Mike Daniels presented the Updated Valid Metrics Frameworks, which begins to extend the framework to social media.
Don't miss his recent post "You Are What You Measure, So Choose Your KPIs (Incentives) Wisely!" This lengthy post discusses several pairs of metrics, and why you should or shouldn't choose one over the other (and along the way you get a fairly good education in web marketing analytics):
(Thanks for the image to MyTechOpinion.)