Monday, December 01, 2008

Social Media is More Measurable than Traditional Media

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Jacob Morgan poses a thoughtful question, "What's more measurable social media or traditional media, and why?" on his blog post, "Why Social Media is More Measurable than Traditional Media".

Morgan offers a number of ways that social media can be measured as part of an advertising or public relations campaign. He points out that typically traditional media is measured by "media impressions," or number of eyeballs that saw the ad or public relations piece. Surveys and questions are often also used as a follow-up to a campaign to gather statistics and gauge success.

I agree with Jacob that social media has many more ways of measurement and believe it is more effective in today's society to reach certain audiences.

I have modified Jacob's list the ways social media can be measured and calculated, the following are a few examples:

* The number of Web site hits and traffic measurement on your site with tracking sites or programs.

* Number of comments left on the Web site, blog, Facebook or Twitter account.

* Tracking of brand image perception through consumer feedback and interaction. This can be a great monitor of trends in consumer perceptions. Jacob notes that if consumers were bashing your brand a month ago but are now very happy with it. That can be seen as a success in change of brand perception.

* Number of times others have shared information about your brand or company. For example, "retweets" on Twitter are a great way to see the chain of word-of-mouth spread of information.

* Number of subscribers on your RSS feed, followers on Twitter, or friends on Facebook or other social media sites.

* Number of link backs to your page or to information about your company or brand. The more link backs you have the better it is for your site because of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Click the link to learn more about SEO from

The major difference between the measurements of each type of media has to do with their effect on the Return On Investment (ROI) for the business. Now more than ever consumers have ways to ignore messages with traditional media. Social media does require invested time but many Web sites are free and offer peer-driven, word-of-mouth interactions and rapid ways to disseminate your message. However, social media's success is often hard to predict at the outset. Morgan points out that best way to effectively measure social media is to look at many variables and overall social media impact. It is important to constantly evolve once your company is actively engaging.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your post to be very interesting and informative. I do agree that in a lot of ways social media is more measurable than traditional media.

As social media is becoming more and more popular, it will not be shocking if it eventually becomes more the norm than traditional media for many reasons, including its ability to be measured more easily.

One of the most effective ways to utilize social media is through blogging. Blogging can result in measuring of hits, comments, and can help trace traffic to company websites through the use of Google Alerts.

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We have also created an innovative service for our clients called Internet Advocacy. We are able to hone in on targeted blogs for our client's markets and post on their behalf about their products and services. It has proven to be effective and useful for ourselves and most importantly, the wide range of clients that we serve.

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