Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment, Sterne

Sterne writes about measuring the impact of communicating via social media in his book, Social Media Metrics:  How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment. He makes good points, tells some personal stories and delivers practical advice on the tools and methods and importance of measuring the impact of social media.

Chapter one sets the stage with familiar information about early social media initiatives. By chapters two and three, experienced practioners will begin thinking they should take notes. I found myself thinking, when is the last time I checked Technorati or is Twitter Grader still operating? My colleagues agree when I say I cannot keep up with the amount of change in technology. Just when I thought I was safe with the blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, dozens of Twitter accounts and YouTube, along comes Google Plus. Another mouth to feed another in-basket, more circles, more ripples.

Sterne quotes Jodi McDermott, talking about widgets and  the difficulties of measurement when things are changing on the fly, "This market is rife with start-ups in college dorms...They like changing things on the fly daily for fun."

I decided to try some of the tools Jim wrote about. I couldn't reach Twitter Grader. reported my main twitter account earned just a "casual" score, even though it has almost 5,000 tweets and 2,500 followers. I found the same account downright invisible on for the main topic of the account.

I got this message once on "You have been Rate Limited by Twitter
The technical explanation is that Twitter has changed their rate limit strategy for search, dramatically limiting Twitalyzer's ability to gather data on non-client accounts. We are working through this challenge now and hope to have a solution in the near future.

The non-technical explanation is ... Twitter won't give us the Tweets we asked for, the meanies!"

Getting back to the book, it provokes, it reminds, it will encourage you to think why measurement and objectives count. Most important what I walked away with, is that while Jim is explaining metrics, he very subtly reveals a strategic approach to using social media. Read the book.

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