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One of the much touted terms used across Social Media Week 2014 was “vanity metrics”, the phenomenon of getting as many likes, +1s or followers as possible across your social channels. This is simply part of human nature and an expected by-product of social media it could be argued. Probably so, but either way it is a phenomenon that is impacting the evaluation of marketing campaigns and must itself be evaluated.
So what you’ve got 5,000 Twitter followers? Can you demonstrate value and tangible ROI from your +1s? The focus needs to shift back to quality over quantity: it is time to think about the evolution of social media measurement.
This means evaluating social media interactions for what they’re really worth. Benchmark against other interactions: a download is worth more than an RT, for example. And importantly, a download from a user with a perfect profile fit means more than a download from a journalist researching your brand.
In fact, it’s time to evolve from vanity metrics across the entire marketing strategy, which means it’s essential to have a thorough and in depth understanding of the value and ROI of your all your channels to market.
This “quality” philosophy should extend to all your channels and assets: so what you’ve got 500 downloads of your whitepaper? Can you link these downloads down the pipeline to sales?
Of course, the longer the industry buying cycle, the longer it will take to achieve these metrics, but more than ever, the marketing function needs to measure everything, and demonstrate the generation of qualified sales leads and ultimately, revenue.
Cross-channel measurement and reporting must become the norm. Referrals from all channels should be measured to their final outcome, and users should be tracked along the entirety of their buyer journey so that every sale can be evaluated across every touch point involved. This holistic view of metrics will better inform strategy and guide business decisions across the whole organisation.
Content marketing means that the marketing function have the opportunity to drive sales more than ever. But content marketers need to prove their worth by proving their revenue.
Tools used to implement and measure both ongoing and campaign activity should give you a holistic overview of campaign metrics across all platforms. Campaigns are integrated; it makes sense that the technology and systems to evaluate them must be too.
It is important to score and value social media appropriately, and it’s critical to put social metrics in context against the rest of your marketing activity. There is no doubt that channel integration will translate into metric integration. Just make sure yours are joined-up, so you can assign ROI accurately.