This is true of 1st level product promotion and maybe case deflection in customer service. Maaaaybe measuring share of voice and calling it mindshare. But it is not true of what’s ultimately most valuable for business in social media: the 2nd order of value that can be captured by watching and learning. It’s a target rich environment to hunt for insights. Refinement and conversion of those insights into value happens in our minds and collaboration, though. The trackers lose the scent in that rich river of human creativity.
And participating in strategic public conversations can yield un-trackable brand benefits and advocacy. For example, people in my industry will see this very comment and when they start to think about leveraging social media for go-to-market or market intelligence, they’ll think of us. Or when they see someone else who could use that kind of value (anyone can), they’ll refer that person to us. That’s a huge part of how we get our customers! But they won’t use a trackable URL. It’s value that can’t be quantified. And so is the strategic communications value I get from reading Ryan’s post on this.
Maybe in addition to saying “no really, we can measure dollars and cents too” we should be saying “come on in, the water’s fine!”