Brandon Prebynski is an Emerging / Social Media Strategist at FKQ Advertising and Marketing and the host of a live USTREAM show called Web Trends. Brandon is one of the first people I "met" on Twitter; you can follow him @Prebynski.

Brandon and I have a panel proposal with Sarah Austin, Joel Cheesman, Christopher Kahle and Ryan Paugh for SXSW 2011 so please vote for us at before August 27th, 2010!

Listen to this entire episode of “The Social Nerdia Show!” with Brandon Prebynski on the Flash player below. You can also subscribe on iTunes, stream from your phone on Stitcher, and listen to upcoming shows LIVE on blogtalkradio.

Brandon recently joined FKQ so I asked him about his new role as a strategist. "It's been great because within a set of guidelines I've been able to shape what the position is," Brandon told me. He is helping clients create long-term strategies around marketing, customer service and product development.

He's also been working on tracking, analysis and metrics. "We have this big myth out there that it's really difficult to measure social media and there are many who say you can't measure the results especially when it comes back to revenue, and that you can only look at trends over time, but frankly with the correct tools implemented correctly, you can sometimes measure it directly."

Brandon and I agree that the best place to start is with the business' goals and objectives in mind. If you're already measuring simple things like the number of followers and Facebook 'likes' and comments, "you need to see how it helps you meet your objectives."

While measuring the size of your community and the level of engagement within it is good, "if you don't determine what your objectives and make your roadmap according to it, you're going to be measuring engagement without knowing what engagement means."

"Companies right now have to define what engagement is. Avinash (Kaushik) has said this many times: 'the word engagement is an excuse.'  So what is engagement? It has to come back to your objectives as well. If you have lead generations as your objective and you have 500 leads generated over 3 weeks as your goal, then you could say that a user submitting their email address is engagement.  If you produce an online video and all you want is brand awareness, then a view can be engagement.

The word engagement overlaps a lot of times with conversion. We had x amount of conversions and that can be revenue, but isn't always creating revenue; it could be someone submitting their email, loading a page, or making a purchase."

Engagement is important when building community. iI you're starting to build an audience that didn't exist, then you can consider engagement the number of times that people communicate with you and each other within the community."

The size of a community and the engagement within it build on each other, and they often demand a deep understanding of the context in which such connections and conversations occur in order to really understand what is happening and where people are coming from. The fact is that a lot of the tools available today can get expensive despite the fact that they often provide vague information like 90% neutral sentiment on a sentiment analysis and they often can't even provide information (such as Twitter ReTweets). So we talked about context.

Brandon told me "thinking of context... if I'm driving down the road and I see a billboard that has a political message and I repeat that or if I even think about it in my head, i could compare it to a ReTweetDoes that mean that I agree with that message? Do we even have the tools to crack that anywhere outside of social media right now? It's a huge issue that requires a lot of work."

Brandon and I talked about several other topics including the end of Google Wave, the rumors about Google Me, and his live show Web Trends (which is coming back to USTREAM soon!) so listen to The Social Nerdia Show! for much more.

Copyright © Esteban Contreras. All rights reserved.