Social Media Measurement, Social Media ROI

A Hammer Isn’t a House – Don’t Confuse Tools with Metrics

Last week I spoke about The NOW Revolution at a dinner for 50 or so social media and email marketers, all employed by major corporations based in NYC. It was a great time. Steaks were eaten. Wine drank. Books signed. Interesting conversation participated in.

What struck me most, however, was a chat I had with a Director of Social Media for a multi-national brand. She asked me several questions about specific social media measurement tools, and what I thought of each of them. She remarked that she really liked the statistical packages of certain tools based on how they were able to compare data to her competitors, and export that data into understandable formats, and so forth.

I know I was a massive disappointment to her (continuing my lifelong trend of disappointing most women), because I answered every inquiry the same way: “I like their software, but I don’t know if I like it for you.”

Tools Don’t Pick Metrics

It’s terrific that the marketplace is bloated with companies that are offering whiz bang software to listen, respond, measure, and analyze social media. It’s the fanciest bunch of calculators ever devised, and every company in the space tries to differentiate by chopping up the same pile of data in visually compelling ways.

But you can’t be seduced by a tool on your quest to effectively measure your social media program. That’s like recognizing that you love mangoes, and becoming a vegetarian as a result.

You have to know WHAT you are trying to measure first, and then audition candidates for HOW to best perform that measurement.

There’s a lot of excitement about social media, and increasing excitement about social analytics. But you have to tackle it in the proper sequence.

Social Media Metrics Sequence

Social Media Metrics Sequence

Pick social media measurement tools as step 7, not step 1

Don’t fall in love with software, or any one metric so much that it clouds what makes sense for you to measure. If you do, it creates statistical gerrymandering and moves you away from focusing on business level successes.

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  1. letstalkandchat says

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

  2. kjellfish says

    I’m currently looking at several solutions for our company and your post reminds me to go back and look at the business plan for our SMM strategy before we buy – should I say “interview.” You’re right though…. there is a lot of pretty stuff to look at out there. Happy New Year.

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