Social Media Metrics – Setting the standard

Repost from a guest article I wrote for The Social Penguin Blog
. Check out the orginal story for any comments. Kelly

It feels like forever that I’ve been banging on about how important it is to measure your social media activity. In actual fact it’s only been a year but in that space of time knowledge and acceptance of social media metrics has risen astronomically. Many have even predicted that 2011 will be the year of the social media metric.

Around the summer in 2010 two separate social media measurement standards were launched; The Barcelona Principles from AMEC/IPR for PR professionals and the Social Media Measurement Framework from the IAB Social Media Council for Advertising and Marketing professionals. Both were created by representatives of their prospective industries and have set out to become the accepted standards for social media measurement.

Industry standards

The Barcelona Principles were the result of a 2 day European Summit on Measurement in Barcelona (naturally). The 7 Principles act as a statement of good practice in social media measurement for the global PR community, it sets a standard and lets individuals decide how they can best meet the principles.

The Barcelona Principles
The Barcelona Principles

The IAB Social Media Measurement Framework sets out a process for organisations or individuals to follow to collect effective social media metrics. Using the IAB acronym the framework looks at Intent; setting objectives to define KPI’s, Defining the KPI’s for your activity; the 4 A’s (Awareness, Appreciation, Action and Advocacy) and Benchmarking your results against industry averages.

The IAB Framework
The IAB Framework

Today IAB have released a new digital guide to accompany their framework making it more accessible and easy for organisations to implement. Essential it’s a How To guide for social media metrics even offering suggesting appropriate metrics for different types of campaigns. (Page 15 if you’re interested.)

What does this mean for us?

If you are already doing social media measurement the chances are that this is old news to you but for small businesses, where the CEO and Marketing Officer are often the same person, it’s hard to know where to start. Making these kinds of guides and principles common knowledge makes social media analytics accessible to more than the geeks like me and is a step closer to them becoming accepted industry practice. The ones most commonly used are the ones that stick around.

If everyone was to begin operating to these standards;

  • Measurement would become more common place (and people will stop looking at me like I have two heads)
  • The data collected will become more accurate and relevant
  • Perceived value in social media will rise as activity can be linked to the bottom line.

Demystfying social media analytics just got a big boost, now no more accusations of chicken bones and voodoo please.

Read the IAB Social Media Measurement Guide and Barcelona Principles in full.


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