Yesterday's release of Sociagility's study of social media performance by Republican primary candidates is timely for today's Iowa caucus. It correlates strongly with Iowa voting intention as compared to the most recent polling data from Public Policy Polling. The study shows the importance of an effective social media profile for political brands as much as for products or services, and provides further credibility for Sociagility's PRINT™ methodology as one of the best KPIs for judging the ROI from social media marketing.

What I like about the PRINT methodology is the analysis behind not just one social media channel, but how the social media channels interact and integrate with each other. PRINT provides a single number that shows overall performance compared to a defined set of competitors – in this case, the GOP primary candidates. So far, PRINT has been proven to correlate strongly with brand value and growth, as defined by the Interbrand Brand Value and WPP BrandZ studies, and it therefore provides a KPI for social media performance that can be used to set and track targets.

For GOP candidates, Sociagility analyzed the popularity, receptiveness, interaction, network reach and trust (aka PRINT) of candidates across different social media channels. Ron Paul's campaign website and YouTube channel, and Newt Gingrich's Twitter and Facebook profiles, proved the most effective. Paul achieved the best interaction, network and trust scores, while Gingrich's social media presence demonstrated the highest level of receptiveness.

Individual results were as follows:
click on chart to enlarge.


Another study released yesterday from Socialbakers (and Infographic) revealed the most engaging and influential US presidential candidates on Facebook, but the study is limited to the one social media channel and there's no correlation with polling data to demonstrate how social media is driving voting preference. Its findings seem to be more one-dimensional than those of Sociagility, which makes its scores less actionable for the social media strategists among us.

eMarketer recently published a piece entitled "When Will Social Media Measurement Mature?" about metrics that matter, in other words, effectiveness. Perhaps 2012 will be the defining year.

In the meantime, I'll be looking forward to today's results in Iowa in terms of which "brand" wins.

MaryLee Sachs was most recently US Chair and Worldwide Director of Consumer Marketing at WPP firm Hill & Knowlton. She launched her new book, The Changing MO of the CMO, How the Convergence of Brand and Reputation is Affecting Marketers, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on June 23. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Read all MaryLee's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at MaryLee Sachs.

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