One of the most compelling challenges for companies entering the world of social business is measurement. The ability to attribute cause and effect directly can be elusive when it comes to measuring business outcomes like increased sales, improved customer retention and lowered support costs. But that’s only because this is new territory. Business participation with social media on the web at large and internally has absolutely made measurable progress for numerous companies and organizations. The trick is to learn how, create a model that works for you and to sell it internally for testing, implementation and adoption.
One way to facilitate learning about Social Media ROI, Measurement and Analytics is through books from subject matter experts. Here are 5 that I’ve found useful and hopefully, you will too.
There are many other books on social media strategy, but in your pursuit of social ROI enlightenment, I’d start with this one (it’s also very new) because it covers social program development and management as well as measurement. Olivier’s presentation on the Basics of Social Media ROI from a few years ago completely opened the eyes for many (including myself) on basic ways to approach the impact of social media on tangible business goals. It’s damn funny too.
This may be one of the first books dedicated to socia media metrics and Analytics guru Jim Sterne does a great job of setting ground rules. This book isn’t about justifying social media at large or a collection of tactics. It takes you from goal setting to audience, influence, sentiment, action, conversation and business outcomes. Once you have all that, there’s advice on communicating your newfound social media measurement wisdom to the organization.
Katie Paine is the master of Public Relations and Social Media measurement and her new book is a great complement to our mix because it comes from a perspective of measuring and affecting influence, engagement and relationships – not just sales and revenue. Katie outlines how to get started with a measurement program, how to choose the right tools and she answers measurement “how” questions related to marketing and public relations, events, thought leadership, community, internal staff and crisis situations. This is a measurement bible for the social media and public relations savvy professionals of the world.
(Read our Public Relations Measurement interview with Katie)
If you’re even remotely familiar with web analytics, then you know the blog Occam’s Razor by Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik. In his enthusiastic and entertaining style, Avinash explains the next generation framework of web analytics including social media measurement and includes specific guidance on hiring analytics resources, practical advice on the practice of gaining insight from clickstream data and analysis, plus how to help managers become more data-driven in their decision making.
(Watch our video interview with Avinash at SES Hong Kong)
After you’ve read the books above and you’ve either tasked an internal analytics guru or hired someone for your social media measurement and analytics, then they really need to dig into this book. When business, marketing or PR managers ask question like, “How can we create our own tools to mine our prospects social web activity?” this is a great guidebook into the mechanics of making that happen. Matthew covers “data hacking” for Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Google Buzz and LinkedIn plus how to visualize that data in a meaningful way.
While this is no comprehensive list of social media ROI, measurement and analytics books, it is a great collection to start with. What books social media measurement books would you recommend?
(For the first time in 7 years, I’ve added Amazon affiliate links to these book URLs. Since we don’t sell ads here, I’m hoping you can appreciate that effort).