This is VERY exciting. A personal social media hero of mine, Mr Mark Schaefer, has joined forces with some HUGE names in the industry to bring us a new approach to understanding social media.

Mark shared the news in this blog today, and I was instantly hooked. For too long, like much of the history of traditional media, understanding the effectiveness of your social media campaign has been left to ‘feel’. And as we all know, Feel is NOT the same as Real.

There is so much conflicting information on line it all starts to contradict itself. But generally speaking, we don’t REALLY know what is working, how much it works, why it is or is not working, and where we should consequently go with the strategy. We’ve been left to the devices of so called social media guru’s and experts that really, are only a few steps away from our own level of understanding.

This has been the case for traditional advertising and marketing for years. John Wannamaker (I think) once said “I know half the money I spend on my advertising works, the problem is, I dont know which half”. Its a shocking state of affairs really. Unless you have been able to afford top quality market research the results of your campaigns would have been a mystery to you too. But Social Media should have been different. Its a data rich environment for a start!

These guys are going to go a long way to redress this. The website promises genuine relevant fact and data based research. And interestingly The Social Habit will be offering FREE research too. At the moment there is even an opportunity to submit your own question for the research that will be conducted!

The research itself is conducted by ‘Edison Research’, a giant of media and election research in the US. The Website is authored in the main by the brilliant Tom Webster of Edison. Tom blogs at BrandSavant and is worth a follow on Twitter too.

And perhaps most exciting of all, as well as Mark Schaefer, the other contributing authors are Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer fame and Jay Baer of the brilliant Convince and Convert blog.

This could be a game changer, and I wish it every success. I’ll be keeping track by subscribing to The Social Habits blog too, and will no doubt update you as and when its relevant. Check it out and let me know what you think? Leave a comment below, or Tweet me @radiojaja