5 NEW Marketing Strategy and Social Media UPDATES

Occasionally I like to update information on marketing strategy and social media posts as new information surfaces.

1. As an update to my post entitled “Social Media Strategy: What Makes and Influencer” which reviewed Brian Solis and his survey of influencers in social media, I’d like to let you know his study has recently been posted to his website. Brian’s post contains all the facts and figures from the webinar I attended (and reviewed in my post).  If you wanted to know more about influence, check out his post.

2. A new post is up at RuizMcPherson related to ROI in social media. Posted by guest blogger Terry Ebaugh a solutions architect at AOL, this addresses problems with poor analytic tools to assess social media campaigns.  Developing effective metrics in social media has plagued corporations and has led to many corporations reluctance to employ social media strategies.  I discussed the ROI problem in my review of Donna Hoffman’s upcoming article in the Sloan Management Review. Terry’s article is articulate and well written.  It also underscores the complexity of measuring ROI in social media.  He stresses the link that MUST exist between social media strategy and metrics used to evaluate the success of social media.  He is critical of metrics such as inbound links, engagement as assessed by comments, etc.  He recommends metrics such as time on site, # of unique visitors, etc. Unfortunately, his suggested metrics, while having many advantages including the ease of measurement, also may not map to success of a particular social media strategy.

My criticism of both advocated metrics for social media is not that these metrics are not important.  They are and all should be included in assessments of ROI in social media.  However, I think we’re still missing other metrics, such as reaching influencers.  As highlighted by Brian Solis, influence is tricky and not amenable to measurement using standard metrics such as number of friends.  Brian argues that a true measurement of influence in social media relies on matching his definition of influence as:

Influence is the ability to cause desirable and measurable actions and outcomes.

Having comments and retweets from influencers is so much more valuable, that it warrants using influence as a weighting factor along with other metrics.  For instance, using influence to weight retweets gives you a better metric than either metric alone.

Regardless of this improvement in assessing ROI for social media, it doesn’t necessarily map to the ultimate goals for the social media campaign — especially since the end goal of any marketing strategy is increasing sales.

Measuring ROI in social media remains a thorny issue and I certainly don’t have a solution.  I applaud these authors for engaging in this difficult topic.

3. I also got some comments on measuring ROI in social media from Steve Wiideman. He has a spreadsheet he is developing to assess the success of his clients social media campaigns.  He’s testing the system and has promised us a guest post to demonstrate its utility once he’s finished his testing.

4. Next, there’s been a lot of comment on my post entitled “Big Brother Wants Your Social Network“, especially among members of the Washington DC group on LinkedIn.  They seem to be in 2 camps — those who are outraged at the government’s intention to have Facebook posts, Flickr pictures, and other social media comments archived so the government can subpoena them in the future.  Others appear to take a buyer beware stance believing users are naive to think what they say in social networks has any expectation of privacy.  Meanwhile, the government announced today they are going to ask for more tracking of money (in any amount) moving across national borders.  Interesting?

5. Finally, regarding a post on “Farmville Can Support My Marketing Strategy Deanna McNeil commented that a retailer she worked with was using Farmville as a way of building community within her network of agents.  I’d never thought about the community building aspects, but that’s certainly another way Farmville can support your marketing strategy.


  1. Barry says

    Creating, posting and sharing compelling content and being authentic are definitely not bad suggestions if you want to increase your influence online – however, aligning yourself with and building real relationships with a handful of people (at a time) online or offline who are passionate and vocal about about your goals will leverage your results and dramatically leverage your effectiveness through the “Powerpoint” principle.

    • says

      I absolutely agree with you. Social marketing is, above all things, social. There are other marketing tools you can use, ones that will give you better results, than using social media marketing. Its just like building a house — you use the right tool and you get better results.

  2. says

    I guess I wasn’t articulate enough 😉 I was more concerned about the vagueness of the metrics in the job posting. How does one measure “quality of links”, “meaningful comments”? Perhaps those are defined in that specific organization. However, if I am going to be measured, I want the metric to be measurable. I also want to understand how the metric ties in with strategy.

    I tend to agree with the crowd that believes it is naive to expect privacy in social media. Law enforcement can and will issue subpoenas today when they believe there is cause. If one puts something online one must assume it is no longer private. I do think the government should not have a hook into facebook, flickr, etc.

    I’m really looking forward to Stevens post. :)