Quick'n'Dirty: Bringing sanity to social media measurement

There is no way to quantify the effects of social media. Here's why this statement is wrong.
Written by Jennifer Leggio, Contributor

You can't measure the success of social media. There's no quantifiable return on investment (ROI) in social media. Social media is intangible, you can't measure awareness. These are only three of the misperceptions that keep Ken Burbary up at night.

Burbary, who heads up social media and web strategy for Ernst & Young, joined me and co-host Aaron Strout on last week's Quick'n'Dirty Podcast to discuss how he was brought onto the advisory services team at Ernst & Young to debunk those erroneous rumors and develop a strategy and service around social media metrics. Burbary's defense of social media metrics was so compelling that listener Chuck Hemann said that "Ken is bringing sanity to the discussion around social media measurement." For the full conversation, which is worth a listen, check out the replay. For more information Burbary's position on measurement, check out the presentation he gave at this year's Future Midwest entitled "Consumer Insights and Analytics that Drive Digital and Social Strategies."

Last week was the first show in our new time slot of noon PT / 3 p.m. ET and also our new, quicker and dirtier 30-minute podcast. It was fast and furious and chatty me and Aaron had a significant challenge keeping it in under the time clock, but were thrilled with how much great content we packed into the show (if we do say so ourselves). In addition to Burbary's phenomenal interview, we also talked about our social application of the week, which was Google podcast player. Aaron, who is a podcasting veteran, talked about an article he read that gave good "how tos" on how to use the flexible podcast player to embed audio files into all different kinds of blog platforms. So flexible and feature rich that it replaces ODEO, which has long been a standard.

We also introduced our featured Twitterer of the week, which was Mr. Jason Meserve (@jmeserve) of Constant Contact. Jason is a compelling tweeter, informative and entertaining, and helpful to those in need of Constant Contact guidance. Jason, we love your tweets!

Finally, we talked a lot about the Gizmodo vs. Apple controversy in our weekly point / counterpoint. It's such an over-discussed issue, but I was dying to hear Aaron's opinion (especially since I tend to be anti-Gizmodo in general practice). Check out the replay to hear our banter about it.

And now, onto some special business. Over the last few months, Aaron and I have been discussing how we were going to continue to successfully manage our quickly growing podcast, as well as how we might take it to the next level. We agreed that in order to do that we needed to expand our little team of two into a team of three, and bring on a producer. Our hope was to bring on someone digitally proven and talented, someone who has the talent and savvy to fill in as guest co-host when needed, and someone who has a similar "no BS" attitude around social media that both Aaron and I hold so dear. We considered many talented personalities when seeking out this role, and we finally made a choice. On that note, I'm happy to introduce our new producer, Rich Harris. Harris was a natural insert into the Quick'n'Dirty family. He has a sarcastic wit that rivals mine and Aaron's, he knows social media like the back of his hand (he runs socmed for Seagate during his day job) and he packs a powerful punch with a blog of his own called 47 Project. Admittedly, the fact that Rich and I go back 10 years made it an easier decision to make as trust is a huge factor when bringing a person into such a project, but it's his talents that sold us.

So, please join us in the chat this Thursday at noon PT / 3 p.m. ET as we officially welcome Rich to the Quick'n'Dirty Podcast. In addition, we're also excited to bring on special guest Lon Cohen, who will talk about his time spent as a very prolific freelance writer, as well as what he has learned as director of online communications at The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. See you on Thursday!

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