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The Definitive RUles of Social media Measurement

Posted on 6.29.2009

One of the most frequent questions clients ask is "give me a meaningful way to get to a real ROI on my social media marketing campaign spend." Here are our 5 rules for measuring a social media campaign:

Campaigns = ROI, always:  Yes Virginia there really is an ROI!  Enough said.

The law of comparable numbers:  Our clients are always trying to balance their media mix.  That means allocating dollars across multiple channels, so you must be able to express the ROI in metrics that can be compared.  We bring every thing back to a CPM equivalent number, made up of the individual platform calculations.  Our clients love it because it allows them to compare against different spend alternatives.

Platforms matter:  We begin by working through the reach and engagement platform by platform.  Blogs are different then Twitter, which are both different then Facebook or YouTube, etc.. The calculation starts in the weeds, and needs to be driven by really understanding how each platform works, how it reaches people and the relative value of each type of message.

The Message Matters: Within a platform there are differences, very big differences.  A review on a blog is a whole lot more valuable then a comment you make on the same blog.   Facebook Groups behave differently than a Facebook page.   You need to assess the impact of each and every type of "message unit" you put out there.

Reach Matters: No free pass here!  You can't use averages, you need to calculate the actual reach audience of each and every message on that platform.  Easy for some platforms, harder for others but always part of the ROI process

Track Everything: The overall campaign ROI is more than the sum of its' parts, but you need all the parts!  This means you document every @reply, video view, post, thread start, wall comment, status update and so on.

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