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Measuring Social Media And Corporate Blogging

Joseph Thornley sent out a call to put together a panel on the topic of social media measurement, he included a few questions the panel should consider; here are his questions:

"How do we measure the value of social media to an organization? What should we be measuring? What are the metrics that accurately capture the things we want to measure?"

Joseph received a good response from the community, and listed many other blogger's contributions on the topic. I don't think I will be able to attend, however, I would like to raise a few questions regarding the issue of on line media measurement companies. In the meantime, Joseph inspired this post about blogging measurement.

Corporate Blogging Measurement

Measurement starts with company goals, it is important to be able to answer the question how corporate blogging helps a company reach its overall marketing and business goals?

In my 2005 Backbone Media corporate blogging study I asked survey respondents the following question: "We want to understand the major priorities in starting a corporate blog. Before launching your corporate blog, what role did the following considerations play in your company's decision to start its corporate blog? Please rate each of the following categories according to the scale at the top of the question."

That was rather a long question, but we received a few answers from corporate bloggers at the time. Here was the list of potential answers, listed in order of priority by the respondents. You can review the chart.

-Another way to publish content and ideas
-Thought leadership
-Build a community
-Increasing sales
-Boost search engine positions
-RSS syndication
-Gather feedback on a product or service
-Customer service
-A way to get interview requests from journalists
-I was curious about blogging and wanted to try it
-Increasing link popularity
-Respond to negative comments
-Customer registrations
-Crisis communications

So taking each of these potential goals, I've complied a list of what you might measure to determine if you were successful.

-Another way to publish content and ideas - higher volume of content, higher search rankings, traffic to the blog from RSS feedreaders

-Thought leadership - higher search ranking, more media contacts, higher profile in the community, contribute new ideas to the community.

-Build a community - More linked connections, and facebook friends, more ideas contributed by your contacts from the blog

-Increasing sales - conversations from traffic from the blog and social media, using analytics to discover if the blog influenced trends

-Boost search engine positions - track the ranking of keywords that are featured in the blog, determine if any blog posts appear in the keyword rankings.

-RSS syndication - use FeedBurner to track numbers, traffic to the blog from RSS feedreaders

-Gather feedback on a product or service - new ideas that turn into products or upgrades, volume and quality of customer suggestions.

-Customer service - track number of customer complaints and issues found, track number of customer complaints and issues resolved.

-A way to get interview requests from journalists - track interview requests, track number of interviews, stories published.

-Increasing link popularity - Count the number of links to the blog indexed in each search engine

-Respond to negative comments - track incidents of negative comments, track resolution of negative comments.

-Customer registrations - track traffic to sign up page, and number of registrations, determine number of conversations from registration to customer.

-Crisis communications - debriefing after crisis communications events, how did the blog help with the event and response.