Is it really possible to measure the impact and quantify the monetary value of 'buzz' generated through social and online media channels?
A few weeks ago, a New York-based company called General Sentiment released a report that attempted to do this.
Below is a graphic from the report where General Sentiment equates the value (in USD) of media mentions and buzz for 20 global companies, measured from October to December of 2010:
General Sentiment is a technology company that provides research to help businesses evaluate their brand performance in the media (social and online).
Among other things they claim to have developed a system that automatically determines the volume of mentions and sentiment regarding a brand, company or person. Combining this data with website traffic and online/news readership figures, they determine the purchase equivalent value (in USD) of brand exposure for each company across the Internet.
I came across the report from a post written by Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune online. Comments on Philip's post range from high skepticism to pure absurdity on the ability to place a true monetary value on the impact of social and online media buzz to a company and its brand. You can read the story and comments here.
I give General Sentiment credit for taking on the very difficult challenge to develop technology and research to provide such measures, assessments and data points.
These are important data points (in part) to support decisions associated with communication and social business program investments. It is amazing how many business leaders underestimate, undervalue and misplace the importance and power of communication in the era of social business.
What is buzz and can it really be measured?