There is a lot of talk (years of it actually) about tracking links with shorteners, following threads for positive and negative comments, surveys, retweets, followers, etc., etc.
Yes, these are all legit forms of measurement. However, talk to the VP of sales. Are they excited about someone retweeting a link from their company's president who was talking about their banner year?
Wanna know why?
Because that retweet, while it might have reached 10,000 Twitterers, didn't turn into a sale, a donation, an inquiry, etc.
To sales people, social media is just noise, I think. There are people in business who's jobs are to sell "stuff." Whatever that stuff might be, they have to sell it and they are measured on how much if it is sold. In fact, their jobs depend on it. Don't sell? No more job. It's that simple. In this economy, it has to be that cut throat.
So, the real question is, how can social media really help sales teams (other than networking and relationships of course)?
The answer is simple in theory, but harder to do in reality. Social media campaigns NEED a call to action. Remember those? You know, those little thingy's that actually get people to sh*t of get off the pot and buy your product or make a donation to your cause?
Whether it's driving customers to a website with coupon codes or some sort of matching donation to a local community cause, social media campaigns that are tied into marketing efforts need a call to action.
If there's no call to action, then social media campaigns need to create content that can be repurposed on the traditional marketing side, i.e. can blog posts be packaged into an e-letter that your sales team can use as an excuse to "touch" their prospects? Can a great blog post about your company be packed up like reprint from traditional print media?
The answer is yes.
The great thing about social media is that it's based on creativity and the spirit of human exploration. Don't think outside of the box people. Crush the box. Make it into something else. The key is, making it into something that's useful for your company or organization, while turning into something of valuable that your customers or audience will want to purchase, use, tell others about, embrace, etc.
That's measurement. Screw click-throughs.