Social Whisper

Does the Measurement of Social Media depend on the type of Agency?

Posted on: July 6, 2009

There’s an ongoing debate as to the ‘ownership’ of social media, in that where it should sit; Digital, PR, Media, SEO, as a separate entity etc as well the control of its planning and execution. There are arguments for and against each medium as due to its dynamic nature social media can benefit from the skill sets of all these agencies.

However it occurred to me during the discussions at the recent measurement camp that depending on the type of agency the social media activity is being run through that this will also affect how it is measured as well as how highly it is regarded in terms of accountability.

For example take a PR agency. In comparison to traditional PR social media is regarded as being highly accountable as you are able to track how many people have read your article, shared it, linked to it etc

Although in comparison the numbers can appear a lot smaller in contrast to articles published in a national paper, despite the fact that you can’t guarantee the number of people that actually read the article, it can still be regarded as a higher reach medium compared to social media activity.

In comparison if the social media activity is run through a digital agency than it is one of the least accountable parts of the online activity. Where PPC, Affiliates and Display media can track every user and their behaviour online, third party tracking can rarely be used for social media and numbers are more assumptions based on certain facts.

This may mean that the ownership of social media in the future may have an impact on how campaigns are run as well the chance that it may lose its identity and become swallowed up as part of an existing media.

So although there always a requirement for measurement maybe we should stop trying to fit social media around other existing forms of measurement and allow it to develop its own form of accountability and let its success be defined on its own merit.


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July 2009
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