A sampling of his “measures,” drawn at random, includes: “volume of consumer-created buzz for a brand based on number of posts,” “shift in buzz over time,” “sentiment by volume of posts,” “number of chat room participants,” and “Wiki contributors.”
Help me out here. Exactly where on the P&L statement should the accounting firm list buzz, sentiment, chat participants and Wiki contributors?
Call me a stickler, but nowhere on the list did I find “units sold.” This strikes me as a major oversight. Rave about buzz all you like, but buzz ain’t sales.
I associate “measure” with empirical stuff. “The board is 10 feet long.” That’s empirical. But by the blogger’s standard, I suppose I could infer that the board must be the right length based on how many people talked about seeing it leaning against the shed.
To be fair, there have been documented cases of cold, hard sales attributable to social media campaigns. Moreover, I’m sure that direct marketers (alas, not branders) will unlock secrets for making the social media pay on a reliable, measurable, consistent basis.
But so far, most of the buzz about buzz is nothing but buzz.
Getting worked up over non-measures isn’t new. Ad agencies have been doing it for decades by ballyhooing recall and awareness scores. The ad industry loves to argue that when awareness or buzz is up, sales follow. Which is fine, unless you care about things like facts. Think back to the biggest nerd in your high school. He had high awareness and generated lots of buzz. Yet no one asked him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance.