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Social Media ROI: Measurement is Getting Easier

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It's the ninth day of competition in the second annual Blog-Off Competition, and this is where we're at:

  • 22 Competitors
  • 13 International Sponsors
  • 102 Posts (so far)
  • 983 Comments and Conversations (and counting)

Reaching an audience of more than six million readers, the international Blog-Off Competition has become a voice of influence in the social media arena.

Andrew Ballenthin, founder of #blogoff2, has put together a team of sponsors and judges from Australia, India, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Their professions include TV Producer, Author, Director of Strategic Alliances, Radio Host, Senior Vice-President, and CEO. (And they've assembled prize packages worth more than $45,000.)

The competitors cover the spectrum from social media neophyte to experienced marketing professionals and writers. Here are all 22 competitors in alphabetical order:

  1. Alison Silbert
  2. Catherine Mcquaid
  3. Darlene Sabella
  4. Elizabeth Thomas
  5. Gianluigi Cuccureddu
  6. Gina Marie Gordon
  7. Janet Barclay
  8. Joanna Wiseberg
  9. Joy Webber
  10. Kelly Ann Carpentier
  11. Laurie Dillon-Schalk
  12. Lucia Brawley
  13. Mike Browne
  14. Narotam Mangar
  15. Sam Diener
  16. Sean Nelson
  17. Sherry Truhlar
  18. Steve Martile
  19. Sue Batton Leonard
  20. Therran Oliphant
  21. Tim Ruffner

My hat is off to each of them for stepping out and accepting the challenge: How well can you engage an audience in just 12 days?

Visit Blog-Off II before 12 Dec 2009 to see the competition happening. Then stay tuned as Andrew and his international team of judges declare the winner — the World's Best Blogger.

Andrew also has quite a few statistics stored up from the competition. You can bet he'll be revealing them, and what they say about measuring social media ROI, in January 2010. Anyone with an interest in using social media for their business wants to know what Andrew has discovered.

Competitors are being graded on five criteria:

  1. Quality of their post headlines
  2. Originality and depth of their writing
  3. The traffic each participant's posts gather
  4. How long each visitor stays
  5. The dialog they're able to generate

You can see from this that the action consumers (readers) are being asked to take is to make a comment. That's the key to tracking your social media marketing efforts — knowing your objective.

The volume of traffic and length of stay are important factors. No one is going to take action if they never see your message (traffic) or they leave too soon.

In this case, once you have the traffic happening, it is the quality of the headline that is going to capture attention. The originality and depth of the writing is what will hold that attention. It's also the primary factor that determines whether a reader will be motivated enough to make a comment.

Remember that dialog doesn't have to be praise or applause. In fact, the better conversations result from readers having questions or even disagreeing with a point in the article. After all, how much can you really say in response to "Hey, great post."

When you combine the detailed information Andrew is gathering with the experience and passion of his team, you know they are producing results that will set industry standards for measuring social media. The Blog-Off Competition is a practical, hands-on test of what social media can do.

Competitors are using their own networks, social media profiles and mutual support to generate traffic. The competition sponsors are reaching out to their audiences to support the competitors, and media attention is growing. All of which is being watched, tracked and measured by Andrew.

Without a doubt, Andrew has succeeded in designing and employing the ideal tool for measuring social media ROI. The Blog-Off Competition can only grow larger and become a more effective tool.

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