MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Evaluation in an Era of Apathy

I was particularly interested in what Martin Delaney had to offer to us this week in class. Evaluation to me, while I understand its importance, has always been one of those things we throw in at the end of the comm plan with no real hope of being able to accomplish it effectively. Now, before you toss my butt out of CPRS and IABC for blasphemy, gimme a chance to explain.  The issue I have with evaluation is that it depends, a lot anyway, on the willingness of people to give their time, with no real offer of anything in return, to participate in the process.  This is why I asked Martin about alternative evaluation methods that don’t rely on surveying people about their attitudes and feelings.  We’ve all, or at least a large part of us, taken research methods and know how difficult it is to create a truly valid and reliable survey that can be generalized to a larger population. It requires a lot of work and a lot of people willing to give up their time.  Now, I may be a pessimist but as the world grows further desensitized not only to advertising but to communications efforts in general, especially surveys I find, I just find it difficult to believe that a survey could really be an effective means to evaluation.  I mean, how many times have you just tossed out the satisfaction survey in a new electronic you’ve bought?  People talk all the time about how we are an apathetic generation.  Agencies such as Extreme have to use incredible shock methods to make us lift our heads up to notice. And we only give them one glance anyway.  Seriously though, what are the chances after we’ve already taken our precious time to participate in some sort of communication initiative, such as attending a fundraiser or an open house, that we’ll actually give up more time after the fact to tell them how we felt about it? Slim to none I think.  But again, I may be a pessimist.

Anyways, this was not the point of my blog.  What I was thinking was that I really appreciated Martin’s presentation in that he showed us some awesome, free evaluation tools available to us that I never knew existed. I mean, google analytics, I’m fairly confident that while I’m a bit sketched out that google is officially taking over the world, that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of.  Plus, it was totally cool to see that our blog is making a mark on cyber space, it really made me feel like we’re truly learning something. We’re officially leaving a cyber footprint…maybe all of this stuff really does make a difference.  Not that I was an unbeliever to begin with, but to see it in action, how cool! Anyways, I just wanted to say that I’m totally psyched about writing up the evaluation section of our plan now. We’ve officially got some incredible tools at our finger tips that we had no idea about. So I guess I’m sending out a big thank you to Martin and DeNel.

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June 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

YAY! We officially got the scoop on social media evaluation!

This is great news. Martin Delaney gave an amazing presentation to our class today, I learned a lot. But what’s really interesting is that I already knew some of the information he presented. I guess I just thought there was more to it than there really is.

When Martin said, “participation is the new consumption”, it all really made sense. A Social media campaign really does have a different overall goal than a traditional marketing campaign. Rather than getting people to go out and consume or purchase a product, we really want people coming together to be a part of the process.

So when I thought about measurement and evaluation, I definitely considered most of the things Martin said. It was interesting to hear him compare “soft data” to “hard data”.  In the end your social media evaluation will most likely be comprised of narrative research; talking and listening. I think that in the past, marketers did care about what their customers felt about their brand, but never actually listened. Social media presents us with this incredible opportunity to have this discussion with people, basically free research to enhance marketing initiatives. It’s so exciting!

Martin’s six steps for tracking a social media campaign:

  1. Benchmark
  2. Traffic
  3. Engagement
  4. Brand
  5. Sales
  6. Loyalty

This was really helpful, not only for our current client projects, but I will definitely use this information when I go to my next co-op and out into the working world. I thank DeNel and Martin, this is exactly what I wanted to get out of this course, and everything else is practice and the cherry on the top.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , , , , , | Leave a comment