Today is an exciting day for Dachis Group, with the public launch of the Social Business Index, which has so far been in closed beta with over 100 early access customers. See Erik’s announcement for a good introduction to the service.
The Social Business Index tracks the performance of the most socially engaged global businesses, providing real-time ranking, analysis and benchmarking. It covers companies’ social business initiatives on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, message boards, forums and other platforms, tracking behaviours that can provide evidence for real business KPIs, and ultimately ROI. Currently, it tracks over 26,000 brands from over 20,000 companies, including over 100 million social accounts worldwide, but this is growing all the time.
Whereas social media monitoring has tended to look at what the market is saying about a brand, the idea here is to gauge the effectiveness of your organisation’s own social engagement strategies and tactics – not just sentiment (which it seems to do rather well, by the way), but defined, identifiable behaviours.
We believe that a far greater proportion of marketing budget spend could move to social engagement and performance brand marketing if we are able to develop more sophisticated ROI or measurement models geared to real-world business impact rather than just social metrics like hits, clicks, like and views. As my friend Niall Cook wrote just this morning, ROI is hard to measure as a purely financial metric; but more than anything we need benchmarks and some way of measuring relative success. The Index is Dachis Group’s contribution to that process, and it is the beginning of a journey that will almost certainly involve a lot of tweaking, debate, testing and refinement. But we know the need is there – companies are regularly asking us how they can objectively assess the success of their social engagement efforts, and see how well they are doing against competitors.