UK trade bodies the IPA, Marketing Society, and Market Research Society have launched the first stage of a cross-industry research initiative to study the role of social media, including how to measure its effectiveness and return on investment.
The #IPASocialWorks project is sponsored by Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, and plans to create a 'knowledge bank' of effective media, report on methodologies for measuring its commercial impact, and produce a 'how to' guide on the research techniques involved.
The first stage of the research has involved an analysis of 100 publicly available case studies, in-depth case interviews, a peer review by social media experts, exploration with measurement experts, and a review of a number of existing research reports. Initial findings show that too many cases lack 'commercial rigour' in measurement, and that the industry needs to 'measure' social media and 'not just count it'.
Ian Priest (pictured), IPA President, comments: 'Social media measurement is multifaceted and will require new processes and ways of working. The focus of the project so far has been to unearth case studies where a strong and causal relationship can be established between social media activity and key business metrics. This is the important first step on a journey to rigorous measurement for this discipline and I am delighted that the industry has united in order for social media to be taken seriously.'
The partners say further social media ROI case studies are required in order to provide blueprints of best practice across the discipline, and to build on future industry learning and measurement. Any agency or client interested in submitting a case study can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Web sites: www.ipa.co.uk , www.marketingsociety.co.uk and www.mrs.org.uk .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.