Are Too Many Social Metrics Damaging our View of Social Media Value?

In a recent webinar with Forrester and Brandwatch, Nate Elliott (of Forrester) laid out some of the issues social media marketers are facing when proving value to the brands they service. A few points stood out to me and I wanted to share in hopes that we can all become better social media marketers.

First, social media marketers believe in the value of social media.

When asked, social practitioners (that is, those who manage channels and are actively engaged in the social media space) reported that they largely believe social media marketing provides business value. While these numbers were lower overall than I would have expected, Social Managers (that is, brand managers who oversee the social tactics) are even less sure. Particularly when it comes to promoted Twitter content.

CMsVs.ManagersSeeingValue in Social Media Marketing

Are TOO MANY metrics to blame?

Why the large disconnect in the perception of value between these two audiences?

Elliott believes this is the fault of social media marketers and our willingness to provide too many possible business metrics. In an analysis of Forrester Groundswell Award entries, they found that marketers had provided 57 different success metrics. (Yes, that’s right. There are over 40 things in the “other” category.)

With social media marketers providing so many different measures of success, it’s understandable that marketers may be confused about where the value really is in social media tactics.Finding Value in Organic Social is a Problem3

Part of the issue lies in access to the social listening and monitoring tools.

Fifty-three percent of marketers reported that measuring the performance of the profiles is the largest challenge they face. While this may have to do with an inadequate analysis of the social media data, Brandwatch believes that a large portion of this is due to the platforms and information marketers can access. Brandwatch, an Enterprise Social Intelligence platform, (kind of obviously) believes that marketers are only tapping into a portion of the social media data available to us.

Marketing teams who measure social value throughout the customer journey will succeed in the end.

Forrester Customer Life CycleBrandwatch and Elliott believe that brands who use data to influence and derive value from all points of the customer journey will succeed in the end, and I couldn’t agree more.

Valuable social media marketing assigns strategies and tactics to specific areas of the customer journey, and then aligns the measurement that matters to these specific aspects.

For instance, if you’re still only looking at social media marketing as an awareness platform, you’re likely missing 3/4th of the overall value that it can provide to your brand. If you’re turning a deaf ear to what your social media advocates and existing customers are saying, you may be missing out on a gold mine of marketing insight.

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