I’m at the Marketing Prof’s Digital Forum in Austin Texas. I came a day early for the extra workshop on Social Media Measurement with Jason Falls. Jason is a social media strategist and a leading thinker in the field. And if there’s any doubt that he’s knows what he’s talking about, just Google him. He literally dominates the first three pages (almost four) of Google’s organic searches.
Here are a few of my major take-aways from today’s session:
1. FaceBook is the pond. Your website is the frying pan. In other words, engage on FaceBook, blogs and other social sites but give people a reason (like a newsletter, free download, whitepaper, a tip of the week, etc) to go to your “owned” real estate – your site. Why? A number of reasons, but the most compelling: a higher rate of conversion when you engage first in social space.
2. Selling investment in social media to the management team is challenging, so it’s critical to be clear about the goals of your social media program. Jason really clarified for me what we can expect social media to do (and not do). Here’s his list of the top six things social media can achieve (when done well):
- Protect your reputation
- Facilitate customer support
- Invite innovation
- Build trust
- Market through conversion
- Gather business intelligence
3. ROI is not a valid measurement for social media. ROI is a financial metric and requires a financial transaction (and there are no financial transactions in social media – yet). We have to educate our clients on what social media can do (see #2) and then we have to use good social media measurement tools to provide feedback. Hopefully, we can monetize the social media investment. After all, senior management is not going to care about likes and tweets; they basically care about three things: Did we make money? Did we save money? Do people like us?
Above all Jason stressed the importance of starting with a strategic plan. This sounds basic, but in the real world I find many clients want to just do something in the social space. So they jump into FaceBook or twitter without goals, without a content calendar and sometimes even without the appropriate resources to maintain a regular presence.
Without purpose, and the monitoring and measurement tools to see what you’ve achieved against goal, social media can be – just noise.
Check out Jason at socialmediaexplorer.com