I attended last night’s Third Tuesday (which was finally held on a 3rd Tuesday) and the topic was “More than just an Act of Faith. How do we measure social media?” The organizers invited a panel which included Katie Paine, President of KD Paine and Partners and author of Measuring Public Relationships. Joining Katie will be Marshall Sponder, the Chair of the Web Analytics Association`s Community and Social Media committee, and Marcel Lebrun, President of Radian6.
Lots of different thoughts were shared about what to measure, tools, different social media campaigns which have achieved their goal and some that didn’t quite make audiences go “wow.” Throughout all of this the one thing that I was surprised that was not discussed was the step before measurement, monitoring of social media. Let’s be honest here, social media isn’t new, we’ve been doing, hearing and talking about this stuff for at least three years. The practice of monitoring by public relations professionals isn’t new either, companies have been offering these services for years and now we even have companies dedicated to monitoring of social media. My big
surprise disappointment came last night when I had asked the attendees how many are monitoring what is being said about their clients in social media? Out of a room of just over 100, I counted less than 5 hands being raised. The room was quick to jump and defend their turf with “we have a limited budget to work with” or “clients only want to spend on monitoring when there is a business pain.” I found all these to be variations of the same general excuse! We’re in a world where agencies are expected to set the standards and teach clients, they wouldn’t need you if they knew how to do their own campaign would they? If we’re going to get together and talk, then let’s make sure that at the end of the discussion we’ve raised the bar.
Earlier in the day there was a roundtable on Social Media Measurement and Metric, but imagine if within the public relations industry it became standard practice to monitor what is being said about your clients? Agencies could potentially increase their billable hours and clients would have a much better idea on how and what to use to generate an ROI, but also a much better idea of where their money is being spent. Let’s take something as simple as Google Alerts, a rep has to take time to set up key words important to that client, say “Company’s Name” and “Product A”, not a lot of time, but now do the same using a few different tools and different social media such as Tweet Scan which helps you monitor what is being said on Twitter, approximately 1 hour. Next you’ll need to set aside time on either a daily or weekly basis to gather all the data, about hours. Now the work comes into play, taking all the disparate data and formalizing it into a report for your client, about another hours. Conservatively that is an additional 5 hours that you spend working on a client’s behalf.
If you are a client, then isn’t this type of information critical to your business? I mean who wants to be the next Kryptonic locks or “Dell Hell“, on a smaller scale but yet important because it has been consistently happening for over 1 year in the form of comments from consumers on Profectio.com. Can you imagine being the brand manager having to report to the CMO as to why “Your Company Sucks” is the number one Google entry.[ad]