I was on a measurement panel at the IAB Social Media Conference recently, and we spoken a lot about the social media ‘scorecard. ‘ There were a variety of perspectives represented because Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i, moderated the discussion between Liza Hausman of Gigya, Keith Kilpatrick from Buzzlogic, Jonathan Carson from Nielsen Online and me. We all decided that we wanted the discussion to become practical and useable.
I dreamed the social media scorecard in vibrant color, its clarity overwhelmingly simple, something marketers and agencies can put in their pockets and make use of immediately when next evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of social media channels in an upfront media mix. Sounds easy, right?
Enabling quality conversation (ranked on a ten point scale) with my consumers? Examine. Possessing pass-along value that motivates influencers to inspire others regarding my core brand message, straight relatable to product sales? Check. The basic elements of virality, guaranteed to spread such as wildfire through cyberspace? Check. Keep full control of my brand? Double-check.
Now, I am fully in favor of scores and scorecards. Without them, how could you know if your efforts are effective, or if you are winning or losing? Yet while we all agreed that measurement must be the cornerstone, we furthermore recognized that there is no silver topic. Especially in emerging areas that are nevertheless defining the rules of the game, exactly where many marketers are still deciding whether or not to get in the game to begin with.
So let’s take a put away our scorecards and magic bullets just for a little while, and talk about what we need to know to get started.
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Three Helpful Points to Consider in Social Media Marketing and Dimension
1) Clarity is key: define your success
As with all media, before diving in, ask yourself: what will it take for you to look back on the campaign and say that it was successful? Perhaps it will be based on the number of discount codes downloaded, the number of 18-24 year olds who become fans on Fb, CRM signups or overall brand name effectiveness measures and attitudinal shifts… Only you know what is important, but what ever it is, be clear about it so that you can prepare to measure it, plus adjust your campaign on the fly if need be.
2) Keep measurement guaranteed familiar
To break this down, separate quantity questions from quality queries. On the quantity side, keep it basic: know how many people you want to reach, and then measure how many you actually reached post-campaign. Make these metrics as familiar as possible – if they are expressed in comparable terms to other parts of your own campaign, they are more likely to be real and accepted. Reach and rate of recurrence metrics are not going away any time soon.
The product quality question allows for a bit more creativity : here is where you can bring in ‘engagement’ plus otherwise tie in your KPI’s through (1) back into your web program. Basically, you are building a track record together with your brand and making the case that there were quality elements which underscored that social media marketing was a good choice. Depending on what your success markers were, these metrics will vary – yet can range from ‘branding” metrics (e. g. as measured through comScore’s Brand Metrix studies) all the way to the lift in offline purchasing.
3) Control is not the point, listening is
We know, we know… this is a scary idea. But even the best clarity, choreography and execution cannot completely guarantee control in a social media campaign. Therefore let’s imagine for a moment that we can suspend our disbelief about relinquishing control and needing to communicate, and focus instead on how to become heard — because attention, after all, is a scarce commodity. How might this be valuable, and what will be the added value of being able to listen straight, and adjust when needed?
The value task here is also the trade-off – this is two-way, and frequently one-to-many. Pay attention to the good. Respond quickly to the poor, and respond even faster to the ugly. Enable the conversation, rather than attempting to put it in a chokehold. Individuals are talking about your brand anyway, and that means you may as well get down within the weeds and know what’s going on.