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Overview: social media metrics

All this hubbub about social media marketing has prompted me to scour the web for what organizations are doing about implementing this as part of their customer life cycle management strategy. If this scenario hasn't happened in your workplace yet, it might some day and it's best to at least have a body of knowledge when your boss or client asks for your insight about this very topic.

For a top-level overview, poplabs has put together a pretty succinct presentation about social media metrics. The premise behind the slides is: how do you measure the impact of your social media marketing campaign?

According to poplabs, social media is supported on the techdev side by entities like YouTube, Technorati, FeedBurner, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Facebook, VIRB, MySpace, twitter, Pownce, digg, del.icio.us, etc. There is a growing trend in the number of companies willing to adopt conversation marketing as a means to include customers in a product or service life cycle. Ultimately, this creates solid customer relationships because the customer believes they are not only being heard, but something is being done about it. Social media is an interrelational strategy that collaborates with and connects to web and internet marketing strategy.

Web strategy encompasses where customers get their news and information about a company's products and services. It should first be a solid, well developed website with all the necessary details a customer needs to perform a transaction, or as marketers call it, to respond to a call-to-action (e.g., customer fills out a contact form, requests more information or a demo, or purchases directly from the website).

Internet marketing strategy covers how the customers are pushed or pulled to website properties, whether it's by affiliate networks, banner ad exchanges, pay per click (PPC), search ads (SEO, SEM), or through online public relations efforts.

Social media enables customers to have an open feedback channel with a company, its core product groups, or with specific brands. It is supposed to use one-to-one relationships and personal-or-business social networks to succeed.

Influence and Engagement are two metrics that poplabs identifies as being the most important for social media. These concepts have always been around since the dawn of marketing where a person's influence traditionally drives referrals and cross-sell opportunities; and engagement is how far a referral is willing to become a lifetime customer of a particular product or service.

Tracking and measuring social media is also nothing new. This involves classic competitive intelligence where you look at key employees and CXOs, relevant industry sites, domains and urls, product/service names, product/service urls, tracking competitor activity for like products/services, insider activity, newsgroups, blog comments, etc.

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