April 29, 2010 Social Media Club Event: Measuring Social Success (Big and Small)

An Event at the Social Media Club

On April 29th, I attended the Boston Social Media Club event: Measuring Social Success (Big and Small).

The discussion panel consisted of the Queen of Measurement, Katie Payne, Jamie Pappas of EMC, Christopher Penn of Blue Sky Factory, Holly Allison of Vico Software, Brian Carlson of CIO.com and Mike Proulx (pronounced: Pru) of Hill, Holliday. Hosts for the evening were Howie Sholkin and Todd Van Hoosear of Fresh Ground.

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion essentially consisted of Ms. Payne asking questions and the panel responding in turn. Some takeaways:

Ms. Pappas noted that the number of fans and followers isn’t too meaningful a measurement. She’s looking for sales leads and sees that EMC has the largest share of the voice and positive influence in their particular niche. So, she uses Radiant 6 for measurement.

Mr. Penn is looking for earned income. Essentially, rather than whether his company is an industry leader, but an answer to a simple question: can they stay in business tomorrow?. He’s looking for qualified leads but his only real metric is number of sales. So, he uses Google Analytics and Salesforce.com.

Ms. Allison was there to represent the small B2B player, with less than $10 million in revenue. Her visitors are:

  • 60% from social media, of which
  • 27% are qualified leads, of which
  • 15% are opportunities, of which
  • 8% become customers

So, her granular analysis comes from HubSpot and Salesforce.com.


Mr. Carlson is looking more for increases in traffic to his site, and better content. His users bring in research, story ideas and story building, and he can also vet sources through them. So, he uses Omniture.

Mr. Proulx is measuring how social media and earned media relate to the mix with paid media. He’s using Media Solutions for his measurements.

The discussion was lively and engaging.

My only (small) quibble is – why does there have to be pizza at all of these events? I realize it’s a quick and cheap way to feed a lot of people, but when you’re watching your weight like I am, it makes for some awkwardness, as I ended up studiously avoiding the food which meant avoiding a lot of the networking as well. There were, to be fair, oranges, but they’re out of season already. And, who’s gonna peel an orange at one of these things?

I realize I may be a killjoy – and I am well aware that the event was a free one – but surely there are better choices that could have been made.

All in all – if you can get past the pizza – an excellent evening.