Measuring social media value — more how-to ideas

As many of you know, a few days ago I posted an entry listing ways to begin measuring the impact of social media. Since then, I asked the same question–“How would you measure social media marketing?”–of some hard-core marketers on LinkedIn. I got some great answers, including some obvious ones I should definitely have considered myself <hand slapping forehead> including:

* Monitoring the e-mail signups and RSS signups you get, and look at trends in signups.

While small rises and falls don’t mean much, big shifts are obviously worth watching. Maybe you’ll want to do a retention campaign with your existing registrants if you’re losing ground. If you’re doing really well, meanwhile, it might point you towards a source of profitable relationships in the social media world.

* Tracking the prospects that come in through social channels all the way through to whether they convert into sales.

Given the diversity of assets circulating on social media these days, it’s important to track this in fine detail, down to whether a video, article, podcast or link took the reader to your site.

* Looking specifically at number of new registered users and pageviews generated by social media-generated visitors to your site.

Of course, we all know that page views and registered users are important. Still, not everyone is looking carefully at how standard measures like pageview generation and user registration rates differ between social media and other sources. It’d also be good to discriminate what results can be generated by specific social media sites (e.g. Facebook vs. MySpace).

By the way, a few LinkedIn-ers seemed convinced that social media was best thought of as a PR medium, which is a defensible position. As for me, though,I think we can go a tremendous way toward turning social networks and sites into direct response vehicles.

Now, here’s a question for all of you. Other than folks using PPC ads on social media sites (which almost always calls for a landing page) are you bothering to build landing pages to track social media clicks and visits?

Anne

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4 responses to “Measuring social media value — more how-to ideas

  1. While small rises and falls don’t mean much, big shifts are obviously worth watching. Maybe you’ll want to do a retention campaign with your existing registrants if you’re losing ground.

    I think there’s something to this, and there’s a lot to be said for micromanaging content. Whenever I get a spike in readership, be it from another blog linking to me or through google hits, I try to figure out what it was about the latest post(s) that brought all those visits in (for google keywords, it’s almost always a current news item that people were looking for more on).

    I wouldn’t really bother to build a separate landing page or actually code anything for social media hits, because analytics software has that pretty down pat. In the future I’d love to have something that shows me where those people are clicking through to (for example, if a post gets on the front page of digg I’d want more than a rough estimate of how many went to the main page), but my top priority is just seeing how many people it brought in.

    By the way, a few LinkedIn-ers seemed convinced that social media was best thought of as a PR medium, which is a defensible position

    I think that’s defensible because, right now, social media is a PR medium. What are Facebook and Myspace but self-promotion? This goes back to what I was saying here: you can’t try to be somebody’s friend until they know who you are, and right now that’s where the value of social media advertising lies.

  2. I find one thing very disturbing. My girlfriend is being pressured to twitter for the company. She has no desire to put her life on the web. What can she do to stop this behavior from a company of children. She does not want to lose her job because she refuses to place her life on the web.

  3. RobJ–Your g/f doesn’t need to put her life on the web. She is being asked to engage people in a medium on behalf of the company.

    She doesn’t have to talk about ‘personal’ stuff like her b/f, sex life, what she did last weekend, etc. Twitter allows you to share what you want to and build relationships.

    So she can share only work-related thoughts, practices, answer questions, etc. And she doesn’t need to post 20 times a day…just a few times per day will do.

    It’s no different really, than being asked to answer the phone. 🙂

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