Too little measurement

Mashable reports on the results of a survey into the measurement of social media activities.

[…] According to an August 2009 survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, 86% of professionals in a variety [of] fields said that they have adopted social media in some way. […] it also indicated that some professionals or companies are adopting social technologies without having a way to actually measure how effective or useful the measures actually are. In fact, 84% of respondents said they don’t currently measure the ROI (return on investment) of their social media programs.


Even less encouraging, more than 40% of respondents said they didn’t even know whether they could track ROI from their social tools. This is worrisome because it indicates that industries and professionals are adopting technology without actually taking into account how it will impact their business and what value it will add.


Unfortunately, it’s a similar picture to what I often see in the UK, based on many conversations during this year with organizations large and small.

Not only that, far too many people don’t seem to have a clear plan that sets out what the measurable goals are for their communication and what is the role of social media tools and channels alongside traditional forms of communication.

A point that sometimes crops up that I get asked is: what are we defining as “ROI,” meaning “return on investment”? Money spent?

Not necessarily. ROI can have many meanings as long as everyone agrees on which meaning you’re applying.

I usually illustrate how easy it is to set up your situation for measurement like this, when you’re doing your planning (and well before you execute), an example if you were setting up a business blog:


If you don’t set measurable goals, no wonder there’s not much actual measuring going on.

I wonder what KD Paine or Angela Sinickas would say on this topic.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

Comments are closed.