On May 9th, Rhonda and I attended the first annual Social Media Benchmark conference (www.benchmark-nyc.com) in NYC.
It was a unique conference of a smaller scale that focused on the measurement of social media marketing. Loved it. I found out about it from a student of mine, Katie Krum, who tweeted about the event. Thank you, Katie.
What was my main learning? My main learning is that we are still not measuring or even trying to measure the ROI of our social media marketing campaigns. And to be honest with you, I am not sure why. It is quite disappointing.
When I ask one presenter (to remain nameless) after his presentation why this might be, he said that it is too difficult to bring all the pieces together.
Infinity presented and had no mention of ROI
Unicef presented and had no mention of ROI.
Anheuser Busch presented and had no mention of ROI.
Both Rhonda and I were shocked by this. I would have thought we are past the point of enjoying the sandbox without having to justify our playtime with hard numbers. Come on, guys. We can do better than this. For example, to create a nonprofit outreach in the social space for a specific cause, I am sure we can at the very least examine the lift in donations pre versus post campaign. Right?
As a matter of fact, I am about to come out with some very cool social media ROI calculators that should help in this regard. But until then, companies need to try a bit harder.
What were the highlights of the conference? Hearing Cindy Gallop (“make love not porn”) and Jon Steinberg of Buzzfeed (formerly of Google) speak. They were amazing...even though Cindy made me, as a male, feel like a heel.
But the best part was that I was able to get 6 of my Masters students from NYU volunteer gigs at the event so they could attend for free. They manned the registration desk and took on other responsibilities that allowed them to network with all the great people there. I hope they all land great jobs.
All in all a great day!