Yesterday morning I moderated a discussion on social media measurement at #SMBChicago. We started the discussion with some of the free tools I blogged about a couple of weeks ago (see it here).

Then we spent some time discussing additional tools. They are as follows:

* I personally love this URL shortener because it’s much more accurate than, plus it shoots your content into StumbleUpon, which helps with your search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

* Double Click: I don’t know much about Double Click from my own experience, but maybe @earthbelowus can guide you.

* Hootsuite: There is a debate between Hootsuite and TweetDeck for a desktop application. I use TweetDeck, but have been playing with Hootsuite. The only reason I haven’t fully gone Hootsuite is because I have too many groups set up in TweetDeck and it’ll take me a full day to transfer them. But those in the discussion today swear by it!

* TubeMogul @Big_Teeth was telling us he uses this to track video users.

But the biggest take-away was not in the free tools we discussed, but in the five areas that offer the most ROI, measurement, and dollars and cents:

1. Brand awareness: Hard to measure straight to dollars and cents, but you’ll know from siteVOLUME, Google searches, popuri, and other tools whether or not your brand awareness has increased. You’ll also be able to tell from gut, if you’re really paying attention.

2. Thought leadership: You’ll know whether or not this is successful if you’re invited to speak at conferences, on panels, interviewed for stories, or people are linking to your blog/Web site when they publish content. Unless you eventually get paid for these things, it won’t automatically translate to dollars and cents, but everyone wants to work with the popular, smart kid and the more you’re out there, the more business you’ll drive.

3. Prospecting for new business/customers: Create referral networks or (as much as I hate them) affiliate programs to drive business to you. Use social media just like you would a networking event. Go often, network, connect, and find people to work with. This is the best way to drive dollars and cents because new business means added revenue and bigger profits.

4. Recruiting new talent: I’m sorry to headhunters out there, but social media is going to put you out of business. You absolutely can recruit new talent just by being open and transparent about a day in the life of your company, what your culture is like, and what the vision is for the business. You’ll attract people who want to work with you just by being out there.

5. Brand loyalty through engagement: It doesn’t matter what your business is – B2B or B2C – if you’re engaging with your customers, you are creating loyalty. Today people EXPECT to have a personal relationship with the people who work at the companies they buy from, including the CEO. And if people are loyal because they have a personal relationship with you, you can make a mistake, apologize, and not lose the customer.

Thanks to @monicaobrien, @Big_Teeth, @tamcdonald, @julibarcelona, @tektitegroup, @lindantonio, @cgrab34, @earthbelowus, @dockane, @chiarchitecture, and Akanksha Hoskote, for the lively, and informative, discussion!

Do you have additional measurement tools that you use?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich