Measuring the effectiveness of social media at MeasurementCamp

So, how do you convince the guy with the money to let you build that fun Facebook App/Flash game/etc.? It's one thing explaining it so that they agree that it's a good idea, but it's another getting them to cough up with the cash (or go-ahead to build it, which can essentially be seen as ultimately as 'cash'). These type of social media applications need to have their own ways of being measured so that we know that we aren't just throwing good money away. Traditionally, Marketing has developed things like magazine readership figures, TV viewing figures, Cost per lead from a mailshot, etc. to try to measure 'success'. Can similar metrics be defined for social media?


I went to a monthly event called Measurement Camp today. The purpose of which is to create a set of open source resources which allow interested parties to measure their social media communications online and offline. The event is refered to as a Camp partly to jump on the BarCamp tip, but mainly because it is a sort of casual workshop where people from different backgrounds work together to share their experiences.

This month's workshop was based around a scenario.

The Scenario Building on the success of the British Cycling at the Olympics, Tour de France, Giro and many other road and track events in 2008, "Halfjords" are working with 15 regional cycling clubs covering Great Britain and providing £500k worth of cycles and kit and awards to create specialist events for 8-16 year old boys and girls.

Objective is to encourage young cyclists without means or equipment to train and try competitive track/road cycling and provide support to clubs generating interest at a grass roots level.

"Halfjords" wish to be positioned as a supporter of grass roots cycling, supportive national/local business and to increase turnover from sales of kid’s bikes and cycling equipment outside of key Christmas/Summer sales periods.

Using traditional, online, broadcast PR, local, national and in-store advertising/P.O.S, in-store events, educational materials for schools, supporting web site with community creation tools, email campaigns, search campaigns, dedicated helpline telephone number etc, how would you:

Benchmark and measure success using traditional marketing metrics? What can you learn from traditional marketing metrics that you might use in your campaign? Do they apply? Are they useful? What is your social media strategy and how would you measure this? Do any SM metrics stand out in this campaign as 'hard to measure using any other media or marketing channel? The Discussion Lots of things came out of the discussion:

What is the actual aim of the brief: "do something nice + be seen to be doing something nice -> increased sales outside of Xmas" What is the target measure: "increase in year-on-year sales" What is the strategy: lots of different social media things could be done and each can be measured in similar and different ways How do you know that it was the social media that did it?: Have a geographical control area where you don't do your traditional TV and billboard marketing There were a lot more points than this, but these was some of the key ones for me. I was heartened by the focus on defining the campaigns before they were implemented rather than just saying "let's build a Facebook App!". I look forward to next month's session.

It's All In The Game blog (c) 2005-16 by Jez Nicholson