Measuring what matters… in real-time

A new blog post and report from Forrester Analyst, Nate Elliott, Social Media Marketing Metrics That Matter, defines a framework for social media measurement. There is some great thinking here. This image provides an overview of his framework:

The core idea is around segmenting social metrics by audience role: social strategist, marketer, executive. And while Nate correctly states, “if you’re focusing on fans and followers then you’re almost certainly doing it wrong” he goes on to suggest that social strategist should focus on just that.

Here is my problem with this approach:

The assumption is that there is a correlation between social activity (fans, followers, etc.) and real business objectives. Only if organizations are able to make that correlation, which will change over time, should they continue to track and measure social activity metrics and even then it minimizes the value of the social strategist role.

Secondly, this framework suggests real business value metrics are only evaluated on a quarterly or annual basis when senior management is involved. The benefit of social, or any interactive medium, is the ability monitor and adjust real-time. Only by empowering social strategist with real business metrics can they make the adjustments necessary to optimize your programs to maximize revenue, not retweets.

Segmentation makes sense, but all marketers need to take advantage of interactive mediums by measuring what matters and doing so in real-time.

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