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Time for Measurement

March 2, 2009
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The effectiveness of social media is somewhat of an elusive idea. Not just because it is new to being used in big business but the technologies that are used for measurement are just establishing themselves. Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyzer at Forrester regularly updates a blog on how web tools, like social media, can be used by companies to reach its stakeholders. He stresses the importance of measurement now because of the change in the economy and how it is important to understand what is working and is not working in order to cut back costs. It is also important to understand what is being said by people using the social mediums in real-time so that companies can jump in and fix things. He goes on to separate to the measurement of social media into two different categories, server side and “community analytics”. Both are equally important for a company to understand the use of their social media online. Server side is more focused on the actual numbers where as “community analytics” is about the feelings and attitudes of the community online.

His post focuses on the “community analytics” of the measurement functions by examining a company Lithium, which recently launched its “insight reports” which report on a brand’s community sentiments and provides automated feedback. Owyang stress how this tool is only important if the feedback reflects the business objectives surround the use of that social medium rather then the uniqueness of it. He stresses how also theses categories of measurement have to be working fluidly with other forms of measurement to provided complete useful feedback to the corporation using the social media.

To see the full article, please click here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren Hensel permalink
    March 5, 2009 9:56 pm

    I found the article very interesting. I never really thought about there being different types of measurements but I can understand why there is. “Server side” is very important because it gives quantitative data and numbers for a company to look at but without the “community analytics” to show the impact of the social media, it’s hard to gauge what the effectiveness of the tool.

    I am very interested to learn more about the community analytics just because it’s interesting to see how exactly they measure this since it is not really a numbers game. I look forward to hearing more. Good resource to look at.

  2. Colleen McCarron permalink
    March 7, 2009 9:18 pm

    I found this article interesting as well. While we are learning just how important social media is to companies, it is also crucial that they are utilizing this media and that is being proven effective. If the measurement shows that a certain kind of medium is not very useful to customers, it only makes sense to cut back. I found the measurements of “server side” and “community analytics” very interesting and important. It is essential to gauge things on a variety of levels. I hope in your future postings you do some sort of other case study so we can see how companies are measuring their audiences like this. Great job!

  3. Jessica Goodman permalink
    March 8, 2009 5:20 am

    Kendall, this blog post was very interesting! I totally understand where Jeremiah Owyang is coming from with the notion that measuring the effectiveness of social media during these certain economic times is important because, like you mentioned, it is important to learn where is best to spend your time and money right now as a business. If a company is not generating the response that it was hoping for from a specific social media tool, then it is probably best for the company to abandon that tool for the moment and spend its time and money somewhere else. I also liked how you mentioned that both the server side and the community analytics side of measurement are important things for an organization to understand because it is hard to judge your social media tool’s effectiveness without looking at the basic numbers AND how the community feels about the tools that you are using.

  4. Elaine Bussjaeger permalink
    March 9, 2009 2:12 am

    I was really interested by this article. I think the idea of community analytics is fascinating and I did not know anything about them. These community health metrics seem like a crucial thing for any business trying to start a community online. I think it’s amazing that researchers have been able to predict if a community will be successful within the first few hours of launch. It is just a testament to how far proper research can measure effectiveness of online efforts. Like you the article said, in today’s economy, companies need to know where to cut back and measurement seems like an effective way to do this.

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