Social Media Monitoring and Measuring – hey whats the difference?

digital social media measurementMashable ran an article titled “Why you need to monitor and measure your brand on social media” . The author Maria Ogneva touched on the difference between monitoring and measurement. Very interesting article she has there.

Digital strategists look for data to better understand a particular situation and from there it attempts to offer a solution. So where does this data come from – in this context it would be listening to the conversation out there. Having been bombarded with the conversation – how do you make sense of it all? That is the question.

To monitor, there is a magnitude of tools out there, ranging from Google alerts (free) tosocial media monitoringRadian6 (paid). So what works? I cant answer that from you. For some, the free version works well, afterall, data is just data, its how you interprete the data that matters, isn’t it.

Alot of times people (read: clients) do not know the difference between monitoring and measurement (and also interpretation).

Whats is the point of monitoring – in my view the idea of monitoring is to garther insight and thereby use it to inspire strategy making. number (data) –> insights –> strategy – success in one audience generate success in another. Monitoring is pretty much useless if you cant interpreted to an action that ties in to company (campaign) objective.

Many a times, I hear companies say – so and so (competitor) have 5000 fans – in my mind (silently of course) – so what? what does these 5000 fans means? I can get you 10000 fans if you want – just give me the carrots (attractive) ones of course and I can bait. But sadly this is how it works out there. The success of a campaign is down to the number of fans…but isnt social media about conversation – candid conversation. Gone are the days of interruption marketing – we now need to engage and speak social language! So the advocates of social media says. we need interaction – we need to use their consumer language to make them act! of course in a subtle non-intrusive manner.

Typically, a successful online endeavour needs a plan and also questions that you need to ask your self.

Here are some…

  • Behavioural : everything you communicate to your customers has a purpose. What do you want them to know?
  • Essential : deliver information that your best propects and customers require to succeed in work or life – meet them expressed needs and wants – better still fulfil their latent needs.
  • Strategic: – your efforts must be an integral part of the company overall business strategy - link your online endeavour (social media) to bottom-line results.
  • Integrated Communication: Social media needs to be coherent with other modes BUT please do not just put a Press Release onto a social media platform (BIG MISTAKE).
  • Targeted – you need to target your content (i.e. products precisely so that it is truly relevant to your prospects. Shift consumer behaviour via education.
  • Ownership – get someone to spear head it and get that person to OWN it. I am a firm believer of people do not do what you say but what you paid. Pay for their behaviour and performance.

and last but not least – measure it! online can always be measured , but only if you have a clear understanding of your strategic communications objectives. just keep it simple – “how will we know that my content (social endeavour) is working to begin with….

What are your thoughts? I am keen to hear.

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