Say it with me. Peanut butter and… Right. You can’t just have peanut butter. It’s wrong. It’s a freak of nature. It’s an amputation of our sensibilities. It’s like cookies and … It’s like Day and … It’s like Batman and… Oh, I guess you can have just Batman these days. But you can’t have just peanut butter. It doesn’t work.
Ditto social media for business. You can’t have just social media: the blogging and podcasting and tweeting and social newtork use. It’s great that you’re doing all that stuff, but you need your jelly, too. And in this case, the jelly to social media’s peanut butter is measurement.
If you’re blogging, is it improving your search ranking? Is is helping you move prospects from thinking about a project towards taking a meeting to start a project? How are you judging your success? Simply by watching your RSS subscribers or page views go up?
If you’re trying to improve awareness, how many comments are you getting on various sites? Are you tracking sentiment? Can you get as granular as specific product elements versus just the product itself? What counts as a win for that awareness? Are you counting digital ink? Press clippings? What’s the measure of it all?
Are your web pages converting? Do you have some kind of call to action to provoke a certain action? How many visits versus how many conversions have there been?
Cue the Dead Horse
Why beat this particular horse, you wonder? Because there are more and more people feeling pressure from the economic downturn who are turning their web design shops, their writing consultancies, and their extra agency cycles into a social media practice, where it seems that they’ve got the “join the conversation” part of the dogma just right, but not the “must do something to help a business” part.
Hold me to measurements if you hire me. Hold me to tying this all into your primary business. This is no longer the shiny object. If you’re in this for business, let’s work it that way. It can (and should!) be lots of fun, but let’s make sure we are all disciples of K.D. Paine and that we measure.
True story: there’s no jelly in my house. It’s a very sad day.