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Measuring Social Media ROI

Social media ROI is one of the most confusing and sought after topics for brands and consultants to comprehend. It’s not a clear equation. How do you measure the return of a positive mention? It’s a good thing, but can you quantify “good?” Recently, Christina Warren over at Mashable.com reported that roughly 84% of social media programs don’t measure return on investment. It’s okay if you don’t, but if you really want a better idea if your campaigns are working than you may want to attempt to measure it. Here is a good presentation to get you started.

Embrace Disruption!


We had the fortune of attending the Embrace Disruption! Media Micro Conference at SOCAP09 last week. The conference focused on how the media landscape is changing and the impact that social media in particular is having. The event was opened by Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi S and author of the new book Strategy for Sustainability. He talked about the emerging liability for businesses that social media is creating.

SOCAP09One example Adam showed was a video made of the world’s largest egg-laying hatchery Hy-Line International in Spencer, Iowa. As a result of this video and the website it is showcased on MercyforAnimals.org, people around the globe are getting the truth about the inhumane treatment of animals in our food chain.

Panel #1: Social Media That Moves People
This panel focussed on the importance of an online presence moving people to action offline. A very moving story on this panel was by Loren Poole from Invisible Children. What started out as a trip to Africa to make a short documentary turned into an unexpected movement. “Invisible Children: Rough Cut”, a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Uganda’s night commuters and child soldiers was created. A non-profit also evolved out of the project to help people get involved in making a difference in Uganda. This project is a great example of the use of video to tell a story and an online effort to get people involved in taking action offline.

Other speakers on the panel included great organizations that are using social media tools to advance their offline initiateves: Kjerstin Erickson from FORGE (a nonprofit organization that works with displaced communities in Africa), Elana Rosen from One Economy (global nonprofit organization that delivers the power of technology and information to low-income people) and Brent Schulkin from Carrot Mob (a method of activism that leverages consumer power to make the most socially-responsible business practices).

Social media strategy tips:

  • have the right story to tell
  • consider making a video that has no language barriers
  • make sure your video has some conflict in it but keep it fun!
  • have an offline activity attached to the online
  • social media can be manipulative: tell your story as accurately as possible
  • do something for others, don’t just talk about yourself
  • media is used to inform, educate and persuade

Tips for small businesses:

  • how does your story tell?
  • is video appropriate?
  • where are your constituents, customers hanging out? Are they on Facebook or Myspace?
  • experiment: try one thing and if it doesn’t work try something else
  • focus on where you have the most impact
  • build partnerships: deepen their willingness to pass on info about your company
  • video: hire a professional if you can or look into Youth Media Production

Video Tips:

  • leave an ask, drive people to action
  • try live streaming
  • drive to a point
  • brand what you want and vision it

Panel #2: Radical Reportage and Democratizing Information
The second panel of the of the day was moderated by Laura Flanders from Grit.tv. On the panel were Kim Spencer from LinkTV, Nick Aster from Triple Pundit, and Jurianne Kamp from Ode Magazine. The main discussion of this panel was if advertising should continue to drive media. If media isn’t paid for by advertising who will pay for it? Are people ready and willing to pay for content? The panelists all agreed there should be more transparency about where money is coming from for ALL media. There was discussion about the fact that new investment needs to be made in media and that media needs to be at the center of change.

Panel #3: The Community and Cause Marketing Opportunity for Media
The last panel was moderated by Ellen Schneider (Active Voice). Panelists included Jonathon Greenblatt (Our Good Works) and Christopher Gebhardt (Participant Media). The panel talked about the direction that Web 2.0 is going. Some would call it Web 3.0 which is the integration of online with offline. Participant Media, which was founded by E-bay founder Jeff Skoll, talked about their latest movies The Cove and Food Inc. The discussion led to how do you take the moment of stimulus (ex movie theatre) to create action. For the movie The Cove, which exposes the truth about the international dolphin capture trade, there is an action at the end of the film where viewers can send a text message to #44144 to show their support. This action is similar to signing a petition. The panelists gave some great tips…..

Tips for Media Producers

  • give your audience an invitation to communicate and participate
  • connect both online and offline
  • social media is accelerating change
  • build social action campaigns around films
  • find partnerships with Corporate brands
  • achieve scale with your value proposition
  • make sure you’re talking about a common vision
  • embed short code into everything

Embrace Disruption! was a great conversation of the direction that media is headed and the role that social media is playing in creating change. The core message was to drive action offline from online activities. The organizations that are embracing this use of media are seeing amazing results and are inspiring people to take action. We look forward to seeing this micro conference continue to grow and to hear the ongoing success stories of the role social media is playing in changing the media landscape.

Social Media Fall Internships


Earthsite, a New Media Agency for Sustainable Brands, is seeking interns for social media marketing.

Learn social media skills including: measuring social metrics, campaign management, viral marketing, word-of-mouth, and blogging techniques.

This is a great resume building, entry level position for candidates who enjoy being social and are comfortable with computers.

Company Background

Founded in 2003 by Green MBA graduate, Joey Shepp, Earthsite specializes in green and social design, web 2.0 development, and social media marketing. Earthsite’s clients are green economy leaders including: The Green Festival, San Francisco Department of the Environment, Numi Tea, The Green MBA, and Sustainable San Mateo County. Earthsite’s team are Green MBA alumni, web technology experts, and branding professionals. Our headquarters office are in Fairfax, Marin.

Internship Responsibilities

Management and growth of Social Media campaigns for Earthsite projects, including:
* Earthsite.net
* GreenMaven.com
* OpenBrands.org
* GreenMBA.com
* GreenFestivals.org
* More TBA!

Required Skills

* Experience with social networking tools including: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube
* Writing skills with ability to quickly summarize content
* High energy and self-managing personality
* Strong communications, and organizational skills (on and off line)

Internship Terms

* This is an unpaid internship, school credit if applicable.
* Possibility for future paid position.
* The length of each internship is for the Fall of 2009 from Sept 1 – December 31, 2009.
* We are seeking candidates that can work a 8+ hours per week with some time at Earthsite headquarters in Fairfax, CA and the remainder from home.
* The weekly schedule is flexible and can be developed around a candidate’s availability.

Please send resume and cover letter Attention: Stacie Shepp

Questions? Feel free to contact us.
No Phone Calls Please

We will be accepting resumes until AUGUST 28, 2009.

Using Twitter for Business

Produced by the team at Twitter, this comprehensive guide make learning to use Twitter simple and easy to understand. The guide takes you through “Getting started,” “Learning the lingo,” “Best practices,” and “Case studies.” It also offers more resources and a downloadable slideshow to share with your company.

More Resources:

From Corporate to Personal: A Breakdown of the Four Types of Twitter Profiles- by Jerimiah Owyang
A very good, short read if you are a professional looking to get started on Twitter for either yourself or for your company/ brand.

50 Ways to Use Twitter for Business

Four Ways Business use Twitter

5 Social Media Wins for Small Business

7 Secrets to Tweeting your Corporate Culture

Twitter for Beginngers: 5 Steps for Beginning Tweeters

How to Get Retweeted on Twitter

The Green Workplace

The Green Workplace

View more documents from Earthsite Team.

On Wednesday, July 22 2009, Earthsite’s Founder Joey Shepp spoke at the CESSE 2009 Conference. The conference took place at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Joey’s talk The Green Workplace was about how we work has a huge impact on our health, our environment, and the products and services we produce. In this workshop he discussed how to adopt green initiatives in the workplace, leading to greater employee health, energy and cost savings, more efficient collaboration, and how to reduce your carbon footprint. Topics included energy efficiency, paperless office, telecommuting, cloud computing, online collaboration, e-waste recycling, sustainable website hosting, healthy ergonomics, carbon footprint calculators, and green procurement.

The CESSE, Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, incorporated in 1977, is an informal, not-for-profit international organization of chief executive officers and mid-to-senior level staff members of scientific and engineering societies. CESSE offers its members a forum for exchanging information about their experiences and a venue for addressing the problems, challenges, and opportunities they face in operating their societies.

How to Talk to Baby Boomers About Social Media

We’ve have been noticing the tension around social media with some Baby Boomers. So we came up with a iist of talking points to help people look at it from a new perspective and redefine their relationship with social media.
  • It is important that Baby Boomers understand what is happening in social media so that they have a voice in what it becomes. Even if you don’t use it, it is good to understand why social media is one of the most important trends happening today.
  • The social media trend is the biggest communication revolution ever seen, and one not to be ignored or dismissed: If Facebook were a country it would be the 5th largest in the world, bigger than Brazil.
  • I do video conferencing with with my Grandma. She loves to watch my life through Facebook. As a matter of fact, the age group 45+ is the fastest growing group on Facebook. If my Grandma can figure it out, anybody can.
  • You control your own privacy: In Twitter you can ‘protect your updates’ and Facebook allows for detailed permission customizations, allowing you to have complete control over your data and identity. So you can have total lock down to just your closest friends and family, but you’ll soon find that public sharing is the most interesting.
  • Remember when you said that you’d never get a cell phone? Now look at the world. Social media is the same process, soon it will be come assumed. In most work situations, it is assumed that you have some savvy with social media for communicating with customers and peers.
  • Social media is not for everybody: Only 10-20% are deeply involved and they tend to be the cultural influencers and trendsetters. These active social media users then distribute the information through word of mouth. Look at how Twitter is sharing news quicker than CNN now. So, just find a few friends who spend a lot of time in social media, and ‘follow’ them.
Check out Jeremiah Owyang’s blog about this topic.

Social Media Workshops


Social Media for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

You’ve heard the buzz, you may have even given it a try, social media is shifting how we communicate and interact with our friends, clients, customers, and the public.

On Friday June 12th, 2009 Earthsite held two workshops to teach the basics of social media to small to medium sized businesses. We had a great turn out with lots of enthusiatic participants. At this workshop we walked participants through a short demonstration of how to set up and leverage social networks like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. We also showed case studies and best practices of how to successfully use social media to create followings, fans, and loyal customers.

If you missed this one we’ll be offering more in the future so get connected and stay tuned!

Social Media in Bloom

forrester market research on social media

Last week, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research, announced findings from their latest research in social media titled: Social Media, Playtime is Over. Despite an economy when budgets are being cut, people are loosing jobs, and forecasts are cloudy, the study found that 53% of marketers are intending to increase their social media budget.

Here are a few reasons why I think this is the case:

1. It’s getting Hot in here! Social media is on fire. It is hard to reconcile just how early we are into the evolution of the Internet, let alone the methodology of using social media to market brands. In many ways, it’s the wild wild west.

google trends for social media

2. Opportunity to emerge as a leader. New media and social media are drastically changing the marketing landscape. The transition offers many small-medium sized companies to gain exposure and to engage with customers which traditionally was only available to large organizations.

3. It works. The debate rages on about different models for calculating ROI, but case studies show that social media can be used for a variety of purposes and end results. (If you’d like to hear about some of these case studies, contact us!)

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