Social Media Measurement Challenges & Their Solution

Friday - 12 July 2013

By implementing the new Social Media Standards, you can skip the first three stages of social media measurement love.

Simon Kendrick, an audience analyst for the BBC, examines Eight Challenges to Measuring Off-Site Social Media Performance. The BBC’s social media measurement issues reflect the challenges most organizations find when measuring their social media performance.

The challenges include: 

1. Lack of a single credible measurement source, such as Nielsen for TV or Arbitron for radio in the U.S.;

2. Limited ability to identify geographic source of social media posts;

3. Inability to aggregate data across multiple accounts;

4. Lack of standardization of metrics and measurement approaches across social media platforms;

5. Inability to distinguish active users of social media from inactive – that is, lack of recency data;

6. Ambiguity in sentiment analysis and determining customer behavior;

7. Disagreement on parameters and which social media activity is relevant;

8. Difficulty measuring any form of impact.

The solution to these challenges:  Implement the new Social Media Standards. As revealed in the feature article in last week’s issue, a consortium of PR, social media and media measurement organizations has promulgated a new set of PR measurement standards.

K.D. Paine, in her typical “let’s get it done” style, outlines 7 Reasons Why You Should Implement the New Standards Now. (“To prove Katie right” is not one of the seven reasons). In short, applying standards will make you smarter, save you time and money, put your measurement program on equal footing with everyone else, and make vendor selection easier. And, as she points out:

No more hours of meetings arguing about what a “hit” is or what the definition of advocacy or engagement is. It’s all there at www.smmstandards.org.

Agreed-upon definitions of standards means everyone has the same measures of success. The most important social media activity comes to light.

Bonus: Successfully implementing the standards will also make switching jobs easier and make you a more attractive job candidate.

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