Marketers handed guide on social media measurement

Gauging whether a firm’s social media is successful is not just about clicks and should remain rooted in the tenets of traditional marketing measurement, a new industry guide says.

Authored by the IPA and the Market Research Society, the £50 guide is designed to help marketers assess social’s impact on profitability and offers seven key principles to that end.

The seven principles are:
1.Social is more than marcomms and is challenging organisations
2.Social is changing the way we measure - its evaluation is more than a dashboard
3.Avoid a siloed approach to social measurement
4.It is easy to overestimate the value of earned media and influencers
5.The commercial value of social will increasingly lie in the richness of its data
6.Social can learn from traditional planning
7.Even the short-term results need a long-term context

Likely to be read by agencies as well as individual marketing and advertising professionals, the guide explores the challenges associated with validating social media campaigns.

It highlights the need for social media planning and evaluation to run in tandem with other traditional channels to accurately gauge its reach, rather than adopting a “siloed approach.”

It also says the same rigour should be applied as for established marketing measurement, using comparable metrics, linking activity to overall goals and a focus on long-term results.

At the same time, the real-time evaluation that social media offers should be used, the guide says, allowing for accurate targets and predictions to be made.

“As spend for social media continues to grow, this guide can act as a vital tool for businesses concerned with measuring the impact of their activity in this area, and ultimately its effect on revenue,” said Stephen Maher, chair of The Marketing Society.

Consumer group Which? added: “It summarises the current state of play and offers guidelines on how to make the most of this young, but rapidly maturing medium.”

And the group’s chair Patrick Barwise reflected. “I’m not aware of any other publication anywhere that addresses these issues so comprehensively.”


9th February 2015

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