The most important measures for us were looking at how people engaged with us and what actions arose from the
content we produced. We also wanted to know what ripples we made in the social world because we were doing good stuff, not necessarily just because we had a social account for it…
Thoughts from myself, Gregg Baker (Head of Community Management, giffgaff), Leon Chaddock (CEO, Sentiment) and
David Ellis (Director, Station10) whilst speaking at Tempero’s social media ROI event last week.
Answers from a social media expert
Last week I had an interview for a documentary project by students at The Manchester College…
What was your previous job before with BBC:
I was the Social Media Editorial Lead for BBC Television.
What would you call the pros and cons in working in social media:
The pros are that social media is a game changing communication opportunity. People can communicate widely, publically and quickly terribly easily now. Innovations are happening all the time and interest and awareness is also increasing in the area of social media, so whereas 10 years ago nobody knew what I did when I said I worked in online communities, now a lot of people have a good idea of what I do. This means that more people are using social media, and also using different platforms, so not only has the opportunity in terms of access to people increased, the creative opportunity has increased too with the rise of sites like Instgram, Pinterest, Vine, Whatsapp etc.
The cons are that the technology is always changing, it takes a lot of effort to stay up to date in an industry which is constantly changing. Metric reporting tools haven’t yet been standardised, so people aren’t all talking about the same things when we’re looking at the benefits or ROI (return on investment) around social media activity. Also, because it’s a new industry, there aren’t really huge numbers of experts with varying specialisms so it can be hard to find really good people to employ – even young people who live and breathe social media aren’t experienced at doing it professionally or representing a brand – personal use of social media can be quite different from professional use of it.
Do you see dangers in social media through day to day working:
Yes. Because it’s so easy to publish via social platforms, we can all recount examples which have been in the News where people representing a company or organisation posted the wrong thing! Sometimes people have lost their jobs over it. Usually this is because the right sign off and escalation procedures aren’t in place, and the right training and guidelines haven’t been offered. But also it can happen when people haven’t thought about the shelf life of their personal comments, or how widely things can travel from their own personal accounts eg dodgy photos of a night out, or an ill-judged comment that really might upset your employer. Google introducing the “right to be forgotten” in the EU might change this a bit though.
Also, people social media is so public, people can mobilise very quickly if they don’t like something. This isn’t necessarily a “risk”, but it can be hard to prepare for for companies and organisations, because often issues comes out of the blue. For large companies, which often do move fairly slowly, moving at the pace which social media demands can be a challenge!
The other “risk” which comes to mind isn’t necessarily brand damaging, but is more to do with waste. That social media can suck up a lot of time, and also be done quite poorly or ineffectively when people don’t know what they’re doing and haven’t been trained properly if they need training. This is simply wasted time and opportunity.
How has social media help you within your role:
Nearly all of my professional life has been working with social media and online communities, so it’s helped with an awful lot!
How do you see social media in the future:
I hope that peoples’ understanding of its strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and risks will continue to grow. So that people have a more nuanced understanding of it.
I think that super short form video sharing will become more and more popular, thanks to Vine and Instagram. The BBC News Instagram account is a great example of offering the right thing in the right place.
I think brands will try and get into the chat apps area. Although it’s debatable whether people using chat apps want to see brands there, I can’t help but think that if One Direction (etc) made a move towards them, they would be embraced by enough people that the doors would open fairly quickly.
Do you think it will overtake general TV news:
I think for many people as a source of “news” it has already overtaken TV news. I hardly watch TV news at all now, but I follow a lot of news companies online. However, TV news will be there as long as TV is there I think, because it’s serving people in a different way and many people will continue to rely on that because it’s how they want to consume. We continue to live in a multi-platform, multi-channel world, and I like that.
Do you see the general public becoming more important for reporting news with todays technology expanding:
News isn’t my area of specific expertise, but yes, people who aren’t paid reporters are feeding into “proper” news an awful lot already and I don’t think this will decrease. There are people all over the world wityh powerful technology at their finger tips all the time now, and it’s inevitable that many stories will be captured initially by people who aren’t journalists, and that people involved in situations which are being reported in the news will have their own views to share.
The Uncertainty of Measuring Social ROI - Tempero panel session
It’ll be me! Talking about return on investment with moderation experts Tempero. Come along if you fancy it, the tickets are free and there are currently 38 left. Here are the details:
“If they had measured the ROI of TV, or the computer, or the Internet after five years, nobody would have gotten involved, and we’d be in a technological bog.” Jeffrey Gitomer Over the past three years the proportion of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media fell from 17% to just 9%. However, a recent Google search for ‘Social ROI’ brought back more than 31 million results, so clearly there’s a lot of discussion and opinion out there. But are we any nearer to really cracking it? And if not, should we, as Jeffrey Gitomer suggests, invest resources in social media without measuring it, because it’s “way too soon to measure”? Or, given that social media is far more accurately quantifiable compared to traditional media (TV, print), is it time that we all finally just agreed on the best way to gauge it? We’ve pulled together a panel of social media professionals who try to answer the Social ROI challenge on a daily basis, to have an interesting, and we hope, divisive debate. The panel will consist of: Mick Conroy (Panel Host), Head of Insight and Innovation, Tempero Gregg Baker, Head of Community Management, giffgaff Leon Chaddock, CEO, Sentiment Rowan Kerek Robertson, Partner at Taylor Kerek (recent former Head of BBC Television’s social media strategy) David Ellis, Director, Station10 18:00: Arrive 18:30 – 19:45: Panel Discussion 20:00 – 21:00: Drinks, nibbles and networking”