There is a lot of talk about ROI in social media and an increasing number of high quality tools put forward to help measure and monitor the social web… Radian 6, Brandwatch, Facebook Insights, Social Mention and many more.
One of the problems is that there is often too much focus on just looking at the data provided by these tools without consideration to what you want to find out.
Many tools have been created to gather/sort the available data and present it in nice charts. Analysts then attempt to interpret this data as best they can to see if there is any ROI. But what does an increase in mentions, likes or comments mean?
A better way to look at it is to step back from the data and ask a research or marketing question such as ‘How can I better engage our customers in Facebook?’ and then look to see what data is available to help answer that question. It will usually come from a mixture of sources.