Posts Tagged: Social Media Measurement

May 12

There is No Magic Bullet in Social Media Measurement

Recently  a post from Avanish Kaushik was put before me for consideration. The post was “Best Social Media Metrics: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value” and in reading it I personally found some flaws with his overall approach which I wanted to address.

Measurement Isn’t So Simple:

Knowing how complex websites and search are, Avinash should know that good measurement cannot be simplified into a few key metrics across everything and everyone. Despite this he tries to do just that with his proposed 4 metrics for measuring social media.

Different companies have different goals for what they want to achieve in Social media and assigning metrics that don’t take this into account can potentially side track these initiatives. For example in the case of say Avinash’s Conversation rate  it doesn’t speak to the quality of the conversations that a firm may want to see or the  overall goal of the content they put out. With such a focused scope these metrics don’t  take into account the many other variables that can be tracked on corporate social media channels.

The size of the fan base does matter:

Another downside I see with the type of measures that Avinash suggests is that it does not take into account the audience that the company taps into. Without taking into account a firm’s fan base an even grounding is not created to ensure a comparable measure across fan sizes. Instead what more often than not will happen is that these measures will present  a constantly increasing ratio because a larger fan base often results in more engagement.

Outside of large spikes when there is a fan base drive or large campaign, a measure that does not take fan base into account will most likely continually go up in a linear fashion. The downside of this  is that it’s not easy to discern what proportion of a fan base is engaged. As a result there is no clear way to determine whether an initiative was successful.

Measuring Awareness Still Matters:

Much like with television or radio advertising, simple exposure to social media messaging still has an effect on consumers whether they act on this immediately or if this changes their habits further down the road. While this makes sales attribution difficult, measuring how far your content reaches  is still important. Unfortunately for Avinsash’s framework it does not take content exposure into account. By knowing your content reach you are a better able to compare and contrast initiatives to see if there was a discernible change in a firms end outcome as a result of marketing messaging.

With developing field like Social Media to make broad statements like “the 4 best social media metrics” in my opinion is harmful. What this does is it has the potential to close people’s minds to other alternatives and  more meaningful approaches. That’s why beyond the fact of perhaps not being too public with my work (for confidentiality reasons of course…) I won’t say that one measure stands above all the rest.   Instead my answer will continually be that measures need to be formed based on the end user’s goals and what they are trying to better understand.



Nov 11

Why I Sometimes Don’t ‘Like’ The Like

At times I have a bit of a love /hate relationship with the ‘like’ on Facebook posts and spread across the web.  I think we can all agree that it is an action, it’s a sign that someone’s awake or at least somewhat conscious of what they are clicking. What it isn’t? A sale of product or a sign that the user has just done about face and has professed their love  of your brand. Overall though there seems to be a sort of fixation on this simple engagement.

Like this if you like Puppies!

Asking users to like something does have its tactical uses. Those who are a bit educated about the ins and outs of the Facebook news feed know that a user engaging with a source’s content frequently equals a higher relevancy score to the content source. Throwing up a piece of content that is generally enjoyable and asking users to like it means that the relevancy score is  bumped up a few spots and fans are just a bit more likely to see your content. Does this mean you should flood your feed with “LIKE THIS!” content? Well if that’s the sort of depth you want your brand to have then go for it! What this won’t do is sell your product or improve a users thoughts on certain attributes of your product unfortunately.

Time to throw away the ‘like’?

Am I asking people to ignore the ‘like’ completely? Absolutely not! Should the like engagement be considered along with other factors? Yes!   Compare it to consumer response (what are people saying in the comments) , the propensity of users to like your key messaging compared to other content  and I could go on…. Measuring channel success  in my opinion means measuring how you are changing people’s perception of your brand and product. Are people more likely to talk positively about your brand and as a result  increasing sales because of WOM? Has your brand gone from being seen as stale to something that people have feelings for? And lastly at the end of it all have you been able to track increased dollars going into your firms bank account?  At the end of the day changing minds rather than encouraging clicks should be the end goal, not the afterthought.

Mar 10

Are you learning anything from Social Media?

So I’ve been procrastinating with posting this for a bit , but now I think I have a good intro…. So at my new job at Syncapse, I do a lot of measuring and spending my day looking at client data.  I’m finding it  really exciting because essentially I get paid to do the learning for companies so they can consistently improve their Social Media strategy. Reflecting on the work I do though it seems for a good portion of the ‘social media world’ that metrics and measurement and the whole idea of ‘learning’ from what you’re doing doesn’t get talked about a whole lot. With that, I thought I’d put down a few of my thoughts of why Social Media measurement or the idea of ‘learning’ within Social Media strategy is so important.

You Get To See if Things Work: With Social Media measurement you get to gauge how effective online strategies really are.  Are there no conversations surrounding your content? Is  there conversation but not the kind you want to hear? Then there is obviously something that needs to be fixed. Perhaps you haven’t told your audience about your initiatives or maybe your content isn’t relevant to them. By implementing strategies and comparing them to what you’ve done in the past  you are able to see what you’re doing right or wrong and how to make things even better moving forward.

You get to see if customers love/hate you (and how to improve it!): As a part of online measurement you are able to look at  what people are saying about a company or organization online .  This is looking at what users are saying directly AT you or what they are talking indirectly ABOUT you with everyone else.  Are they having problems with a particular product of yours? Is there something that people want to see more or less of from you? The insights you get from conversations are way different than what you can get from a survey  or traditional market research. In a survey people have time to consider and alter their answers to give you just half truths. Within online communications you’re getting the raw knee jerk reactions regarding what they think about you and how they use your product in everyday life.  ( CAVEAT: Watch out for Trolls! No matter what you do there will be someone looking to stir things up…. all I can say is DONT FEED THE TROLLS )

You Find the Unexpected: Often times its important to stick your head outside of what you’re doing to get a different perspective of what is actually happening with your company. This is especially true with Social Media. By looking at what occurs outside of your organizations’ initiatives every once and a while you may  see surprising things happening with your customers that you haven’t heard of. Perhaps they are re-purposing your product in a way that you didn’t think was important (ex: Coke and Mentos blasters) or maybe some previously unreleased news about your company has become public and is gaining an unexpected amount of traction with your customers. By learning what your customers and the public is doing ‘out there’ you’re able to adapt to things as they come up rather than let events plow you over!

In closing while a lot of discussions regarding social media surround  customer engagement and use of the tools, I think measuring your success and learning from what you’re doing online is just as important. Without knowing what you’ve achieved and what is occurring out in the wilderness that is the ‘internet’ you’re only going to continue making the same mistakes and not improve upon yourself.  With my new position in  Measurement Science I hope to be able to share some  brief tidbits  about online measurement and why its a useful part of the campaign process. Stay tuned!