December Manchester measurement camp revolved around how it is better to measure the business impact of a social media campaign than measure the media outputs i.e. Third party blog posts, unique visitors, click thrus etc. I know that’s stating the obvious a tad, but if we can focus on showing how social media helped the business or organisation, then it is more likely to be accepted as the effective marketing discipline it is by the powers that be.
However, we did realise that it is easier said than done. The hard bit is to separate out cause and effect of a marketing campaign. The simplest way to do that is to get hold of all the data you can and try and isolate the things that change and correlate them to a change in the business. For example, if you know that sales are tracking at 50 units a week; you introduce a social media campaign and sales increase to 70 units a week and nothing else changes significantly, then you can safely assume that the social media campaign caused the increase. It probably wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, but it is damn sight better than saying ‘we’ve got 500 followers’. It is often difficult to get hold of such data, but it’s worth asking and definitely worth thinking about when planning a campaign.
The next thing we want to do is look at benchmarking and try to get some idea of what is good, bad or mediocre to expect from a campaign. Naturally, outcomes will vary dramatically and it is unlikely no one situation will ever be the same, but if we start sharing best practice and what success lok slike, then we will all have a better idea of how to forecast campaign outcomes.