Startup Blog

Measuring Social Media for B2B Marketing

Posted by Mike Volpe on 1/28/09 12:33 PM

Another blog article from my email outbox.  Here is most of my response to a question about how to measure social media marketing ROI at a B2B company.

  1. Reach. (overall reach/database size)
    • In the old days, you had a mail/email database. Now you have a number of channels where you can still send messages to people, but they might not be in your "database" but it is almost the same thing. We track monthly a total "reach" adding up a number of metrics, like:
      • # blog subscribers
      • # fans on Facebook
      • # followers on Twitter
      • # group members on LinkedIn
      • # iTunes subscribers
      • Others/etc.
    • This is pretty easy to do manually once a month in a spreadsheet.
  2. Buzz.
    • This is sort of an advanced version of the "number of mentions" chart that PR people often use, except this one includes all blogs and online discussions. You want to track the number of times you are mentioned and same for your competition. If people are talking about you more and more, and especially in relationship to your competition, that is good.
    • You can do this manually by tracking
      • # pages in Google search results for a search on your company brand
      • # people that find your website each month on your branded company/product terms
  3. Sentiment.
    • You try to figure out the number of people who are saying good and bad things about you and trend that over time. For a startup, you just follow conversations and guestimate it since the volume is so low.  For bigger companies, there are some software solutions that are OK, but still being perfected for this (Radian6, Techrigy, Andiamo Systems, Trackur, Crimson Hexagon). The market is immature in my opinion, but the concept is good to think about.
Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: social media, B2B, analytics

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