Plurkshop on Social Media Measurement

No Gravatar logoOn Plurk, a newer microblogging/presence app, we have been having a series of “plurkshops,” an online DIY workshop where we start a topic and discuss it in real time, effectively turning Plurk into a chat room. This has been peer-to-peer knowledge sharing at its best. Some plurkshops have yielded over 600 comments in two hours, with the quality of the information shared being impressive. That’s a firehose of words, of course, so some of the participants have started writing recaps to summarize the discussion and put it into perspective.

Yesterday’s plurkshop on social media measurement generated over 450 comments in one hour. It was hosted by David Alston of Radian6, a social media monitoring and measurement service. I’ve been impressed with Radian6 not just as a tool, but with the way the company markets itself by joining and fostering social networks and communities. David could have used yesterday’s plurkshop to promote the company; instead, he merely participated in the discussion. It also shows foresight that Radian6 is active in Plurk, which has far fewer members than Twitter but is a very engaged community. In this post I have not provided the thoughtful questions David used to lead the discussion; you’ll have to read the entire plurkshop transcript for that.

Amber Naslund has an excellent recap at The Brandbox. So I will simply highlight here some of the key participants and their thoughts. As you can see, we raised more questions than we answered, but it’s amazing to me just how much valuable information can be shared in short bursts of 140 characters or less. These quotes will give you a glimpse into the minds of some of today’s social media practitioners and thought leaders, and give you a taste of what the plurkshops are like in case you want to join us for future events.


  • Measurement is not only about $, but about lending credibility to social media as a marketnig tool.
  • says in order for it to gain wide acceptance social media will have to prove its value in terms of ROI
  • says yep, sm is not a “campaign,” but an ongoing conversation. Got t b n it for the long term.
  • As to need for SM, if our customer base is there (think Forrester technographics) how can we not be, regardless of direct monetary benefit.


  • The issue I see most often is trying to define SM in terms of direct marketing, it has to be able to show something in terms of ROI
  • trying to convince old school direct marketers of the value of social media can be very difficult in my experience
  • wishes he could get DM people to understand that SM is the ultimate form of one-on-one direct marketing
  • SM in marketing bears more resemblance to PR than to standard marketing, it’s this shift that is hard to sell sometimes
  • Community Building is the best description I can think of to describe how SM can be used as a marketing tool
  • Great point Connie. I’ve been trying to convince our PR people to get on board for over a year. Its as if they resent SM at this point
  • SM is about engagement, and Amber is right, too often it is used to push content, not to start discussions
  • I work for a small company that exists solely due to DM, we can’t afford traditional “brand advertising”
  • SM has the ability to be a very cost effective form of brand advertising (minus the advertising portion)but they still see it in terms of DM


  • says I think the biggest source of confusion is that cos see Social Media as being marketing, and want 2 apply same metrics
  • says the prob is cos want to immediately know what they will get back, but it takes time to get quantifiable results
  • wonders if the tie between SM and link to $$ is integrating as a support for other marketing efforts
  • says ike it took Dell 2 years to see blog mentions fall so dramatically that they could tell their SM efforts were working
  • says right, you make money with social media INdirectly, not directly. Many cos can’t wrap their heads around that
  • says if used properly, SM leads to more connections with customers, more feedback, which means more efficient (costs less) marketing
  • says i polled my blog readers a couple of weeks ago, the content they most wanted to see was social media case studies
  • says but I think as companies hire more younger workers that are more familiar with social sites/tools, cultures will become more open
  • says should we call it Return on Interaction?
  • says i think cos need to realize that with social media, they have to get their hands dirty, they have to provide value


  • trouble is coming from the “search” background, so many clients are thinking it’s about links and measuring that.. when that’s not it’s goal
  • so to a degree, the measurement, somewhat needs to be a cross between PR measuring & web analytics


  • I think you have to measure SM more like you to BizDev, where not every interaction is going to have a tangible vlue
  • and how do you mollify a CMO that wants impact right now?
  • Everyone wants that special word: ROI
  • i spend X and I get Y.
  • maybe it’s a goalsetting issue: not understanding really what the endgame should be from your efforts in SM aside from just revenue.
  • “social” has a casual connotation that undermines its credibility in the business world
  • agrees that we need to get vigilant with capturing and sharing case studies among this community
  • connie you’re onto something there. maybe it’s not measuring the “what do we get” but “what are we missing if we don’t”
  • you’re so right. the irony is that my newest client is a PR firm because they now realize they’ve been left behind


  • says as we blend the disciplines of SEO, SMO and SM it becomes more complex
  • says telemill agreed however think of other mktng efforts such as trade shows not always a 1:1 but cos understand need 2 participate in key shows
  • says what about the service aspect of SM? One could argue it is an extension of customer service


  • says someone told me once that instead of thinking of return on investment, think about return on initiative to get the complete picture
  • says it’s about relationships and can’t put a price on the real relationships.If you build them with $$ as a bottom line, they aren’t as valuable


  • I agree with pchaney, as well. A history needs to be created to convince clients.
  • absolutely. Companies want instant results. Social media is long term
  • hinks SM is also potentially more effective purely due to access to people who are listening!


  • asks is customer satisfaction and loyalty a metric that has short term results that corp types understand
  • says even the best case studies I’ve seen use involvement as the metric for success. Hard to convince corp to invest $$ w/o business case.
  • says H&R Block has stated that they are in SM for the long haul as a long-term strategy to build younger client base.


  • i think the problem is that social media has such a broad scope and affects so many aspects of business
  • is SM in the context of new product development very different than PR around a product launch
  • says I think the issue is cultural, in a big company the people responsible in PR and Mktg are the most threatened by loss of control


  • wants to understand how to capture data on relationships. And does anyone want to feel their relationship is being measured?
  • thinks storyspinner has point about R of ROI. R should be redefined - Relationships, Opportunity, Investment


  • I remind ppl that “social” simply refers to people as opposed to “computer”. They understand computer networks. Social media is people net
  • says pchaney raises a good point. What is the cost of NOT being in the social media/web space?
  • says Or should we change the I of ROI. Return on involvement.
  • Mack, how can you tie a great story in WSJ about your product to bottom line impact of sales? Same with SM.
  • thinks PR missed the boat by not taking the lead in SM. They are more accustomed to measuring “soft” benefits of their work.


  • says my focus is on employer branding and we assess & monitor the # of and tone of SM mentions related to a company and employment
  • says and then we look at how that changes over time (the number and tone) as participation increases


  • says I deal with the ROI problem in my niche segment (medical influence) and no matter what RO(x) you call it, it all comes down to
  • MONEY saved or money earned.
  • says mackcollier I do think companies believe they are providing value with their “push” mentality. Perhaps need to define “what” value to “whom”

After the plurkshop, DaveWebb, shared a link to similar topics he had discussed on Mission Driven Marketing.

This is just a small sampling of the rapid back-and-forth discussion from a few of the participants. Others who offered opinions include Contrapuntist sweet2685 Thoughtwrong pierrefar anniemal martinbogo Teeg tipzu TDefren Debra ╬ I Am Gay ╬ bhamlibby BarbaraKB potsie 6consulting nowsourcing ItyBites Telemill ablereach bethharte denise205 epodcaster DebInDenver ConnieBensen

Now, to make sense of all this, go read Amber’s recap. She is the Great Plurkshop Synthesizer.

~ Connie

This post was written by:

Connie Reece - who has written 142 posts on Every Dot Connects.

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. David Alston Says:

    Connie, Thanks for the great summary in addition to Amber’s. It was an honor to be part of the discussion and to help moderate it. Thanks for asking me to do it. Would love to continue the discussion on this topic any time for future Plurkshops.


  2. Paul Chaney Says:

    Wow, what a great recap Connie. That was an interesting and timely conversation indeed. I’m looking forward to the next.

  3. Jane Chin Says:

    Grouping by individual comments is an excellent idea and complement to Amber’s summaries, because we can also see individual perspectives from your format. I hope you do the same for future plurkshops.

  4. Connie Reece Says:

    David - I’m sure we’ll come back to this topic because it’s such an important one. It’s been great interacting with you on Plurk.

    Paul and Jane - Thanks for your comments. I had not intended to do the recap quite like this but it was interesting to see individual perspectives. It took a lot of time, so don’t know if I’ll be able to be this thorough again. I hope more people will start doing blog posts about their thoughts and link back to the plurkshops blog so we can track them.

  5. btard Says:

    nice blog. typo up there on ‘marketnig’.

    keep up the informative posts. i read way up about the plurk scammers. crazy.

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