Social media is a challenge for brands, say experts

Research experts at I-COM in Lisbon have stressed the difficulties of assessing a brand’s presence on social media.

Facebook and Twitter
Facebook and Twitter

Dan Calladine, head of media futures at Isobar, and Giles Palmer, CEO of social media monitoring firm Brandwatch, were among those who raised the difficulty of measuring how brands are perceived on social media.

Calladine said, “Social media is hard to measure. We might get clients wanting to advertise on blogs but they are too small to be measured by ComScore and Nielsen so we need other ways to find measurement.”

Palmer said social media is a chaotic conversation. “If I’m searching for I-COM on Twitter, there’ll be a couple of hundred tweets and it’s that data we are trying to get at and make useful to companies. There is some structure to that complication, for example, there is a hashtag but the rest of it is natural language and therefore unstructured.”

Palmer said the majority of the internet is social, with many sites allowing people to upload comments, with one newspaper article alone able to gather hundreds of comments. He said getting hold of clean data sets using queries can be difficult, citing companies with common names such as Egg, Orange and 3.

Amaia Lasa, CEO of social media firm Attentio, said companies are faced with the challenge of social media but it was also an opportunity.

Calladine predicted by 2012, there could be twice the amount of social media content created and time spent on social media could increase by a third.

This story first appeared on

Latest from Marketing Week

Mark Ritson investigates: Recreational marijuana

After probing America’s newest industry four key questions spring to mind: Which will be the big marijuana brands of the future? Why does scale drive ad effectiveness? What day is it? And, why have my legs stopped working?


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here