“… not one of the marketers we surveyed listed the amount of content forwarded by users as their most important metric,” according to Forrester’s “Three Steps to Measuring Social Media Marketing” research.
But that’s the one that matters.
When someone forwards your content, you get your message in front of a new prospect.
We call this “advertising” in traditional marketing and we pay dearly for each impression. We call this “lead generation” is search advertising, and we pay dearly for that too.
But word of mouth content sharing is more powerful than both of these — because it includes the personal endorsement of the sender. Something no advertiser can buy.
Content forwards are the most measurable word of mouth statistic, and they correlate nicely to existing lead/impression valuation metrics. It’s not the only thing to measure, but it will give you real data that makes traditional advertising types happy.