Is 2009 the tipping point for social media accountability?

5 Nov

Social media use and measurement to date has mostly resided in the experimentation stage.  In the last couple of years there has been a rush to experiment and become involved with the exciting new world of digital and social media.  Press conferences in Second Life.  Posting corporate podcasts on YouTube.  Not relying on others to publish your company content – just publish it yourself.

All of this comes with a price tag.  So far, the spirit of experimentation has provided a sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card with respect to having to demonstrate the value of digital and social media programs and initiatives.  It looks like 2009 will change all that due primarily to three factors:

- the widespread awareness of social media use in a business context

- the economy

- the economy.

2009 will raise the bar on all of use to demonstrate how social media programs are helping to drive desired business outcomes.  It won’t be enough to just report on the number of view-thrus for a clip or unique commenters on a blog.  We will be challenged to explain how our programs will drive consumer/customer awareness, engagement and purchase intent.  How are we contributing to the brand and how does the contribution impact the business.  The questions will outnumber our answers, but we all better be ready to come up with better answers than we have in the past.  2009 will be the year when the pendulum swings from experimentation to accountability.  Buckle your seat belts.

Thanks for reading

10 Responses to “Is 2009 the tipping point for social media accountability?”

  1. Paul Harvey November 7, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    With a direct marketing background, I find the social media is a new field of exploration and while I can see its potential, it has to prove it.

    I see Facebook promoting PPC advertising and have yet to find someone getting results with this. People come to Facebook and other social media sites to chat and share, I am tempted to say trivia. This is clearly traffic, but are they buyers?

    There is an old saying; “turnover is vanity and profit is sanity.” The same can be said for traffic and buyers

    Social media has some success stories with new bands in that difficult to reach youth market, but it would be interesting to see someone launch and sell a real product to a wide general audience.

    As I said at the start of this, I am new to social media and still learning my “tweets” and other jargon. May be I am just showing ignorance and missing the point.

  2. metricsman November 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your comment. I think you make some good points. You are catching on quickly!

    I believe if we think about social media as part of the answer to the question, “How do we create ways to engage potential and current customers with our brand?”, it makes sense. If folks are thinking that social media alone is the answer, then they may well be disappointed.

  3. Ali Behnam November 14, 2008 at 1:33 am #

    Excellent post. In addition to your two reasons for the growth of social media accountability, I’d like to add a third one, which is “technology”. We for example are starting to see a great use of new technology for monetizing and deriving ROI figures from social media initiatives.

  4. Kevin Donnellon November 25, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Amen, without accountability, all our efforts in this truly powerful strategy will be frozen. Look forward to all of us creating meaningful measurements and justifying SM strategies in 2009. I am a recent convert and am ready to assist in any measurement initiative.

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