Unfortunately, there is a slim chance we will find a standard set of metrics for every brand. Brand goals differ, as do the metrics tied to those goals. It has been this way in public relations for years, and will likely be the same for social media as well.
Communications professionals should be leery of approaches that encourage them to measure social media like we measure advertising, or any other communications discipline. We’ve seen this story before with advertising value equivalencies.
Not only do AVEs assume that PR and advertising carry the same value within an organization, but the math behind some of the calculations is suspect at best. If you would like to read more on the subject, check out Don Bartholomew’s blog.
If it’s unlikely that we will find a standard measurement method and unwise to measure social media as we do other communications disciplines, what can we achieve?
I think we can do two things to improve social media measurement:
1. Understand basic measurement principles.
With the explosion of social media, it seems we’ve lost sight of proper communications planning. Communication plans include: