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Setting Your Social Measurement Bearings in 2013

Lithium Alumni (Retired)


Anyone else feeling like New Year’s Eve was, like, 2 months ago?  Seems like an amazingly fast start to the New Year.  


Like you, I’m reviewing my annual business objectives as I sit down with members of my team.  One of our biggest discussions revolves around which metrics are indicators and which measure business impact. 


I think we’re all used to reacting to & measuring volume – views, likes, and followers.  It does tell us something and we need base indicators to get a pulse of what’s going on.  If you heard a video was posted last week already had a million views, you’d be very curious.  Similarly, if I told you a new music service has 2,000,000 followers, there’d be a perception that they’re very popular.


But what these examples don’t show and where social strategy goes amiss is measuring impact.  How satisfied are customers?  Was there a jump in qualified leads or number of new customers?  What was the effect on the business in terms of revenue or profit?


Measuring-Results.jpgIn the Fall of 2011, Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang), partner at Altimeter Group on Customer Strategy, identified this business challenge for social strategists and posted the following advice:  Number of Fan and Followers in NOT a Business Metric - What You Do with Them Is.  Jeremiah emphasizes that unless your focus on business achievement, you will deem yourself irrelevant. Impact comes when you measure business advances such as:  customer interactions, content sharing, engagement in a meaningful (mutually beneficial) dialog, brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, or new product innovation  These are more meaningful metrics because they measure a converting activity (from one state to another).  The truly savvy marketers and support professional map these more meaningful social success metrics into top line business metrics such as increased revenue, market share, or reducing operational costs.


So, there’s our current task for 2013 goal setting.  Take a look through your 2013 commits and make sure you are confident of the following:

  1. Yes, there’s a method and analytic report that can accurately capture this info.
  2. Yes, this will measure a converting activity, not just a base quantity.
  3. Yes, this measure can specifically relate to a top line business goal.


If you get all 3, you’re on your way to having a solid social strategy.


Here's what happens when you miss...





You can also visit to assess how serious you really are and get more advice on how to move the needle.


Best wishes for a prosperous and impactful 2013.  It's time to get #seriousaboutsocial.






Dan Ziman is Lithium's VP Corporate Marketing. When he isn't sailing round the 'bay, he loves to contribute to in the Social Customers Matter blog right here on the Lithosphere.   In the Lithosphere, you can follow him as DanZ and you can catch up with his exploits on Twitter at @lostintheflog