Altimeter, Web Analytics Demystified Release New Research On Social Media Measurement

Measurement is one of the most interesting areas within social media right now. Not only is effective measurement critical to demonstrating results in an emerging space, but sophisticated measurement can offer valuable insights to shape communications strategies, both online and off; proactive and reactive. This challenge is being compounded as the social web expands beyond companies’ websites and individual networks with Facebook’s new announcements.

While smart people like Katie Payne have been working hard to nail down effective measurement approaches, there’s a long way to go as social media continue to shift and evolve. So, a 26-page white paper released by Altimeter Group and Web Analytics Demystified, with the input of some of the major players in this emerging industry, offers some much-needed insight into the problems and potential solutions we’re all facing in this area.

The paper offers steps for companies to follow in their measurement efforts:

  1. Revisit tradition for solid innovation: Follow traditional business and communications best practices – align success metrics with business objectives and measure against those
  2. Make learning your primary goal: Make continuous improvement a key goal, and take advantage of the opportunity to gain insights from your customers
  3. Define requirements first, then select vendors: Develop your measurement approach THEN figure out which company’s solution to use
  4. Develop your social media measurement playbook: Get the organization on the same page with regard to goals, objectives, expectations and actions of your social media efforts. Then implement the technologies and processes you need to measure against that
  5. Make our measurement framework your own: Adapt generic models to suit your organisation, as there’s no “one size fits all” solution

The paper also provides a simple framework for considering the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you may want to consider in your efforts:

This is a rudimentary list of business objectives, but provides a useful starting point for discussion. Like Shel Holtz, I’d like to see more discussion of this in a future iteration.

The KPI discussion, meanwhile, is excellent, providing simple explanations of each metric along with practical ways to measure against them and pointers to vendors who can help organizations in measuring against those factors.

In summary, this white paper provides some extremely valuable insight into some of the measurement context, challenges and solutions companies face. It’s worth a read for the business objective and KPIs section alone. I should also note that unlike many other similar organizations, Altimeter is providing this white paper free of charge (thanks!), and for that reason I’m able to embed it below.

If you haven’t checked the paper out yet, I strongly recommend you do so. You’ll certainly get more than your money’s worth 🙂

What do you think of the report?


Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.