If you are like most marketers I talk to, you are probably trying to find a reliable way to measure the effects of your social marketing efforts. One of the tactics I typically recommend is to use a listening platform to understand and benchmark the scope and quality of conversations happening around your brand. In Razorfish's recent publication "Fluent"they along with TNS Cymfony introduce a formula that really captures the value of listening platforms for measuring social media. They call it a "SocialInfluence Measurement" or SIM score, and it works like this:
1. Calculate the number of positive, negative, and neutral conversations happening for your brand
2. Use the formula (Positive + Neutral – Negative)/ Total brand conversations
3. Calculate the number of positive, negative, and neutral conversations happening for your industry
4. Use the formula (Positive + Neutral – Negative)/ Total industry conversations
5. Divide lines 2/4 and you have your SIM score
A few people have compared it to a Net Promoter Score, but I think it goes one step further in that it compares your brand's performance to that of the industry.
Not only that, but elements of the formula give you other cool insights. For example, the result from line 2 can be divided by your total brand conversations to give you a "net sentiment" score. You can do the same thing with line 4 and divide that number by the total industry conversations. If your net sentiment score is lower than the industry average, your competitors have better positive sentiment across social media than you do.
You can recalculate this score over and over as you try new forms of social marketing. While the score will certainly reflect larger efforts, such as big TV campaigns or news stories, you can typically correlate the effects by mapping your scores on a time line and plotting all of the different campaigns and news stories to see which things affected your score the most.
If you don't have a listening platform, ask your interactive agency about it, and ask them to develop a SIM score for you and your industry.