Show Us The Money

84% of communications professionals worldwide simply haven’t been measuring the ROI of their Social Media programs. That’s what they confessed when asked in August 2009 by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, for their study “Social Software In Business”. And we’re not just talking about chilling on Facebook — the study’s definition of Social Media included “blogs, chat, discussion boards, microblogs, podcasts, ratings sites, social networks, video-sharing, wikis and the like”.

It was a gloriously giddy time, but now reality is biting. Marketers (or, perhaps worse, their CEOs and CFOs) are starting to demand social metrics.

SmartBrief on Social Media‘s mid-August 2009 newsletter posed the question to its readership of social media marketers: What is the most important metric to track in social media?

The results:

  • Virality (the reach of your brand and how much your message is spread), 35%
  • Sentiment (positive, negative or indifferent consumer reaction), 32%
  • Financials (the effect social media has on your bottom line), 20%
  • Volume (number of comments, blog posts, tweets, links, etc. about your brand), 11%
  • Other, 2%

It’s a conversation that’s beginning to happen in Australia and New Zealand as well, according to Nielsen Online. The market research organisation, whose metrics are “the currency” for traditional media measurement in New Zealand, already provides Word of Mouth listening tools in this region, and is likely to be getting into social media metrics in due course.

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