Social media measurement is a tough nut to crack, but these three articles will get you on the right path. Here's a quick summary of each article, followed by my big takeaway.
1) A Different Way to Think About Social Media ROI
Mark Schaefer from Businesses Grow gives us his stance on the measurement of the quantitative and qualitative benefits of being a social business. As always with Mark's "community," the discussion in the comments are almost as interesting as the post itself.
Big Takeaway: Businesses need to find ways to report on and communicate the qualitative benefits of social media that are impossible to log on a spreadsheet.
2) Not Tracking Social Media ROI is Your Fault
Jay Baer at Convince & Convert is a smart cookie. In this article he gives out some tough love, letting us know that measuring social media ROI is doable, but it's up to you to get it done.
Big Takeaway: Jay makes the comment that "social interaction is a trailing indicator of purchase, not a leading one." In a nutshell, Jay makes the case that metrics like purchase frequency and lifetime value are more appropriate metrics than net new customers.
3) Get Out Of Your Own Way: 5 Excuses Marketers Use to Avoid Social Media ROI
Social Media Explorer creates outstanding content around all things social media, and this piece by the business-savvy Nichole Kelly is no exception. In this timeless post, Nichole dissects five common excuses that business people use to avoid measuring social media ROI.
Big Takeaway: Don't try to invent new metrics to measure social media. The executives in your organization have established metrics -- sales, cost and revenue. Your social media reporting needs to tie back to these well established metrics.