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The New Influencers

The Society for New Communications Research released preliminary results of their New Influencer Study at the SNCR Research Symposium last week.

While there is no question that social media is rapidly gaining importance, it was interesting to see how they are (or not) measuring the effects of social media initiatives. Only 51% reported to be measuring the effects, and of those, the metrics they most value are enhancement of relationships with key audiences, enhancement of reputation, customer awareness of program and comments/posts relevant to organization/products.

As was brought up in the discussion following the presentation last week – it is interesting to see how soft most of those measurements are. First off, how many companies really measure “enhancement” of relationships or reputation? And how many measure customer awareness? Sure, large consumer-facing companies probably still do some of that – but aren’t those yesterday’s measurements cooked up by the advertising industry? Those that were meant to hide the fact that advertising cannot be effectively measured?

Surely we can come up with better metrics to measure the impact of social media initiatives – what about new customer acquisition, customer loyalty and customer lifecycle value, new product innovation success ratios, return on information, and customer referral ratios & values.

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