Emergence of Social Media

It was very interesting to listen to Michael Senger’s presentation about social media and its metrics.  Mr. Senger is the CEO and founder of StoneMass, a company devoted to online design, search, and analytics.  He discussed the “biggest socio-technological
revolution” and how it’s being fuelled through new devices like smart phones and pads.  Senger indicated that companies have a hard time measuring the effectiveness of their social media efforts but there is a solution.  He reminded us that an important principle in consumer behaviour is that throughout time, consumers are still driven by the same behaviours to make informed decisions; the difference is the platforms have changed.   Statistical information that he pointed to was the insight function on Facebook, which provides a demographic break-down of the individuals who have visited the site or page.  Demographic information is a great indicator and starting point to begin market research. He narrowed his focus on Faceboook, indicating that survey’s he’s conducted through the site have allowed him to dictate his selling proposition and price points. Mr Senger finally went on to provide key performance indicators for success on Facebook and social media.  These key web activities that organizations need to focus on are; promoting their page, launching campaign’s with incentives, suggesting to friends, effective branding in the logo area, managing editorial content, researching competition, and using free metrics. All of these “KPI’s” can be used to increase a company’s social media presence.

One social media guru is Nicole Kelly, the Director of Social Media for CareOne Debt Relief Services and avid blogger.  With an expanding focus on social media, Kelly indicates that by using a variety of tools such as, “standard public relations, online advertising, search engine optimization and website metrics” marketers are able to combine these sources and provide a “holistic view of the true value social media brings to the table.”  Kelly provides six metrics to track the impact of marketing efforts in social media channels.  These important metrics include; cost per impression, cost per engagement, cost per click, cost per site visitor, cost per inbound link, and cost per subscriber.  These metrics are all very statistical in comparison to Mr. Sengers analytical perspective.  Transforming these statistics into meaningful information that can be communicated to clients is essential for success but often difficult and tedious.

Another social media guru is Jay Baer, a social media strategist, author, and blogger.  Mr. Baer also provides six metrics to social media success that one needs to track are daily story feedback, look at Klout, PostRank, Share of Voice, search volume, and inbound links.  These metrics are similar to Nicole Kelly’s philosophy but also contain a few sites that provide data like Klout.  Baer insists that links are essential to the social media process because their shared between all channels of social connection. Bloggers and social media enthusiasts are driven to click on links which drives hits to sites and can potentially increase a brands awareness and reach.

In conclusion, statistical information is everywhere on the web.  Although companies may feel that social media is immeasurable, the facts are it is.  The only problem is the information is difficult to find and when you do find it, it’s difficult to interpret.  In comparing and contrasting Mr. Senger’s presentation with that of the social media gurus philosophies, I feel that Senger uses a more realistic and understandable metrics system.  Facebook is a great tool to use in an expanding social world and will only become a larger tool for companies to measure their marketing effectiveness in the future.

Sources:  http://stonemass.com/online-marketing-services/web-site-analytics-metrics.html, Micheal Senger Presentation, Sept 28, 2011
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-to-track-the-impact-of-social-media-on-public-relations/#more-11544
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-social-media-success-metrics-you-need-to-track/#more-6643

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