Drum roll please, as we launch ourselves into the dog days of summer, and publish our August ebook for your poolside consumption. This month’s venture, titled The Future of Analytics, is going to dig into where measurement stands when it comes to social media. What is the future of social media analytics? Why is it so important, and how can you start making it an important part of your business objectives?

But before we start, let’s try something. Type ‘Social Media Analytics’ into Google and press enter. In about, oh, .15 seconds (that’s point one five!) Google spits out roughly 34,200,000 results. Pretty impressive considering social media engagement itself isn’t universally embraced yet in the business world.

What that number tells you, however, that this is a serious subject. Marketers love numbers. And they want to be able to meet real targets and see concrete ROI. Injecting social media into the mix of traditional marketing is all well and good, until you have nothing save for some Facebook likes and Twitter shares to share with the C-Suite.

The call to arms these days across social media platforms is “What’s the ROI of social media?” One pundit famously responded with “What’s the ROI of your mother?”, his re-versioning of the widely known joke. It made me laugh – out loud, in fact – but also indicates pretty clearly that it is a contentious issue.

In the early days, as social engagement began to catch on, people compared determining the ROI of social media to “….assigning multiple choice scoring to an essay question.” It just wasn’t possible.

Then along came the ability to seriously track and monitor sentiment, deep dive into insights, behavioural patterns, and platform usage, and assign value to shares of voice and conversation, as well as any other anomalies, and voila, “the golden age of social media analytics” was said to be upon us.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying that social media is now firmly planted in our collective consciences; it has changed the way that brands market and craft plans for campaigns, and how consumers shop and what they expect from corporations.

So, what is the future of social media analytics? In this ebook we take a look at how to standardize metrics in order for the industry to reign it all in. Why collaboration and sharing is an important part of learning best practices and smart ways to tackle to subject. And we discuss mainstream social media metrics (SOV, net promoter score, etc.) as a first step in the process of understanding metrics and ultimately standardizing them.

There’s a ton of takeaway in this month’s ebook, whether you’re a born analyst or number shy. So kick back, send the kids swimming (but keep a close eye on them!), and enjoy the read.