Sunday, October 30, 2011

Measurement Myths

So, measurement in social media is a big deal. How are we supposed to know if foraying into the Facebook world or starting up a Twitter account are benefiting our company? I recently started reading Katie Paine's book Measure What Matters and it is chock-ful of insight for the new ways we need to start measuring our online data. I love that Paine says that there are so many other ways to measure social media success besides ROI. Companies now need to set more specific and measurable goals to meet. A great part of Paine's first chapter is the many myths that surround measurement. I think this is a great topic to learn as a student, because I don't really use measurement much in my daily life. When I go to the workforce however, it's going to be extremely important that I use measurement correctly and know the bias's I will face when it comes to measurement in the future. Paine's list has seven myths that she has come across in her years as an evaluator:

#1: Measurement=Punishment
#2: Measurement Will Only Create More Work for Me
#3: Measurement is Expensive
#4: You Can't Measure the ROI, so Why Bother?
#5: Measurement is Strictly Quantitative
#6: Measurement is Something You Do When a Program is Over
#7: "I Know What's Happening: I Don't Need Research"

Some of these myths really made me angry because it amazes me that people actually think this way. Measuring the success or failure of a program will help in so many ways than one. Telling a manager that a program isn't working and showing them the results isn't going to get you punished. If anything it will help you get a raise because you are helping the company be more profitable. And in today's world full of technology measuring has become easier and cheaper than ever before. Just because measurement can be expensive, it's probably a better investment than wasting all of your money on unsuccessful programs. I think myth's five and six hit close to home for me. I have never been able to think of measurement as anything other than quantitative data, so that will definitely help in the future. And evaluation has seemed to be an end result for most people. In our RACE model, evaluation comes at the end of a project. Measuring is so important throughout the process of a campaign. It is important and beneficial that Paine dispelled these myths because they will help all of us future evaluators in the long run!


food for thought: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."- Eleanor Roosevelt

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