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Four perspectives on social media ROI

What do you get when you ask four marketing experts for their best advice on measuring social media ROI? Four very different answers, ranging from practical tips on where to start to a pragmatic look at what doesn’t work.

I’ve included Target Marketing President Jim Sterne’s answer below.  To see a video of Jim, and to find out what Joe Megibow, Expedia;  Jonathan Prantner, Organic; and John Lovett, Web Analytics Demystified had to say, watch these short video clips.

Jim Sterne:  We start with classic metrics: awareness, impressions, opportunity to see. So, if I blog something or Tweet something, the people who sign up for RSS feeds on my blog or follow me on Twitter, there’s an opportunity to see it. But they don’t necessarily actually see it. And I’ll never know if they do or not.

But if they re-tweet it, if they comment on the blog post, I have absolute metric that not only did they see it, they thought it was worthy of sharing with others, and I can see how many others had an opportunity to see and how many others re-Tweeted.  So, this is a really solid metric for “Is it worthy of comment?”

Now I’ve got to sprinkle that with sentiment analysis because people re-tweeting what I say is great, but what if they’re re-tweeting me and at the end of it, in parentheses put “Bozo.” I need to know that so I can respond and react and change my tune.  So if a lot of people are talking that’s good. That’s branding, visibility and awareness. If lots of people are commenting and re-Tweeting in a positive way, I’m doing the right thing.


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