Follow this simple rule: Set goals, then measure against them
A recent post on the Canadian Marketing Association’s blog, Measuring Social Media, was written by RIM/Blackberry board member Jim Estill. He suggests that brand awareness is the new measuring stick of a successful marketing campaign and says that only the first set of eyeballs are the ones you pay for—everything after that is word of mouth. The post is a follow-up piece to an earlier article Estill wrote where he suggested that ROI, or return on investment, on marketing is a bogus term.
While they’re both interesting reads and contain valid points, the idea that ROI and metrics are difficult to measure isn’t true. Although brand awareness is certainly a measurement gauge for social media, its success should not only be measured by resulting brand awareness.
Social media can offer some very accurate metrics for ROI. All you need to do is set your success guides—what you want to achieve and how long you want to spend achieving it—and then measure your results against them.