“How do we measure it?”
When we talk to clients about the possibility of starting a recruiting blog, the question of ROI metrics is second only to, “Aren’t bloggers just a bunch of sexual predators and teenagers talking about their naughty escapades?”.
As blogs and social networking continue to grow and change the way that we connect with people in business – figuring out how to measure and optimize the interactions that occur will increasingly become a business imperative. Making a business case through metrics is the only way that we know how to sell ideas up the chain of command. But metrics are really just a jumble of numbers unless you can explain and understand the story that they tell – and then optimize based on what you’ve learned. There is a new exploding field that attempts to do just that. We have discussed Social Media Optimization previously here.
According to an article in ClickZ today, Omniture, a leading provider of Web Analytics & Online Business Performance Optimization software, is the first in the business to add “Web 2.0 business optimizations” – (their term, not mine) that package best practices expertise and technology for:
- Social Networking – Analyze the value and relevance of user-generated content
- Blogs – Measure consumption and influence of this new content medium
- Rich Internet Applications (RIA) – Quantify rich media engagement and abandonment
- Dynamic Site Search – Provide visitors with self-optimizing search results
- Visitor Interaction Profiling – 1:1 targeting with complete user profiles
What the hell does all that mean?
The social media optimization components will measure how your content is consumed and distributed online. Omniture’s software will track incoming links to analyze how your content is spread; how fast the community drops the content and it stops generating inbound links, and what day and time generates the most attention from the blogosphere and social networks. According to ClickZ:
“They want to understand what triggers a passive visitor to become a contributor to a blog or social network, and then they want to be able to optimize that experience,” he said. “By examining the interplay between various pieces of content within a site, our customers are able to better understand the role and relative value of blogs in their marketing mix.”
What is it that makes someone comment, or at what point did they go from being passive to active? How long before your current content gets old and you need to post again to turn up the incoming links? How valuable would this type of information be for a recruiting blog? If that information could be taken and used to optimize the site with the goal to encourage even more participation and activity – that will be really powerful – and help us make the business case more easily.
While the everyday Schmo out there can’t afford Omniture’s tracking capabilities – all large corporations that already have, or want to start, recruiting blogs should include this type of tracking as a mandatory component of their social media strategy. Whether or not Omniture’s new offering analyzes the RIGHT metrics to measure a blog’s value remains to be seen – but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Don’t have a strategy? Time to start thinking about that then.
[tags]socialmediaoptimization, social media optimization, recruiting blogs, social networking, blog metrics, web analytics, Omniture[/tags]