This week our guest is Katie Paine, the social media measurement guru of the great northeast. Katie’s an experienced journalist and PR professional who has spent the last several years developing a business around understanding the payback of social media campaigns. She has strong opinions about what marketers should do.
Katie believes that the Internet is the most measurable medium ever invented, but that people generally don’t do a good job of using the metrics they gather. It’s not about bar charts, she says, it’s about trends. The important thing to measure is how your reputation in the blogosphere is developing over time, using a variety of promotional means.
Katie tells the story of the ASPCA, which had an epiphany when it realized there was a direct correlation between news stories in the media and traffic to its web site. The organization used this insight to increase contributions and membership.
Lots of services try to automate the task of measuring online conversations, but the human factor is still needed. Even Microsoft is on record as saying that machines alone aren’t up to the task of evaluating online results; people still need to interpret the data. In the early days of the Internet, measurement was all about total eyeballs, but Katie argues that the important factor today is audience engagement. In that respect, online media is a powerful complement to traditional media. You can use online metrics to assess the effectiveness of print and broadcast campaigns.