Understanding Social Media Measurement

PR measurement can be confusing and complicated in its traditional form, let alone adding social media to the mix.  Many PR pros are still in the process of trying to figure out the best way to measure social media and use it to help meet business goals.  I recently read a great post entitled How Do You Measure Social Media by Tim Penning.  This associate professor, does a great job of explaining what traditional PR evaluation looks like and then pointing out it’s equivalent in the social media world.

In reading this post I couldn’t help but notice that the same rules that apply in traditional media measurement, also apply to social media measurement.  He starts by making sure that we are focused on goals.  He suggests asking the question:  How is social media helping meet established business goals? Instead of:  How is our social media doing?

This is something that I have learned is very important if you want to cut through the amount of data out there and get clients and executives specific answers to their questions.

Another thing I love about this post is his way of pointing out the weakest forms of measurement to the most sophisticated and effective in both traditional and social medias.  He seems to agree that just reporting media coverage is not nearly as effective as measuring change in awareness, attitude or action.  This, of course, goes back to meeting specific goals.

One of the things Mr. Penning points out about social media is its success at establishing a relationship between business and customer.  What do you think?  Have your clients had success in establishing positive relationships with customers through social media?



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