According to the State of Corporate Social Media 2014, budgets are down, teams are shrinking and 50% of C-suites are unconvinced by social media. We know that our customers exist, converse and often spend within social media, so why this stagnation?
Because executives cannot prove they’re making progress if they can’t track impact accurately. And they can’t.
We know, as an industry, that we’re in trouble when one of the top 3 KPIs is “number of followers”. Social media executives have had a couple of years to prove their worth to the Board and, in half the cases, it looks as though they’ve failed.
Unfortunately, the social media space is populated with twee job titles like ‘ninja’, ‘guru’ and ‘rock star’. This immature approach to job titles appears to have spread to an equally immature approach to measurement
I suspect that this sector is stagnating because the abilities of the average employee has plateaued. If we want C-suites to take social media seriously, we have to stop giving these jobs to consumers. Would you give control of a global print campaign to someone who had spent time waiting at a bus stop? No, of course you wouldn’t. So why vest control of your social media department to the youngest person you can find who seems to have an active Twitter or Pinterest account? They’re consumers and don’t, necessarily, have the skills to understand, plan and measure social media from a corporate view point.
Social media departments need to invest in more smart people who can grasp the concepts and measurements necessary for board-level validation. Otherwise, CxOs will start to see these critical areas as interesting, but failed, experiments and shift budget elsewhere.
Awedience has been developing new models of measurement over the last 6 months. They’re complex and cannot be read as a single, easily digestible number. They do, however, generate robust, comparable metrics within contextual markets that allow corporations to track progress.
If you share my frustration, know there’s value in social media and are passionate about generating non-trivial analytics to show your Board, I’d love to hear from you.
* Bus stop analogy courtesy of @sireb.