A week ago today, I spoke to Marshall Sponder for the very first time. I was quite excited, because I’ve been following his blog for ages.
I mean, when you spell “measurement geek,” you are really spelling M-A-R-S-H-A-L-L-S-P-O-N-D-E-R.”
That’s how much into measurement he is!
Marshall and I have been trying to connect for a long time, and I’ve always wanted to have him as a guest on #measurePR. With his new book, Social Media Analytics just out, this was the perfect time. So he showed up, took several questions, and left us wanting more.
I do have a transcript for you, but here’s some of what Marshall said:
- On why social media ROI is so difficult to measure: “… because we don’t have the data we need and no standard formulas for it.” He also pointed to this very interesting paper he authored last year on “spectrum analytics for social media ROI.” It’s really good, so please do read it.
- On how to find your audience for your campaign or message, and measure their activity: “… break down your business goals and match them up with your measurement goals.”
- On the challenges/advantages of monitoring social media internationally and multi-culturally: “… we need people who understand the languages crawling data in different character sets than our own – and we don’t always have a handle on ‘linguistic variants’/slang.”
There was more on control groups and A/B testing, but I’ll just leave you with the transcript of our chat with Marshall from August 2. I know you’ll enjoy digging into it.
Marshall’s coming back to #measurePR next week, so I hope you’ll join us, especially if you weren’t able to make it the last time. August 16, 12-1 pm ET. Please save the date!
[…] TweetLast week Marshall Sponder returned to the bi-weekly #measurePR Twitter chat. As I said when I wrote up his previous “appearance,” this is someone who eats, lives, breathes measurement, and that always makes for a good […]
[…] has put up the summary and transcript of last Tuesday’s interview (8/02/11) on her Waxing UnLyrical site. Shonali describes me as… I mean, when you spell “measurement geek,” you are really […]
@jocmbarnett Thanks for sharing!
Woo hoo! Thanks, sad I missed it but I’m excited to read the transcripts. Your teasers alone already have me hooked!
It’s not only the right data that’s needed, but the formulas to plug into them also need to be re-thought out and defined for Social Media. We shouldn’t be using ROI formulas and calculations based on brick and mortar and financial entities for Social Media ROI without some modifications, as ROI needs to be redefined, in my opinion (and I said as much in my book and Spectrum Analytics white paper last year).
Also, the third leg is standards bodies such as the IAB, CIPR, WAA, etc, etc, need to come up with a set of standards for measuring social media, much as they did for banner advertising and more recently, for video advertising and video streaming (the IAB’s VAST standard – see http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/29/brightroll-says-video-ad-profits-are-soaring/ which I wrote in 2009, where the VAST standard was able to incorporate most of the standard practices advertisers were using for video advertising into a drafted ruleset, or template, all could adopt.
I’ll argue the same is needed here – and it’s not like the IAB hasn’t tried, or the CIPR isn’t trying, as much as the conflicted landscape and pulls to sit down at the same table and agree on a way to operate that is transparent – most vendors, including Facebook, haven’t really wanted to do that – they’d prefer to define activities on their network in a way that maximizes their ability to sell ads – and that’s all fine – but when you take those desires to control your own territory and project it out to the world – it creates a different type of problem -more like the technological tower of babel I refer to in my book (actually, I refereed to the Tower of Babel in chapter 3 in regards to language) but there’s another, based on technology -and DNA/Culture.
The upshot is, we have to balance, or contain two contradictory trends that has largely created the ROI conundrum we have before us.
– The ability to innovate freely suggests that businesses need their own platform technologies, tools, metrics and measurement approaches; having standards bodies impose messaging formats, exchange rates and the like, hamper creativity – and democracy is an engine of innovation – so no one really wants standards, believe it or not.
– The need to inter operate – to be able to build off the efforts of others instead of re-inventing the wheel every time a piece of code is written, or platform offered, suggests a strong need for standards and protocols that need to be universally adopted, including those for Social Media ROI,
As in life, it’s rare to see both opposites reconciled entirely – the best one can hope for, given the current set of circumstances is Containment – the ability to innovate within a framework that is widely adopted. This is, after all, what the Financial system is, for whatever you want to say about it, and what Social Media ROI today, isn’t.
I also brought out in my Spectrum Analytics paper, and in the book that data needs to be captured in all the right places AND, in the right format, and that business goals and measurement goals need to be closely aligned – much as your hands fold together.
Hope that helps,
Social Media ROI is tricky. It depends on what the platforms and goals are. For PR often it is to see how many people are talking about your brand or business. Problem is with 70% of Facebook accounts 100% private you are left with Twitter (only 30-40mil people worldwide active each day) and Blogs. And of course every time I see something via social media and I share via verbal, email, SMS text which means a success the PR or Marketer will never see that. I have estimated that over 99% of our daily communication takes place in non-social media.
That said for Marketers it can be different. I can track coupons. I can track anything that involves clicks and hopefully sales.
Just addressing the first point:
I have to leave this person anonymous. They work running Social for a Fortune 100 Company that has over 1.5 million fans on their Facebook Page. I mentioned FB claims claimes they can reach 150mil people which is 100 per fan:
“That’s fb’s calculation of fans * the fan’s community/friends. Obviously more than our fans see impressions.
Can’t make money on “earned media” bahaha
If their 100 per fan calc is right than 200000 per post impressions means only 2k fans see a post ;)”
So what they just said is when they post and Facebook shows 200k Impressions in reality only 2k really saw the post. If you reach only 2k out of 1.5mil and you are a Fortune 100 company……no of course Likes and Comments help expand that but not by anything significant in my opinion. Even if they had 100 Likes and added then 2000 views fro friends etc that is still zero when divided by 1.5 million.
I bring this up because this is part of the problem for ROI measurement. Facebook will give you a different answer. One that benefits them based on wild assumptions because no one can challenge them directly. I think there is no standard way. I bet many community managers and CMO’s will tell the CFO they got 200k views because Facebook says that to look impressive.Mashable will support this to keep the aura. The talking heads making money giving speeches will also support this to keep the aura.
But with most CFOs and CEOs clueless they just look at sales numbers and then possibly getting conflicting data from various biased sources…..how does one be believed even if you have the right data?