Social Media Measurement & Monitoring 2013: Conference key takeaways #measure13

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Social Media Measurement & Monitoring 2013 where our lovely CEO Katy Howell (@katyhowell) was imparting her knowledge on tracking leads through Facebook.

It was a great session with lots of interesting talks and juicy debates – I’d like to share the key takeaways from the day’s events with you. There were two key messages that stuck out in my view, which I’ve outlined below.

We need to create standard measurement practices

Katie Delahaye Paine aka the “Queen of Measurement”, kicked off the conference with a talk on emerging standards in social media measurement. She emphasised the need to move towards standardised terminologies and measurements across the board. I couldn’t agree more.

At the moment, too much ambiguity remains around social metrics, which are used haphazardly and often without much thought. What do we actually mean when we say ‘reach’? And how does ‘reach’ differ across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on? How do you pin down the meaning of ‘influence’? And what calculations are being used to define ‘engagement’?

It is up to us, the social media disciples of today, to shape and contribute to the development of a standard. You can become part of the conversation via the link.


Tailor your social media measurement to fit with your business objectives and use metrics that speak to the Board

One of the greatest pain points for many social media professionals is the prevailing disconnect between social media and the wider business. This can be reduced by tying your social media metrics back to overarching business objectives. Your data needs to make sense to those who aren’t directly involved to help them to see the overall benefit of your social activity for the business. Remember that the metrics that are best for your organisation will be unique, so take the time to tailor them to your specific needs.


You should look to agree your social media metrics with senior level associates or the board members – try to weave social into the DNA of your business. Conference delegates chuckled when a speaker joked, “when has a director ever said WOW, there were 3 retweets”, but it’s very true. We shouldn’t be wasting our time waving Likes, Followers and other ‘vanity metrics’ in the board members’ faces. They are meaningless to them and in doing so you risk undermining your good work.

To round off, I’d like to share a comment made during the conference; “Businesses already have a lot of data, they need understanding in order to be able to get the best out of it”. I think this certainly rings true. Make sure you stop worrying about ‘big data’ and start by squeezing the juicy bits out of the data you have already got at your fingertips. Make sure your data tells you something and do not fall into the trap of creating meaningless stats and charts. It will only make you look silly.


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