Some say I never heard of ‘ya, a rap burgler, false media.

We don’t need it do we? It’s fake that’s what it be to ‘ya, dig me?

“Don’t Believe the Hype”, Public Enemy

If you spend much time hanging around Argyle (or me or Adam or anyone else that works here), you’ll quickly find that we talk an awful lot about conversion attribution and how social media influences conversions. We just published a fairly lengthy treatise on social media conversion analytics that I suggest downloading and reading at your earliest possible convenience.

We believe very strongly that social media will never live up to its promise if marketers fail to link their efforts to meaningful business outcomes. There are glimmers of hope, but for the most part marketers still seem happy measuring their efforts with “metrics” and “sentiment” and “followers” and “buzz”. These indicators are better than nothing I suppose, but don’t really mean very much if they don’t reflect a ringing cash register…and thus certainly won’t matter when the bossman/bosslady is making resource decisions.

Case in point: Pepsi was a trendmaker in December 2009 when it opted to forgo the annual Super Bowl commercial brand-stravaganza in favor of social media. And then its tanking market share cast doubt on the entire channel in March 2011.

The Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman/Lewis beautifully foreshadowed Pepsi’s eventual flop way back in 2010:

I know I’m like totally old school and out of it and a big old dinosaur, but I thought marketing was supposed to be about selling stuff. Silly me.

I couldn’t agree more: don’t believe the hype, believe the results.

Not to brag, but our customers exemplify this approach. We just published the first few of what will be many customer stories – four very different businesses (an agency, a telecom provider, a consumer internet start-up, and a software company) achieving meaningful results through social media, powered in part by Argyle Social.

We’re incredibly encouraged that marketers are taking the initiative to measure social all the way through to conversion and we’re out-of-this-world proud that we’ve been able to help.

In closing, I humbly beseech you, dear social media marketer: please, for all of us, make sure that your social media efforts are moving the proverbial needle. The more effort we put into validating outcomes, the more visibility social gets as a legitimate channel, and the more credit we get as forward-thinking marketers.

A few more Pepsi-sized failures and we all might be looking for jobs in email marketing. :)

*Rap lyrics inspired by Ben Horowitz’ blog.

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