By , Communications Executive, IAB
The debate about social media measurement has been running for as long as we in the IAB Social Media Council can remember (which either means that it’s a significant industry issue OR our excessive dependency on social networks has destroyed our long-term memories, I’d go for the former).
The on-going discussions are based on a number of key questions. Can social media activity be evaluated in the same way as other, more traditional techniques? If yes, which aspects should be measured? What measurement tools are available? Is it expensive? How time consuming is it? Once I have these results, what do they even mean? Difficult questions to answer, and perhaps a lesser group might flee at the prospect of attempting to bring some meaning to the measurement debate, but not the IAB.
The IAB social media council measurement sub group have launched their first initiative of 2011 – a guide to social media measurement and intent which addresses some of the hottest topics within the area and providing further insight on the IAB measurement framework, why it was created and how it works. The guide has been put together by council representatives from TMW, COI, Outside Line; We Are Social, NMIncite and Market Sentinel.
The document really emphasises the importance of objectives in social media, and how concrete intents are essential to bring about meaningful measurement. Inside, we offer an explanation on the differences between earned, owned and bought social media activity, the importance of social media monitoring and why you need to take the time to get to know your audience and your competitors. The guide also breaks down different types of social media focusing on the one size DOESN’T fit all ethos and that different brand/campaign objectives can mean there is a need for a different social media strategy approach to fit within these aims. It also offers a dedicated section on what’s happening within customer services and social networking? offering suggested objectives, benchmarks and metrics to consider before embarking on customer service activity.
The guide has been written for both advertisers and agencies, and like any IAB Social Media Council initiative, we hope it evolves over time, so greatly value your feedback.