Social Media Ad Metrics

This document specifies standard definitions for Social Media Metrics. With the rapid growth seen in the Social Media space in recent years, many publishers and vendors are offering supplemental performance metrics to their clients as additional ways of gauging ad effectiveness. This document defines these supplemental metrics in more detail in an effort to stimulate growth by making the reporting of metrics for agencies and advertisers across multiple media partners more consistent. The IAB hopes that all players in the Social Media space will coalesce around these metrics to encourage growth through consistency.

Social media speaks to a new way of understanding how individual users are interacting with branded content via online publishers, social networks, blogs, and applications. Before the proliferation of social media, the primary way for users to receive advertiser information was one-way. Social Media has changed the paradigm of how people consume online media.

The most profound difference is that Social Media has added a participatory element where an individual not only receives information but has the ability to take part in the creation and distribution of content. Furthermore, social media tools have enabled a dialogue and discovery around this content.  It is the combination of these unique and appealing aspects that defines the true value of social media. 

Value is derived not only from the primary distribution of branded content but also the additional interactions that result as users share, participate with, and propagate advertising content. In the end, social media adds another layer of value through its ability to engage users and create additional reach.

The current Social Media landscape can be broken into three distinct categories:

  • Social Media Sites
  • Blogs
  • Widgets & Social Media Applications

This document first defines each of the categories, and then defines the supplemental metrics specific to each.