Community Project: Roundtable on Social Media Measurement

How do we measure the value of social media to an organization? What should we be measuring? What are the metrics that accurately capture the things we want to measure?

Over the past year, people like Jeremiah Owyang, Kami Huyse, Scott Karp, Christopher Carfi, Mike Manuel, the Research Fellows at the Society for New Communications Research, John Bell, Flemming Madsen, Geoff Livingston, Katie Paine, David Brain, Brendan Cooper, Brian Solis and Jeff Jarvis have made valuable contributions to our emerging understanding of social media measurement and metrics.

Third Tuesday Vancouver organizersThe online discussion is great. But sometimes, it’s even better to sit down face to face and talk things through.

This is what I’d like to do. Let’s bring together a group of experts for a roundtable discussion of social media measurement and metrics.

Participants could be drawn from three groups:

  • Social media thought leaders who have been writing about these issues.
  • Corporate and organization executives who have been attempting to apply social media measurement and metrics.
  • Companies that are developing measurement and metrics solutions.

Let’s engage a moderator or group of moderators who would frame the questions and then attempt to draw out major issues, points of agreement, and lines of additional discussion. The roundtable format should enable participants to have a full discussion of each topic, with free exchanges of opinion, and hopefully the development of consensus on principal issues.

The product of the roundtable could be a white paper that will follow on the Jeremiah Owyang-authored white paper, Tracking the Influence of Conversations.

Third TuesdayWe’d also organize a special Third Tuesday social media meetup at the conclusion of the roundtable to enable the broader social media community to discuss these issues with a panel of the roundtable participants.

It looks like 2008 Mesh Conference will be held the third week of May. If we could organize the roundtable the day before or after Mesh, that would enable participants who travel to the roundtable to attend Mesh. The fourth week of May is the U.S. Memorial Day holiday week. Holding the conference the Memorial Day week would give U.S. attendees a chance to spend a long weekend in Toronto. Either way, May is a great time to visit Toronto. The leaves have emerged and the flowers are in bloom. The patios are open. And the streets are alive with Torontonians rediscovering after a long winter just how great their city is.

What do you think about the concept of a roundtable on social media measurement and metrics?

If we organize it, will you come?

  • ian ketcheson

    I am definitely in.

  • I think this would be a worthwhile endeavour for the entire industry. I’d definitley be interested in attending and providing any kind of service, even if it is simply serving as scribe. Great idea, Joe.

  • This is a great idea, I’ll support virtually, and will try to attend, thanks for the leadership!

  • I’m up for that Joe.

  • I would love to be there. Don’t know if it’s going to work for me or not, but man, it sounds exciting. And to think that the deepest thought I had in the last 24 hours was “more white meat or a drumstick”.

  • Count me in – let me know if you need help organizing.

  • This is a great idea. I will have to check the dates with the powers that be, but it is a very needed endeavor.

  • I’m in

  • Great idea Joseph. The gang here at Radian6 would love to participate. If you need any additional hands to help with any of the organization or communication of the event let me know because we love to chip in. Happy New Year. David

  • Please count me in. I’ll work on creating a roundtable on this side of the border :), and we’ll share everything (in time, maybe this will lead to a working group on social media metrics and measurement).

    A suggestion: it would be great to include academics in this group, as well.

  • I’m there. As a rule I try not to travel in May, since its the most beautiful time of the year here in NH, but, since its Canada, and since you’re organizing it Joe, I’ll make an exception 🙂 Sounds like a fabulous conference.

  • Count me in. I’m hoping to be there. This is an enormously relevant topic and as you know, I have some unique views on the subject that I would like to have aired.

  • Joe – It’s not an important conversation but critical if social media is to take its place as a credible marketing strategy. Accountability is key to buy-in. Agree with Constantin on academics. Please let me know how I can support you.

  • Count me in, and if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.

  • I’m quite interested in this topic and our firm has already begun some work in this area. Please keep me in the loop and provide our firms resources where helpful.

  • I might be able to come – the Web Analytics Association has a committee on Social Media and Community which I’m the Director of.

    We’ve also been working on Social Media Standards since midyear (when my committee was formed and I was elected to the Board of Directors) as well as rolling out our own Social Network.

    Please send me more information when you have it.

    Thanks in Advance,

    Marshall Sponder
    Web Analytics Association Board of Director – Social Media Committee Contributor (Art NYC)
    SKYPE # MarshallSponder

  • I’m not your side of the pond unfortunately, but will see if any of my Edelman colleagues can make it. Good luck with it.

  • Right up my alley, Joe. Happy to help any way we can.

  • Joe, this is a topic that’s near and dear to me.

    There’s much I never published on this front b/c many ideas I’ve had would simply be open to misinterpretation because it is virtual and not discussed in person. Jeremiah hosted a similar discussion last year, actually around this time, in Palo Alto where PR, Bloggers, and inhouse marketers discussed what was important to them. Obviously a lot has changed in just one year, but I am seeing pockets of usable metrics that work, simply forced out of necessity. It would be awesome to have execs on the corporate side there as well. What’s important to us isn’t always important to the people running the entire show.

    At the moment, I can’t commit to being there – but the timing sounds like it could work out.

  • Thank you everyone who has responded so far. There’s definitely enough interest in this to make it a viable project. So, let’s move forward with it.

  • hope i can come.

  • As usual, way out in front Joe. I’m in too…

  • Joe,
    This is a terrific initiative and I’m happy to help out however I can.

  • Joe,

    I think we need more events like this. Still lots to figure out in this new environment, and my colleagues at Visible Tech would second that. We would be delighted to attend.

  • Excellent idea, Joe. Looking forward to the details as this takes shape.
    Happy New Year,

  • I can’t commit to being there but i’m definitely interested and willing to help frame the questions and topics up for discussion, even if it has to be virtually. (alternately some of us here in bay area could meet f2f, and possibly thru sncr?)

    Thanks for moving forward on this!


  • There are whole rainforests of books and articles written on the evaluation of a whole range of public relations activity (including my book, Evaluating Public Relations published by Kogan Page). The last thing needed is another round table on this topic; PR people need to read the books and blogs and get on with evaluating.

  • I am planning on being in town for Mesh and would love to participate in this, count me in if you aren’t full yet.

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  • Joseph, I would have loved to come since we are building a social media tool right now – something that just systematizes what we have done with clients for a while.

    Unfortunately, I just saw this post and San Francisco is a bit far from Zurich, Switzerland.

    I hope to hear more about this event and I am not sure if I can agree with Tom Watson and Evaluating Public Relations published by Kogan Page…. at least I am not sure if it addressed social media metrics… maybe I have to write a bookreview about it (I publish these regularly maybe Tom can ship me one).
    first 4 steps on the way to build brand while blogging like a pro

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