What’s the ROI? That ubiquitous question is on the minds of brand managers, PR folks, marketers and business people everywhere. Of course, it comes up a lot in social media where we still haven’t stumbled on that one surefire way to measure our programs’ success.
Last week, Third Tuesday Toronto held a full-day session on social media measurement featuring panel discussions with industry thought-leaders, supplier presentations and an insightful opening keynote by KD Paine. (She also wrote a great post about the panel she moderated on future trends.)
There was much discussion, both in the room and online. Here’s a snapshot of my twitter notes from the event:
As you might imagine, there were more questions than answers. But there were actionable takeaways for communicators, too. Now it’s up to us to encourage our clients to look beyond impressions and those big shiny numbers we all love and start thinking about how we can engage people, entertain, inform and help them in a way that’s meaningful and encourages them to help us. Measurement through reciprocal behaviours.
Given that the session was so relevant to PR folks, I was surprised how few agencies sent representatives. I hope this isn’t another example of PR being slow to react and missing out on an opportunity to help lead the conversation.
As an industry, we need to stop thinking about who we were and focus on who we want to be. For me that’s content creators/producers, curators, community-builders. And, of course strategic thinkers focused on value and measurable results.
Will we get there? Right now I believe some of us will.
Special thanks to Joe Thornley, Canada’s social media community-builder for putting it all together (and for asking me to moderate a panel).