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Published on May 7th, 2009 | by Saurabh Pandey


IAB-Social Media Metrics-Standard Definitions Document

Social Media presents a whole new way in which consumers can experience and interact with brands. 

The core of social media is ‘influence’ and ‘engagement’, and today the challenge before us is to measure the ‘influence’ and ‘engagement’ opportunities.

I had created  a couple of white papers, a few months back:

1. ‘Social Media and RoI’ : (    and

2. ‘Blog Performance Metrics’: (

to address this challenge, and though it was ahead of it’s time for India, I received a mammoth of a response for the same. Between these 2 whitepapers, they have been downloaded/viewd over 700 times.

Now, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has finally recognized this challenge and have released their standard definitions fos Social Media Metrics.

IAB has divided the Social Media environment into 3 broad segments:

1. Blogs

2. Social Networks    and

3. Widgets/Applications

They have highlighted various metrics and sub-metrics which are useful (but are not entirely new, and you you could actually find these and many more in the above mentioned whitepapers).

Overall it’s an effort that needs to be appluaded , but my recommendation to agencies and marketers is not to blindly follow all the metrics. The metrics definitions may have to be customized and chosen carefully for the individual campiagn/endeavour.

For eg. Bounce rate of a blog is a metric to judge whether the blog is relevant to the traffic or not. Or does it have meaningful content for its readers or not. But the social media conundrum is so dynamic that you should not base your opinions on any one metric. To extend this example- I get a lot of traffic from twitter or through my facebook status message. People generally see my tweek and status message- click and visit the specific landing page – read the story and bounce back! They don’t go further. Does that mean that the blog doesn’t have meaningful content? 

So, as new applications or platforms like twitter come in, they change the way we use social platforms and this implies that the way we use metrics also needs to be tweaked, customised and interpreted holistically!

You can download the IAB PDF DOCUMENT through this link:



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