Selecting the right social media measurement partner
I’ve recently been working through a social media measurement (SMM) platform audit to ensure our agency capability is firmly positioned to deliver actionable social intelligence. The audit was intensive and encompassing and as a result I’m extremely confident we have partnered with the right platform and am looking forward to the opportunity it will bring in 2011.
If you or your company are looking to take steps toward selecting a SMM platform then your first glance at the industry may lead you to believe all platforms are largely similar. After all, every platform offers a comparable selection of metrics and variables to derive insight from. However as I moved through my audit, which in total took about 2 months to complete, it became clear there were a number of key battlegrounds in operation with some quite varied tactics at work. This made it very hard to compare apples to apples. Given the immaturity of this space, the lack of best practice or agreed process it may very well be a conscious decision by the platforms to maintain a certain level of confusion amongst the buying segment. This approach is seen all the time in the telecoms industry where call plans between operators use different language and mechanics making it nearly impossible for a consumer to make a simple decision.
The 5 key battlegrounds I experienced through my audit were as follows;
Like with any market you’d expect to see some level of brand differentiation, however there are definitely a few platforms that see PR, strategic alliances and self produced white papers as being a key weapons in their brand arsenal. I’m all for market intelligence, self promotion and partner innovations however there are some instances where these tactics are being used to create a smoke screen due to lack luster platform performance. If any of the differentiation drivers become a key influencing factor in a decision then I advise you dig a little deeper to ascertain the true value to your business first.