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This was my second year at last week's Social Media and Web Analytics (SMWA) Summit in San Francisco. Hosted by the UK's Innovation Enterprise Group, an organization built around an entire curriculum of industry knowledge events, the social series, in particular, is designed to improve the science of social media measurement. 

I continue to be impressed by the stellar line up these folks assemble, including executives from LinkedIn, Macy's, Bloomberg, Visa, and others. For those unable to be there, a fabulous summary of the event was Tweeted: 

social lifetime value

web analyticsFor me, the surprise presentation came from an unlikely source: AOL.

Just before kick-off the guy sitting next to me whispered, "Is this going to be about 'what not to do?'" But clearly, AOL has moved far beyond dial-up into a powerful player in the online publishing space (acquiring HuffPo and other strategic moves). And understanding the value of their social customer is something they take seriously. 

Companies today are looking for proof that social media marketing works by asking things like, “How many sales will this get me?” And we're all trying to figure out ROI. But another calculation to make is to quntify the difference your social media channels make in the lifetime of your customer relationship.

Below is Aol's Social Media Director, Matthew Knell's dive into the five key questions to consider in calculating the value of your social customer

 

When I do conferences (and I attend and report on 40+ a year), I look for solid case studies from a variety of industries, access to presentations and collateral, and well run operations. Just a glance at the website dedicated to IE events, and you know these guys do things right. 

smwa

Indeed, I collected some shared experiences, good best practices, and valuable insight from last week's conference. As one reviewer wrote, "The diverse group of presenters and attendees allowed everyone to learn a little something, exchange business cards, and come away with the idea that the more you learn about social media, the more you realize you don't know." 

My advice? Book it for next year. And when you do, I'll see you there.