Social media measurement is a seemingly simple issue with a complex point. Or perhaps a “nuanced” point is more accurate. I obviously believe in data; it’s a big part of what I’ve done over my career.
Trying to measure whether something has a meaningful impact is something I support. And you should always measure … unless you shouldn’t. Here is what I mean:
1. Spreadsheets should never be a substitute for business instincts. Too many people fall back on spreadsheets as means to avoid risk and accountability. Using ROI is an excuse not to move forward with something they don’t understand.
2. Sometimes there is no ROI to measuring ROI. Just because something can be measured doesn’t mean it should be measured. If the cost of trying to measure an activity outweighs the gain, or eats too far into that gain, then why measure it? It doesn’t mean there was no gain. It means you have to decide based on more than spreadsheets whether you can mentally correlate enough benefit to continue the activity.