Category Archives: measurement

Social Media Intervention for Engagement and Intelligence

Event-related communication has always been at the heart of social media, from Twitter’s debut at SXSW in 2007 to the everyday sharing of check-ins, meals and parties in Foursquare and Facebook, to Oreo’s big marketing win with a single tweet during the 2013 Superbowl.

As my colleague Daniel Honigman pointed out to me today, for brands trying to gain attention through social media, simply being event-driven does not ensure engagement. Daniel noted the social media efforts around the 2013 Oscars as an example of event-based communications that underperformed expectations because although they were clever, they were also contrived and (unlike Oreo’s superbowl message) not naturally related to the actual unfolding of the event.

So relevance and timeliness are the required characteristics for successful social media engagement, both in the proactive publicity-seeking outreach mentioned above, and in the other common form of social media communication: crisis response. Continue reading

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A Brief History of Social Media Measurement, and a Prescription for Web Analytics

The Challenge
Common sense asserts a wealth of marketing opportunity residing in the correct analysis of consumers’ publicly shared (and digitally documented) interests and interactions. However, there are significant challenges in separating valid information from noise, then structuring that valid data to draw actionable insights with the same level of confidence that businesses expect from their market research, web analytics insights, and other Business Intelligence functions.

The first generations of social media measurement and analysis have addressed these challenges as best they could. To advance beyond pseudo-science into the realm of truly actionable business analytics, the next generation of analysis will need to draw from the established standards and best-practices of organizations’ existing analytics functions such as web analytics, with established competency in building data-driven management practices from digital analytics. Continue reading

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New Direction

I am very pleased to share the news that I’ve started a new position as Marketing Science Director with the digital agency Critical Mass here in Chicago.

I am extremely privileged and excited to be working with Shaina Boone (who brings a unique and impressive blend of left and right brained intelligence to the marketing sciences) and with everyone on the extraordinary marketing sciences team Shaina has built. And of course, it will be incredible fun to work in collaboration with the wealth of talent across all of Critical Mass’ capabilities in digital experience delivery for its very impressive roster of clients.

In my role as Marketing Science Director, I will be working with clients to document their business objectives for digital marketing, and will be leading teams to design, implement and maintain digital marketing measurement metrics, systems and processes which will drive and support those objectives. Continue reading

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Social Media for Enterprise – Value-adding Practices

Even the best general models don’t solve specific problems of practice, but they should be useful in guiding thinking around specific problems. This particular model proposes a standard path for building value from social media practices within organizations.

Each of the practices has inherent value for particular organizational problems of practice, and each additional practice draws value from the successful presence of preceding practices. The specific value of each of these practices to a particular organization will depend on many factors including organizational readiness & adaptability, product offerings and market environment, all of which must be considered when building solutions in each area.

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The Elements of Influence

Many current discussions of online or social influence are focused on the “how” of measuring influence, exploring how the ever expanding wealth of digital data sources can be mashed-up to provide accurate estimates of a person’s ability to persuade others. These are valuable discussions for our current position on the social intelligence technology curve, and large investments are being placed behind efforts to program a better influence calculation.

The smart money in this race (or more likely slow climb) to accurately measure influence in order to better drive business results surely recognizes that “influence” cannot be measured on a single, universal scale. Continue reading

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Walmart and Tesco Make Big Moves in Social Strategy

Tesco just announced its acquisition of social media marketing firm BzzAgent. This follows Walmart’s April acquisition of social media analytics firm Kosmix.

The world’s first and third largest retailers have thus set into motion what they view as the next stage in customer intelligence and engagement.

Each firm’s acquisition reflects a gap in their prior organization. Tesco has maintained what is apparently one of the most advanced customer intelligence databases for over a decade, while Walmart’s current consumer insights group was launched in February of 2011. (I’ve created a Storify story with background on Walmart and Tesco’s consumer intelligence approaches up to and including today’s acquisition.)

With a wealth of consumer insights already at hand, Tesco’s acquisition of a firm that specializes in linking loyalty and social-network promotions makes perfect sense in extending their existing intelligence into social engagement. What they do not get with BzzAgent is a social intelligence platform – a way to collect insights from social networks. Tesco may already have such insights through their existing database in order to add social graph connections as an additional layer on its existing consumer insights. Continue reading

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The “Wisdom of Crowds” and Social Media Research Strategy

A few posts back, I wrote about the interdependence of communication and feedback in a social media listening strategy. That’s why I couldn’t pass up some commentary on this recent Wired article on a study that finds that sharing information actually reduces the “wisdom of crowds”.

This finding provides an intentional instance of the “observer effect” bias addressed in the earlier post, in which interaction with a population shapes the results coming from that population. In social media engagement, interaction with the population we want to learn from (through our listening program and other social media research) is unavoidable, thus, we must design our interactions to elicit the best feedback possible by accounting for the observer effect. This recent insight into the accuracy of data culled from crowds must clearly be taken into account by anyone conducting opinion or preference research from social media conversations. Continue reading

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Investigative Forms of Social Media Measurement

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the category of social media measurement most frequently discussed in conference sessions; evaluative measurement which identifies/estimates the impact that communications are having across various media channels including social networks.

While this one form of measurement gets a lot of attention thanks to the facts that 1) people need to show value to their bosses/clients and 2) measurement vendors like to sponsor these conferences, there are other reasons for measurement that also bring great value to organizations.

While evaluative measurement looks backwards at what has been done to evaluate and confirm (and provides real value by this when done right), investigative measurement is a forward looking approach that seeks to discover advantages or even predict outcomes. Continue reading

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When Measurement Talk Meets Measurement Walk…

Nearly every social media conference has its requisite session on measuring social media, usually featuring the same key points (often from the same key people), 1) it needs to be done, 2) it should be aligned with business objectives, 3) volume-based measurements do not measure impact, and 4) measurements must be interpreted against objectives to yield insight.

These points are often an eye-opener to people just beginning to formalize their social media practices, and a reminder of the ideal practice to those immersed in the daily flow of social media engagement. Continue reading

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The Interdependence of Communication and Feedback

There are two primary and interdependent activities in social media management: communication and intelligence collection. These activities are interdependent because the style and quality of your communication will influence the context and content of your networks and the intelligence you are thus able to collect from those networks.

Very simply, a communication approach that establishes trust and affinity through shared interest and value will generate more useful feedback than will a communication approach that elicits indifference or annoyance (which will probably yield the insight that people are indifferent or annoyed). Continue reading

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