A recent article by Kim Garst in the Huffington Post, entitled Social Media Measurement and the Only Metric that Matters, caught my attention as it reinforced the idea that CRMs are being replaced, in whole or part, by social media platforms. I believe that social networks are shifting and augmenting the role CRMs play in business, and not necessarily replacing them.

The article also prompted me to clarify the difference between measuring social media engagement and measuring social media exposure.

A key tenet underlying TrendTopics’ business model is simple:  Media, in all its forms, drives awareness, interest, and to a certain extent actions or behaviors.  There’s paid media (advertising), owned media (your blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter handles, Google+ pages, Instagram badges, Pinterest catalogs, etc.), and earned media (newspapers, magazines, blogs, discussion forums, etc.) .

  • TrendTopics is focused on measuring earned media.
  • Social Media Measurement Platforms are focused on measuring owned media.
  • What about paid media?  Think Google Analytics and the sea of advertising networks that exist today.

At TrendTopics, we “boil” the media ocean. Coding thousands of trends, brands, and influencers into our tracking catalog (with hundreds of new entities added every month) gives us a very wide monitoring net.  We apply these tracking parameters to an ocean of media data, both traditional and social. We can’t tell you how many people re-tweeted your company’s product announcement, or how many Likes you got this month on Facebook. But we can tell you the relative media performance of every major consumer and commercial brand.  We can also illustrate how those brands trended over the last 4-years.  And we can also tell you essentially how every major topic, subject and trend is being covered across multiple media segments.

Why is this important?  Earned media carries inherent credibility. Include social media mentions and you’ve got a potent mix of media performance metrics.  Understanding all three types of media (owned, earned and paid) are critical to successfully managing  today’s media waterways.

And never forget that the credibility of one media source versus another is inversely related to how much influence you have over that source.   Interestingly, surveys have shown that social media is viewed as a negative drag on more official sources of news and events.  Apparently people are naturally skeptical of the growing number of semi-anonymous news pundits on social networks.