Cynopsis Interview: What is the biggest obstacle to precise social-audience measurement right now?
Tania Yuki: There’s so much confusion, and we need a single voice to understand what is most important – lack of consensus and currency is killing our industry right now. To get there, researchers must be very transparent about what’s being measured and how it’s calculated so marketers can make the right decisions. Social is so specialized it can sometimes be hard for marketers to know what to ask.
There’s also still a legacy focus of reporting on big numbers, such as fans and followers. The numbers look good, and make us feel good but don’t give us an accurate picture regarding people who care about a company or TV shows. It needs to be the exact representation of what people are focused on and what the real audiences are.
Cynopsis: What can be done to set standards of measurement?
Yuki: Bringing key leaders to the table from the publisher, agency and advertiser side is the place to start – to agree on a currency everyone is comfortable with. We also need to uncouple the performance component from the measurement component. When people talk about social-audience measurement, they ask about ROI. But first you need to learn how to count what you’re getting and then, of what was counted, how good is the information?
Cynopsis: Which metrics matter most, and do they vary from one business to another?
Yuki: Focus on the quality of the consumer interactions—how loyal are they to this show versus everything else they can spend their time on. Will they share about the show with friends and family? The currency metrics you should be looking at are the unique engaged audiences, and how willing people are to go out to bat for you with their friends and family.