Posts Tagged ‘measurement’

Shark Week Puts Up Impressive Numbers Despite Backlash

Shark WeekAnother Shark Week has come and gone.

Everyone’s favourite week of television devoted to the worlds most cunning killing machine has just finished running for it’s 27th time. Yes, Shark Week has been an annual event on Discovery Channel since 1988 making it the longest running cable television programming event in history.

With such a long running history that pulls in millions of viewers a year, we were curious just how popular the event was on social media. To find out, we did a little digging on the social media numbers behind Shark Week by looking up mentions of it using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

We looked for mentions of #sharkweek OR “shark week” OR #sharkweek14 OR #sharkweek2014 and found 2,138 blog posts, 3,296 online news articles, 692 forum postings and 1,647,658 tweets between August 10-17.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

During the same time period we found 85,772 posts on Tumblr of all sorts that also made mention of Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Activity Summary

And on Facebook, we were able to find over 17,000 public status updates that were talking about Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Activity

These are pretty impressive numbers. But as we did a little more digging, we found that people didn’t seem to be as in to Shark Week as you might have thought. When we looked at how some of those numbers above played out over time in our popularity chart we found that Shark Week was a big deal when the week kicked off, but then tailed off as the week went on. Sunday August 10th was the first night of Shark Week and was the day that saw the most people talking about it. As the week progressed though people were talking less and less about Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

Another disturbing thing that we found while looking at the numbers around Shark Week was that people seemed to be complaining about it. When we looked at the sentiment around the entire week of shark related programming we actually found that only 11% of the conversations about Shark Week came through as positive. At the same time, a whopping 40% of Shark Week conversations had a negative connotation.

Sysomos MAP - Sentiment Summary

Some of this negative talk may have been due to some of the programming that has come into play over the years during Shark Week is fictional stories about sharks, while it was traditionally a week about learning real facts about sharks. This year Shark Week kicked off with a special called Submarine Shark. The story was based off the tales of a giant shark in South Africa that was actually made up by reporters in the area to see if they could fool readers. The tale grew into an urban legend with people claiming to catch a glimpse of the shark, but no evidence ever surfacing. People felt duped because they thought they were watching a documentary about a real shark and took to social media to complain about it. However, Discovery Channel never claimed that any of it was real and the the Shark Week Twitter account even asked it’s followers if they believe that the shark exists.

Despite people’s feelings about getting tricked or knowing that some of the programming was fictional, there’s no doubt that the talk in social media definitely put up some good numbers and did its job of raising awareness for a week of “killer” programming.

Collective Mourning and Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsWe’ve talked numerous times on this blog about how social media can bring the world together over a single event.

Whether it was a finale of a much loved TV show, a sporting event, or, the unfortunate death of a beloved public figure, there seems to be a want for people to connect (if it’s just by sharing the experience or actually talking about it) over these events.

The latest event like this that we’ve witnessed was with the sad news of Robin Williams passing on Monday night.

Within minutes of the news becoming public social networks were flooded with mentions and talk of the actor. There are few people in the world who could say that they didn’t enjoy at least one Robin Williams film, whether it was a children’s favourite like Aladdin, something that made everyone laugh like Good Morning Vietnam or even a dramatic portrayal such as Williams in Good Will Hunting. The man had entertained the entire world at some point or another and we all knew that and it brought us together over his passing.

But an interesting article in the New York Times on Tuesday asked the question of why we collectively mourn through social media? While there was no definitive answer to the question because it could be many reasons; from showing respect to just feeling the need to express yourself about something or someone that moved you, but part of the answer may be so people can say, I was there, I was part of that… (sorry to call it this, but for lack of a better word) event.

And many many people were part of this event.

A simple search on MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, for mentions of Robin Williams or the most used hashtag around the talk of #RIPRobinWilliams shows just how many peoples’ lives he touched, when many had never actually met the man.

At the time of writing this (on Wednesday afternoon) there have been millions of mentions across social channels. We were able to find mentions in 29,914 blog posts, 66,700 online news articles, 14,548 forum postings and 7,199,489 tweets all since Monday night when the news broke.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

In addition to those channels, we also found 14,151 videos that have mentioned the actor in their title or descriptions since Monday night.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

On Tumblr, the number of mentions in the same time frame showed 3,240,930 postings of various sorts.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Activity Grid

And the #RIPRobinWilliams hashtag has even been used 383,690 on Instagram.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

None of these are insignificant numbers.

After seeing these numbers it’s hard to call this anything but an event that brought the world together in a collective manner. But why?

We don’t have the answer and you may not either, but we want to know your opinion in the comments. Is the death of world renown person an “event”. Has it always been? Or has social media changed our idea of what an event is or can be?

Let us know below and let’s start a conversation about this.

The #SMmeasure Chat Gets A New Home On It’s 4 Year Anniversary

So much to measureFour years ago, when Sysomos became part of the Marketwired family, we wanted to do something to bring our two online communities together. The result was a weekly Twitter chat that focused around discussing issues about social media and the measurement and analytics associated with it that we called #SMmeasure.

Almost every week for the past four years we’ve gathered fantastic groups of people on Twitter to chat. Some of these people have been joining us for all four year, some have joined us for short periods of time and moved on and new people keep joining in on the discussion every week. These people range in knowledge from those who have just started working with social media and want to learn how to measure it and some have been in the industry for years and join to help others and get new ideas from different perspectives. No matter who has been in the chat though, every one of these people has been fantastic and we thank each and every one of them (and you) for being part of the community.

If you haven’t ever participated in the chat, we invite you to join us any Thursday at 9am(PST)/11am(CST)/12noon(EST) on Twitter.

Something that has really blown us away over the years about #SMmeasure is how it evolved so naturally. What started off as a weekly chat with some likeminded people blossomed into a full-blown community of people who share ideas and articles through the use of the #SMmeasure hashtag all week long. Some of the people that share over the hashtag don’t even participate in the chat; they just found it a good way to communicate about measurement in the social media world. To them (and you) we say thank you as well.

Today, we’re going to evolve the #SMmeasure chat just a tiny bit more. For years we’ve posting the chat’s questions on the Marketwired Facebook page and using the @Marketwired Twitter handle to help amplify the questions in the chat. But in our effort to focus in on our communities’ needs on both sides of the Marketwired and Sysomos families, we’ll be handing most of the #SMmeasure duties over to Sysomos.

From next week forward (because this post is appearing on both the Marketwired and Sysomos blogs today) the questions for the #SMmeasure chat will be posted on the Sysomos Facebook page. As well, the @Sysomos Twitter handle will be taking a more active role within the chat starting today.

Now, since we’re talking about the #SMmeasure chat on the blog today, we also thought we’d post today’s questions on the blog as well. And, because we’re also celebrating four years of #SMmeasure, we thought we’d take the questions from our first two chats (we hadn’t figured out yet that 5 questions was optimal for the hour long chat yet, so those two combined give us 5 questions) and look at how everyone’s thoughts and ideas on social media measurement have changed since 2010. You’ll also notice how some of the discussions we had back then have become irrelevant in four years and how others are still being discussed and debated. We think it will make for a very interesting hour.

So, without further ado, here’s the questions for today that were also our questions for the first two #SMmeasure chats in 2010:

  1. What are the most important elements to measure in social media?
  2. What tools do you use to measure social media?
  3. What’s more important to you; followers/fans vs. brand mentions?
  4. Which ranks higher on the priority list; growing followers/fans vs. growing discussions?
  5. What would you rather have; a few key people mentioning your brand vs. having masses of random people?

Don’t forget to check the Sysomos Facebook page every week from our here forward for the #SMmeasure questions of the week and please join us in the chat today (or any time) on Twitter by adding the hashtag to your tweets.

In case you forgot already, the #SMmeasure chat happens on Thursdays at 9am(PST)/11am(CST)/12noon(EST). See you there!

Product Updates: Heartbeat Mobile Dashboard and More

It’s been a little while since you last heard from us about product updates, but don’t let that fool you – we’ve been working diligently behind the scenes to make Heartbeat and MAP even better – easier to use and more relevant to your work.  Today’s announcements are just a start.

Some of the tricks up our sleeves include new features like in-place query editing in MAP, the ability to “Like” Facebook posts directly from Heartbeat and, most exciting of all, the Mobile Heartbeat Dashboard.

Keep reading for a full list of our latest updates.

Heartbeat Mobile Dashboard

Heartbeat has always been accessible by any mobile device. However, with more and more professionals constantly on the go and using their mobile devices as their primary access to information, we’ve given your Heartbeat dashboard a look more suited to the medium. Now, Heartbeat users can glance at their brand’s dashboard while on the go and quickly view their important information for the past 7, 14 or 30 days in an easy-to-read-and-understand format.

To access your Heartbeat mobile dashboard, simply point your mobile browser to http://hb.sysomos.com/mhb and login.

Heartbeat Mobile Dashboard

“Like” Posts and Comments on Your Facebook Fan Page Directly from Heartbeat

Let’s face it, not every fan post to your Facebook page or comment on one of your posts is going to require a full response. However, it’s always nice to let your fans know that you saw what they did and appreciate it. That’s why we’ve now given you the ability to “like” their actions directly from the Facebook tab in Heartbeat.

Previously, you could leave comments on a post from within Heartbeat, but now we’ve given you the ability to “like” what fans are doing as well. Right beside the post in Heartbeat you will see the thumbs-up symbol from Facebook. Just click on the icon to like the post on your Facebook Fan Page, in turn, showing your fans that you “like” them too.

Heartbeat, Powered By Sysomos - Facebook Engagement

Better Customization for Email Alerts in Heartbeat

Heartbeat’s email notifications are a great way to stay in touch and know what’s happening in social media around your brand. For those of you who use the Daily or Weekly email alerts (either under the “Your Heartbeats” – “Subscribe by Email” link on the bottom of the page OR via “Settings” – “Email Subscriptions”), we’ve given you a new way to get those alerts when you want them the most.

Previously, Daily or Weekly email notifications were only shown in Eastern Standard Time. Well, EST is no longer the standard. You can now customize Daily and Weekly email alerts to come in at the time you want them – such as in your own local time. When you set up a Daily or Weekly email alert now, select the time you’d like to receive the email and then beside it select the time zone in which you live. This way, the email alerts will always come in exactly when you want them to.

Heartbeat, Powered By Sysomos - Customize Email Alerts

Click Through to Your Top Influencers from the Heartbeat Dashboard

Ever want to know more about your brand’s top 5 influencers that you see on the right hand side of your Heartbeat dashboard? Now you can click directly on the influencer and be taken to his or her page, be it a Twitter page, blog, news site or something else.

Heartbeat, Powered By Sysomos - Top InfluencersEnhanced Edit In-Place MAP Queries

It’s never been difficult to edit a query in MAP, but we’ve made it even easier. Now instead of having to click on the “Modify” query button and enter your new query into the text box, you can simply click on the large display of your query and start editing. Just a simple enhancement to make your experience using MAP even easier than before.

MAP, Powered By Sysomos - Edit Queries

That’s all for this round of updates, but keep your eyes out for more amazing updates we have planned in the very near future.

If you’re already a client and want to learn more about any of these new features, please feel free to reach out to your account manager who will be more than happy to help you.

If you’re not already a client, but would like to learn more about these new features or our social media monitoring and analytics software, powered by Sysomos, feel free to contact us here.

#SMmeasure Celebrates 3 Years With The Queen of Measurement

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of the #SMmeasure Twitter chat!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the chat, allow me to give you a brief history. About three years ago we had great idea. We thought it was great that our customers were using our social media monitoring and analytics software to help measure, learn and gain insights into what was going on around their social media efforts. But this was still a bold new world where people were experimenting with new ideas, techniques and social networks. Not everyone was 100% positive that they were using listening, measuring and analytics to their full benefit. As well, we knew that not everyone was using our software to help them on their journey.

But we thought that with so many people out there who might have both questions around social media measurement and answers to others questions, why couldn’t we pool our collective intellects and venture into new territory together?

And so, the #SMmeasure chat came to be. Almost every a Thursday a group of us get together on Twitter at noon(EST)/9am(PST) and talk about different issues around measurement, analytics and just social media in general. Most weeks have a theme where four to five questions get tossed out to the community. Everyone in the chat is then welcome to answer, bounce ideas off others and also ask follow up questions. If you’ve never joined us for the chat, you really should.

What really makes the #SMmeasure chat great though is the community of people who participate. Over the years we’ve been fortunate to have a fantastic group of people participate in the weekly chat. From students to seasoned veterans across all kinds of industries, we’ve seen them all come to the chat to both learn and share their knowledge. But it didn’t stop at just the chat. People have also taken to using the #SMmeasure hashtag to share any interesting articles on the subject they find throughout the week or to even ask for help during non-chat hours. All of us (including myself) have learned a great deal from the #SMmeasure community.

So, on behalf of myself and Marketwired, we just want to give a huge thank you to everyone that has been part of the #SMmeasure community for the past three years. Thank you!

Since this Thursday (August 15th) we’ll be celebrating the third anniversary of #SMmeasure, we wanted to do something extra special for everyone. Every so often we do a BYOQ (Bring Your Own Questions) chat where community members come with measurement questions of their own to crowdsource answers from their peers. This week we’re going to be doing one of these chats. But instead of just being able to ask the community, we’ve invited a special guest to also help answer questions.

This Thursday, the Queen of Measurement herself, Katie Paine, will be joining us to co-moderate #SMmeasure and answer your questions. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Katie, you really should be. Let us a tell you a little bit about her:

Katie Delahaye Paine helps companies define success and design measurement programs for their PR, Social Media and Communications programs. For more than two decades, she has advised some of the world’s most admired companies and has been a leading promoter of standards in the PR and Social Media Measurement field, most recently as the initial organizer of the Conclave that released social media measurement standards in June. Her books, Measure What Matters (Wiley, March 2011) and Measuring Public Relationships (KDPaine & Partners 2007) are considered must reading for anyone tasked with measuring public relations and social media. Her latest book, written with Beth Kanter,Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, Using Data to Change the World,” is a finalist for the Terry McAdam Book Award. Her blog, kdpaine.blogs.com is also a must read. Paine was recently inducted into the PRNews Measurement Hall of Fame and also named the Society of New Communications Research “Fellow of the Year,” for her work in support of Social Media Research.

We’re very honoured to have Katie join us for this special edition of #SMmeasure.

If you have any questions that you’d like answered from a group of social media peers and Katie Paine, we invite you to submit your questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page (please tag your questions on our page with the #SMmeasure hashtag). Five questions will be selected as official questions for this week’s chat for everybody to help answer.

We hope to see you all on Thursday at noon(EST)/9am(PST) on Twitter for this very special event!

 

The Now Of Social Communication [Infographic]

You’ve already heard a lot this week about the evolution of our company. Our CEO, Michael Nowlan, wrote about what this change means and our COO, Jim Delaney, wrote about how these changes reflect a changing landscape for our customers and how we’re here to help you. Well, today we thought instead of telling you more, we’d actually show you.

Below we put together an infographic that shows how certain industries and business functions have changed over the years. Things like PR, marketing, customer service and reputation management have changed significantly just in the past 10 years alone. In order to help you do these things better, we as a company had to evolve as well to grow with you.

Take a look at the infographic to see how the industry used to operate (Then) and how our Marketwired suite of products, powered by Sysomos, can help you do your job better today and make smarter decisions for the future (Now).

We’ve evolved from a wire company to a wired company and we want to help you do the same.

Product Updates: Influencer Bio Searches, Google+ Fan Pages and More

Today we have some great product updates and a big announcement

In our continued pursuit of excellence here at Sysomos we have some exciting developments to share with you today. As usual with these emails, we have some great updates to both the MAP and Heartbeat software that we think you’re really going to enjoy. But first, we have something even more exciting to tell you about…

Sysomos is now officially a Twitter Certified Partner!

center

Being a part of the Twitter Certified Partner Program solidifies the benefit we provide in helping businesses learn and act upon what their customers are saying on Twitter. Being part of this program allows us to take full advantage of the Twitter platform and innovate to solve business needs. Essentially this means that our products will be constantly improving to make sure you are getting the best possible information and insights from Twitter to do your job better.

 

And now, here’s our latest round of product updates:

  

Twitter Trends

With brands always looking for ways to benefit from real-time marketing, it’s important for them to know what’s going on and what people are talking about at all times. That’s why we’ve added a new section to both MAP and Heartbeat that shows you what is currently trending on Twitter. These trending topics can be viewed on a worldwide basis, by country or even as specific as major cities around the world. So whether you’re a global, national or local business, you can see what the people who matter to you are talking about.

In MAP, this feature can be found in the left-hand column of the dashboard. In Heartbeat you can find it on the right-hand column of the Twitter tab.

Updated Tutorial Videos

As part of a continued commitment to our clients, you will notice updates to the Help section of both Heartbeat and MAP. In the Heartbeat Help section you can find 11 new tutorial videos and 5 new downloadable cheat sheets. In MAP there are 11 new tutorial videos and 2 new downloadable cheat sheets. The look and layout of the help section in Heartbeat and training section in MAP has also changed to make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for. Continue to watch for more updates in the coming weeks!

 

Twitter Influencer Bio Search

Not everyone talks a lot about their work or interests on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean they’re not influential to others about those things. With our new Twitter Bio Search you can now search directly in people’s bios for ways they describe themselves.  The Bio Search also allows you to look for people with certain numbers of followers and apply country filters to your search. So now, you can find moms from Toronto with more than 500 followers, but less than 1000. Or you can find dentists in Chicago with over 5000 followers.

 

Analyze A Google+ Fan Page

With Google+ being the latest social network to get its feet underneath it, it’s important to know what’s happening with your company’s page. Now you can link your Google+ Fan Page directly into your Heartbeat so you can always know exactly what is going on. Just like Facebook and LinkedIn pages in Heartbeat, the addition of Google+ will show you the latest activity on your page, a buzzgraph of what’s being said and the overall sentiment of the page. If you’d like to attach your Google+ Fan Page to your Heartbeat, your account manager would be more than happy to help you do so.

Edit Email Alerts

We’ve made it easier to edit your email alerts that come from Heartbeat. The importance of things that you monitor can sometimes change from not important to very important, or from very important to not so important, so your update frequencies will need to change as well. Rather than starting from scratch on the alert, we’ve made it easy to go in and edit how and when you receive them. Simply go into the Email Subscriptions tab in your Settings and you can quickly change the settings to any of your email alerts.

New User Roles

As social media teams expand within companies, we’ve discovered a greater need for different roles and what they can do in Heartbeat. Because of this we’ve added two new roles that you can assign to people on your team; Supervisor and Director. These are in addition to the roles that already exist; User, Manager and Administrator. These changes can be made in the Manage Users section of Settings.

Product Updates: We Tell You The Best Time To Tweet and More

The year may almost be over, but we’re not slowing down.  We have a ton of new features for MAP and Heartbeat that we’ve recently added and are excited to share with you. A lot of these features make your social media data easier to access, view, understand and, of course, give you insights into your online communities.Some of these new features include a way to see when the best time to reach your Twitter followers, quick access to data around spikes in conversations, and aggregated data for companies using multiple Heartbeats. Just keep reading to learn more about these and other exciting updates.
   Best Time To Tweet
Over the years, multiple studies have been done to show when Twitter users are most active. We even released some statistics around this a few years ago. The problem with these stats is that they’re a generalization of the entire Twitterverse, but may not necessarily be true of your specific Twitter audience. As of right now, we have a solution to that problem for you.

Now in both MAP and Heartbeat you can see when a specific Twitter account’s followers are most active. This chart looks at when the account’s followers tweet and colour codes the activity by date and hour. The darker blue a square is, the more activity is happening in that hour. This will give brands the knowledge to know when their communities are most engaged on Twitter, which is likely the best time to tweet to them. The chart will also show you averages for weekdays and weekends.

The Best Time To Tweet chart can be found under the Twitter User Details tab in MAP and the Analyze tab of Twitter Engagement Central.

Highlights of Activity Spikes from Popularity Charts
We’ve made it easier to see what’s causing an activity spike in MAP’s Popularity Charts. Previously, you would highlight an activity spike to narrow in on specific dates and spike, then refine your entire query to look at data from the spike. Now, when you highlight an activity spike in the chart, highlights of that spike appear underneath.

When you highlight an activity spike, we now show you a word cloud and buzzgraph to show you highlights of the conversation causing the spike. As well, the highlights section shows you demographic data about who’s talking to cause the spike.

See More Data Around the Most Retweeted Tweets
Have you ever wanted to know more about who’s retweeting popular tweets? Well, MAP now gives you a way to see more data around the people retweeting. Under the Most Retweeted Twitter tab, hover over a specific popular retweet and you’ll now see options to click on more information about the Reach of the tweet in question and the Demographics of the retweeters.

Analyze A LinkedIn Page
MAP now gives you the ability to analyze the activity on any companies LinkedIn page. This could be your page, a competitors, or any company you might be interested in knowing more about. Simply put in the company’s LinkedIn page’s URL and click analyze.

MAP will then bring up information around what’s happening on that page. You’ll see information around how many people follow that page, number of posts, number of likes for posts, product information and recommendations, latest updates, a word cloud of the activity on the page and sentiment.

New CSV Formatting
Content search CSV exports will be updated to a new enhanced format on Friday, November30th. Currently, different media sources each have their own format for content CSV exports. With this update, a single unified format will be used across all sources when exporting search content. New CSVs will also include local time in addition to EST timestamps.

If you are not ready for the new CSVs, you can temporarily switch back to the existing format by navigating to the Settings page. The current format will be available till Jan 31, 2013 for compatibility before being retired.

 

New Activity Summaries for Click-Throughs on Charts
On the Heartbeat dashboard we give you a high view of all the information that you can find as you make your way through the platform. But sometimes you want that information even faster. We heard you ask, and have now made all the charts in the dashboard clickable to take you to a summary page for that specific information.

For example, if you notice a spike in Twitter activity for a certain day on your dashboard, simply click on that spike in the activity summary and you’ll be transported to a summary page for that information. The summary page will show you a 24-hour breakdown of the Twitter activity on that day. You will also find other Sysomos leading analytics, such as sentiment and text analytics, for the specific data you’re looking at on the summary page.

More Aggregated Data for Heartbeat Enterprise View
Some of the larger brands that we work with require more than one Heartbeat to keep track of all their data. That was why earlier this year we released Heartbeat Enterprise View. As of today, it’s now easier to see all the information you need from these multiple Heartbeats together in one place.

First, we have updated the Enterprise View measure page. You can now compare your Heartbeats side-by-side to see how different aspects of your social business are stacking up. In addition to this, we’ve also given you the ability to see the information from multiple Heartbeats combined.

Second, we have added advanced filtering to the Enterprise View measure tab. This means that you can get very specific with the aggregated data that you’re looking at. For example, you can now look at the data from multiple Heartbeats together, but only in the USA and all data but not Twitter.

Lastly, we’ve also updated the email updates for Enterprise view. You can now get email updates sent to you that compare your multiple Heartbeats, or see all the data combined right in your inbox.

If you are already a Sysomos subscriber and want to learn more about any of these updates, please don’t hesitate to contact your account reps.

And if you’re not a Sysomos subscriber but would like to learn about these and other features of MAP and Heartbeat, please feel free to contact us.

Measure for Social Media Success

Social media is not an easy game to play. It’s a challenge to create a strategy and then tactically execute on it, but one of the big ingredients for success is measurement.

Surprisingly, it is something that is still too overlooked by some.

The obvious question is: why is measurement still seen as an afterthought?

I think the answer is simple. A lot of energy is spent building a campaign and building an audience. While this is important, these campaigns can fail to have the expected impact without measurable goals.

Key performance indicators (KPI) coupled with the proper plan will reveal the success or failure of any campaign or endeavour.

Of course, an important element within the measurement mix is the sentiment. A campaign can easily reach billions of people, so it’s vital to know not only know what is being said but the sentiment that underlies it.

You could make a good argument that measurement is the most vital area to spend resources on; both people and monetary. Some might argue about it, but what can’t be argued is that without measurement, you could unwisely spend a lot of time and money.

Bottom line: Measurement should be discussed at the beginning of any planning session or brainstorm.

I think the first question that needs to be asked is does your brand or agency measure effectively?

 

 

 

 

 

What Are Your Most Important Social Metrics?

How do companies measure their success with social media? What are the best metrics to use?

It would be great if there was an easy answer but the reality is measurement is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. It means each company could have a different set of metrics to assess the performance of their social media programs.

So how do companies select the right metrics? It really depends on its goals and objectives, which, of course, could vary.

Some companies, for example, will be focused on attracting more sales. As a result, the most important metrics could be Web site traffic that generate sales or leads. Other companies may be looking to improve their customer service or solicit feedback to support new product development. This would put the spotlight on metrics such as engagement, conversations and ideas.

The most important consideration is establishing goals and the most relevant metrics when a social media strategic and tactical plan is being created. This provides a benchmark that can be measured against going forward.

For companies that have already embraced social media, they need to examine whether the metrics being used are relevant (if they are, in fact, using metrics) or whether a new set of metrics have to be established.

Once a company has decided on metrics, it becomes important to measure against them on a regular basis. This will, hopefully, provide a company with a good indication of what’s happening, or it will show that maybe the wrong metrics are being used or a new set of metrics needs to be developed to reflect a change in a company’s strategic direction.