LONDON: Brands will soon be able to measure social media ROI if a new platform delivers on the promises being made by its supplier.

Media holding company IPG Mediabrands says that Performly can programmatically value a brand's social media activities by examining all brand-sponsored Facebook and Twitter activity. It measures the earned media inspired by the activity, calculates the value of that earned media against both the client's paid media pricing as well as industry benchmarks, and aggregates the overall value into a currency dashboard.

Launching the product, Eric Weaver, Chief Social Officer for Mediabrands' G14 cluster, noted that marketers had long struggled to prove the true value of a 'like' or a 're-tweet', while assessing the impact of social in the overall marketing mix had been equally problematic.

"Performly answers all of these questions," he claimed, "by showing the financial payoff of social programmes and allowing social to be measured in comparison to other traditional media channels."

This was becoming increasingly important, he said "as content proliferates and organic reach continues to drop, giving marketers an even greater need to prove which content and approach really works".

The need to understand the business return from social was highlighted in Admap last year when Erica Buckley of Edelman Digital wrote that "thin metrics" were too often being used to attempt to demonstrate social ROI.

She argued that marketers needed to first develop a social media strategy with a clear vision of what it would do for the business. Only then should they look at creating a key performance framework with a definition of what success looks like and how it was going to be measured.

"Defining the value of social media should come before you have built a million fans, rather than after," Buckley observed.

Data sourced from IPG Mediabrands, Admap; additional content by Warc staff