Some ideas on measuring social network impact

Everyone is talking about the value of online social networks for business, but how on earth do you measure how well it’s working? Gary Stein has just written a terrific piece for the Clickz Network outlining three ways you can, as he describes it, measure the value of friends. Those ways are:

Volume: Perceived Value of Your Page – the number of friends generated and the rate at which they have joined up. As Stein writes, “Part of the value that each friend gives you is not only the actual connection, but — because the connection is made public (that is, the number of friends you’ve made is put right on your page for all to see) — that connection also communicates to other visitors. It’s the difference of walking by an empty café versus walking by a café with a line out the door.”

Conversion: Take up of Your Offers – The key thing, Stein writes, is to keep track of how well your unique content or offers is taken up. “Have a very clear single call to action on the page and make sure it is communicated via e-mails, alerts, or RSS feeds.”

Advocates: The Best of the Best Friends – 10% of your traffic will only visit once or twice, while your top 10% will come back constantly. “The key task is to be able to isolate this top group and have a plan for bringing them more closely into a relationship. A big part of the reason you’ll be on a social network is to have your messages passed along by others. The top 10 percent are probably your best chance of catalyzing that spread.”

Stein predicts that next wave of analytics will be centred around social networks, with measurement tools similar to those produced by the search engines. In the meantime, companies could do much worse than following Stein’s advice and work on maximising activities that boost those three measures.

Online analytics and pharma companies

Erika Morphy has written a great article published today in CRM Buyer about the need for pharma companies today to use analytics to sell more effectively. As a Datamonitor researcher is quoted as saying in the article: “Traditionally, all pharma had to do to sell more drugs was employ more sales reps and equip them with the right technology, such as mobile solutions. Now, because their main drivers of profits are being squeezed – the end of blockbuster drugs’ patents and the dearth of new blockbuster drugs coming to market – pharma has come to the realization that is has to be more effective in selling drugs.”

Read the story here.