Here are all of the posts tagged ‘measurement’.
It’s a question we get asked a lot, and despite the temptation to reply with Scott Monty’s (the head of social media for Ford) famed response – “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”, we usually say something more considered. We talk about how, despite the fact that we can measure the outcomes of the work that we do (and that we’re getting pretty good at it) and that we work with our clients to set meaningful KPIs at the beginning of engagements, it is still really hard to map those back to business metrics like ROI.
This is why we’re working closely with the rest of the IAB’s Social Media Council to get our research into the effectiveness of social media at a campaign level off the ground (you would not believe how hard it is to devise appropriate and affordable research methodologies to do so), and also one of the reasons we’re active participants at MeasurementCamp.
However, those that tell you can’t measure anything are wrong. If you’d like to know more, Jon ‘yongfook’ Cockle has a great presentation and accompanying blog post that outlines an approach to measurement that pretty much mirrors our own:
Billed as ‘an open source movement to make sense of social media measurement’, it sprung out of a panel discussion on measuring social media where Will McInnes and myself crossed swords on the subject, but unfortunately without bringing much enlightenment to the audience. Will, as he often does, decided something needed to be done, and MeasurementCamp was born.
As you can see from the photos above, we’ve come a long way since the original Measurementcamp last April, hosted in room above the Coach and Horses pub in Soho. This time, we invited our friend Josh Hallett of Voce Communications who was over from the US, and as result it looks like MeasurementCamp has now turned into a global movement. We think that’s a pretty fitting birthday present…
Some of us weren’t lucky enough to get a chance to meet ‘la crème de la crème’ of social media at SXSW, but after my first day at the Marketing 2.0 Conference in Paris, I feel that I’ve had the chance to mingle with some of the top social media and marketing people. Shame the WiFi was non-existent once again at a French conference - I guess US folks must think WiFi hasn’t been invented yet in France!
But back to the conference, the impressive list of speakers and what this first day was all about. Much was said about the fact that people trust their peers more than they trust brands or advertising. Scott Monty at Ford, Alex Hunter at Virgin and Georges-Edouard Dias at L’Oreal all insisted on that notion and went into the details on what this meant for their company and the notion of ‘conversation’ was once again on everyone’s mind. For Scott Monty at Ford, conversation is indeed what it all comes down to: social media is an opportunity to prove to individuals that you’re listening to them; it’s about building a relationship with people and humanising the company. For Charlie Schick, at Nokia, the web is a conversation channel and brands must participate in conversations.
What’s interesting from our point of view at We Are Social is that the concept of conversation is clearly emerging – when Robin and Nathan set up We Are Social and established it as a ‘conversation agency’, it was in some way ‘groundbreaking’. It now looks like the Forrester Connected Agency report’s predictions that ‘facilitating conversations for its clients will become the new role of an agency’ is now a reality, which is great for us as a business as more and more brands will understand the importance of being conversational. And clearly when Charlie Schick at Nokia explains that social media is the voice of a brand, this really reflects what we do for Skype: not only do we help them with strategic consultancy and social media monitoring, but we are also the voice of Skype: my colleague Peter is Skype’s blogger and he’s also @PeteratSkype on Twitter, managing their reputation online through conversation. Similarly, the This is Now campaign for the Ford Fiesta we’ve been working on for the last 6 months has all been about the conversations we’ve created.
But back to my favourite word for 2009: ROI… If social media is about building relationships with people and engaging in conversations in social media, how, as a brand, you measure your ROI? As an agency we have a fairly advanced approach, but I guess I was interested to hear about how these brands approached it. I very much like Scott Monty’s answer: ROI is very much a campaign-based approach vs. a long term commitment and an opportunity to build a relationship with people. And he went further and added “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”, along with a joke about how campaign-based ROI can be measured through HITS: How Idiots Track Success. Nevertheless, in real life, and especially in this period of recession, we know that ROI is important to clients but it’s great to see brands are taking a longer term interest with building relationship with people. Olivier Hascoat at MySpace insisted on that concept again: ‘stop campaigning and make a long term commitment’.
All in all, a very promising first day! As I’m publishing this, Day 2 has started and it’s already looking as exciting…
Earlier today, I popped along to MeasurementCamp (MMC) for a meeting with some of London’s top social media brains. This was my third or fourth MMC and it was good to see the progress made in the past year – there is a growing sense of what we’re capable of measuring, and now the focus has turned to how to structure that most effectively. Here are some of my thoughts springing from the discussion – all things we at We Are Social do and have in mind already, but MeasurementCamp was very good at crystallising them into a best practice-friendly format:
- Framing process clearly: Different channels produce different results – e.g. a customer support blog is going to generate fewer direct sales than a viral for a special offer. Dismissing those who misunderstand what a blog can or cannot do is not particularly constructive – it should be up to us to explain the process of a social media campaign and the likely effects it will have, to get realistic and significant goals agreed.
- Measure early, measure often: Measurement should not be just done at the end of campaign but as part of the process throughout to judge the difference a campaign makes. And wherever possible we should benchmark it against competitor brands.
- Not getting seduced by data: Because there are so many metrics available, grand plans for some ultra losing the wood for the trees is easy to do. Going overboard with too many numbers bamboozles us as well as the client and can make you lose sight of what works and what needs improvement. Pick & choose what you measure at the start and stick to it.
Further to the last one, there were some good ideas from the group, the idea that we shouldn’t be afraid to resort to the forms of measurement that the traditional advertising and marketing industries use, such as surveys or phone polls. These of course come with their own flaws but they still have many practical uses. And as with all these things, numbers can never tell the whole story, but they’re a good start in getting there.
Philip Buxton, the former editor of Revolution, has written a great checklist for brands choosing a social media agency:
- A new approach – since everyone claims to ‘do’ social, look for those seeking to develop new models for approaching it, not those seeking to map on their existing models
- Technology – everyone claims to have unique talent, to be ‘leading’, to have great clients, and real expertise. Technology, fortunately, can’t be faked, demonstrates genuine investment and expertise, and really can be proprietary and unique. So, which agency has developed/is developing their own technology to support their new approach?
- Measurement – the true value of real engagement by brands in social media is really hard to measure. I’ll be dropping my bank as soon as I don’t need them anymore because of the way it treated me when I was a student – good social media strategy will have a similarly long-lasting effect. Nonetheless, some agencies are having a very credible stab at it. Just steer clear of the ones who claim it’s that simple
- Existing credentials – being good at something, in my view, is a transferable skill. Muhammad Ali liked to say that if he’d been a dustman (I’m translating of course), he’d have been the best dustman in the world. I believe him. So, is the agency now claiming to be brilliant at social media brilliant at what it already does?
- Case studies – trade journalists will tell you that finding people to talk about social media is not a problem. Finding people that have real projects to talk about is a good deal more difficult. What has the agency really done in this area?
My shortlist would be made up only of agencies that tick all five boxes
We would agree with him…