Greg Cangialosi over at The Trend Junkie has tagged me with the “measurement” meme in a post entitled “Metrics, Measurement, and Social Media”. In the same week author, entrepreneur and marketing strategist Geoff Livingston included me in a “DC Area’s Top 12 Social Media, Marketing, and PR blogs” list. So I’m scratching my head here. I’m a cameraman for a major network news organization, right? I’m not a marketer… or am I?
In my journey with social media, my blogging, and use of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, I’ve discovered that I’ve become somewhat of a personal micro-media brand. I’ve been able to measure the tangible results of my personal brand building in terms of hard data, and in terms of harder to measure, yet deeply enriching professional and personal connections. The hard data is readily available and demonstrates that listening to the very smart people in this space, and engaging them in meaningful conversation goes a long way in building your brand. By hard data, I’m talking about Google search ranking and analytics, Technorati ranking/authority, blog traffic data, and friends in my circle of influence on various social networking platforms.
That more difficult to define measure of my social media involvement is how it’s enabled me to connect with incredibly smart, visionary, driven entrepreneurs. With fourteen hundred Twitter friends, I have a knowledge base of deeply engaged, early adopters drawn from the ranks of venture capital, PR, marketing, social and traditional media, web strategy, and technology. Social media enabled CC Chapman to connect me to my first professional speaking engagement and meet Geoff Livingston and Valeria Maltoni. People like David Eckoff of Turner Broadcasting cite me as a case study of how to use social media on panels at Streaming Media West. I use Facebook to organize events and affinity groups. Recently, I hosted a breakfast for Seesmic CEO, Loic Lemeur here in Washington, DC. In short, I’ve become relevant in this space. None of this would have been possible without my deep engagement in social media. I see TREMENDOUS value in all of that.
Twitter is my most front-facing social media tool. I post frequently every day, much of it on assignment for NBC News. People tell me they find this behind-the-scenes look into the news fascinating. Many have told me that I put a human face on “the media” that they would otherwise have no real connection with. So I think there is a real value here in being a bridge between the Facebook generation and traditional media. Those type of fuzzy metrics, while interesting, aren’t enough for corporations. They want ROI – and whether you define the “I” as “investment” or as Valeria Maltoni prefers “involvement” – a social media effort should produce measurable results. So it’s not enough that I’m the “crazy uncle” running around NBC evangelizing shiny new social media platforms. Big companies, like my current employer, want real definable results.
Kami Huyse points out that you should begin any social media effort with well defined relational objectives.
One of the things I will stress is the importance of having well-defined objectives. By definition, objectives have to be measurable, “What would you like to see happen and by when as a results of engaging in social media?”- Kami Huyse
John Bell, of Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence practice, helps us further define some of the nuance of social media measurement, exploring the distinction between influence, authority, engagement, and impact.
So, dear readers, how do you measure your social media activity, or in fact, do you measure at all? How are you defining reach, influence, and impact? Frankly, I’m still much of a noob at all of this. At the end of the day, at the core of my being, I’m just a cameraman..right? 😉