March 01, 2013

Social Media Strategy and Metrics & Measurement

Social media has revolutionized the transition of communication from the slow-paced conventional one-to-one interaction to a fast-moving many-to-one process.  People have limited knowledge regarding their field of application in social media, despite the fact that it is a vast ocean of the information.   The movement of information at lightening speeds, with increasing levels of spontaneity, has created a immense pool of discovered and undiscovered information.  The wide scope of social media usage can only be channeled and analyzed through a well-planned strategy.

For example, it is believed by industry experts that the field of marketing has changed more in the past 5 years than the previous 100 years combined.

Deriving an effective social media strategy comprises of 10 major steps:

  1. Research your market and audience by listening
  2. Share you opinions
  3. Set and define your own benchmarks
  4. Discover communities or forums to engage in
  5. Identify the people who can listen to you or whose though process you can influence
  6. Create a strategy for the development of content
  7. Select a tool
  8. Deliver the content
  9. Engage and involve people and influencers in the discussion
  10. Measure results

Of course, that last step of measuring results is more difficult than it seems, given the fast pace and constant evolution of social media.  However, social media has its own universal metrics through which it can be evaluated.

  1. Volume (the count of the responses you get)
  2. Reach  (how deep and wide you can reach people)
  3. Engagement (people getting involved with your brand)
  4. Influence (how many people actually can take action on your recommendations)
  5. Share of voice (you versus your competitor)

Measurement is an important role in the steps for deriving a solid social media strategy.  This is because the field involves large volumes of data, some structured and a lot highly unstructured.  Social media data mining and drawing inferences from this data is becoming at the top of a multibillion dollar industry, and accounts for a very challenging and innovative section of analytics. 

Big data analysis, Hadoop technologies, deployment of advance algorithm for data mining, and cloud computing are the supporting technologies for social media.  They have emerged and are likely to remain in very high demand in the coming decade. 

In short, social media works on a simple Mantra: “Convince and Convert”