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Published October 9th 2012

How Can You Even Begin to Measure Social Engagement?

There is one question that, in meetings, pitches, briefings, at events, in the pub – keeps cropping up again and again. 

It is this: “How can I put a value on engagement?” By engagement, the questioner normally means ‘those things I’m doing on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest’ – and by value, they don’t necessarily mean monetary, though that would be nice.

Calculating of some sort of metric for social is starting to become ever more important. Not having one is holding the sector back and keeping budgets low.

When online advertising, TV, radio, outdoor and all the rest have metrics that allow you to put in spend at one end and have a reasonable guess at the ROI out the other, then you can see the problem that social is grappling with. Lots of people are tackling bits of this piecemeal – a correlation here, an unusual pattern there. But in terms of anything concrete, it doesn’t yet exist.

Yet, that is. This summer, Yomego held a roundtable event in London with some of the UK’s top social thinkers on measurement and engagement. The results were illuminating and we put them into a white paper – and then began to seriously tackle the issue ourselves.

We’re grappling with lots of issues in order to put the metric together – from handling vast amounts of data to coming up with something that can work across industries.

We also looked into the differences between direct engagement and indirect engagement; understanding motivations behind purchases and ‘likes’ and how we can move the discussion on.

Really, we hope that it will open debate and pave the way for further papers, discussion – and ultimately – a means to improve things across the board.

The project is underway at the moment – and the whitepaper can be downloaded here. We would love to know what you think.

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