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Ways to Measure Social Media using Key Conversation Indicators

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Yesterday I helped plan and execute a breakfast event for RAMA, our local Rochester chapter of the AMA (American Marketing Association). Our speaker was David Berkowitz who came to share his insights on ways to measure social media. This is a question that most marketers and business owners are asking since we are now seeing a phenomenal growth from those of all ages engaging online in some form of social media. Not a black and white, easy thing to deliver at this time, but as Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Kodak, said last week when he spoke about ROI he defines it as "Results on Ignoring".

David_Berkowitz David is the Director of Emerging Media and Client Strategy at 360i, a digital marketing agency located in New York City.  In his role David spearheads emerging media strategy, including social media and mobile marketing, for 360i's clients. He’s a frequent speaker that’s been on the conference circuit this year, a columnist for MediaPost’s Social Media Insider , appears frequently in Advertising Age and he blogs consistently on MarketersStudio as well as the 360i's Digital Connections, where he just posted this yesterday "100 ways to measure social media".

David shared with us the dashboard that his agency, 360i, uses to help “keep score” and measure the key conversation indicators across multiple social media platforms. This type of presentation can be a little daunting for a crowd at 8 a.m., but I could tell from the audience that some where highly engaged in the discussion while others where a bit lost and probably thought they were going to learn how to use Twitter and Facebook.

There are six questions that David reviewed with us that he recommends answering first in order to do proper measurement: 

1.    WHO?

Learn more about your audience. Who saw any of the campaign and engaged with it? What are their demographics and psychographic make-up? How many interacted as compared with how many where exposed?

2.    WHAT?

Create your own custom weighted scorecard based on your objectives to measure the engagement. Here’s an example:

        Action        Weighting

        Impression            1x

        View video            3x

        Click through        4x

        Rate video            4x

        Share video          10x

        Embed video        20x

        Create video        100x

3.    WHERE?

If your campaign ran on several platforms, did one engage the audience more than the others? This can tell you where your audience is congregating. Also, was the chatter brand-influenced (Facebook fan page or word of mouth campaign) or organic chatter? The brand-influenced conversations generally show a more positive sentiment lift.

4.    WHEN?

Are there other brand activities going on offline or any significant news or current events, such as the Super Bowl, that may heavily influence the outcome of your campaign? Sometimes a campaign can go viral after the program was supposed to end, so this is something to consider.

5.    WHY?

Try to understand what motivated the audience to engage with your brand. Measuring the volume, sentiment and sphere of influence can help determine the campaign’s success.

6.    HOW?

Benchmarking where you are before, during and after the campaign enable for you to see how it relates to your overall marketing initiatives. Adapting traditional research such as surveys and focus groups are great ways to do this. Incorporate answers to questions such as “from a blog, a friend online or a social network” can provide this.

I recall early in my career when I was doing media buying for some B2B clients there were no clear metrics used to compare trade publications (this is way before online). So we created a measurement tool similar to the score cards 360i developed that applied different weights to different metrics that all tied back to the client’s objectives. So this is not really new, it’s taking basic principles that many of us marketers know and applying it to today’s world. We just have to be really quick about it. 

360iSocial_Media-PlaybookDavid also shared with us some results from an analysis that his agency, 360i, conducted in September of 2009 of the social media landscape and found that Twitter represented the largest sources of mentions for the majority of their clients, 40%. Blogs came in second highest at 28% and forums third at 22%. Social networks only came in at 6% but that is mostly due to privacy restrictions since the content is not accessible to those outside the network.

However, blogs have the majority of reach when posts are weighted by impressions, 89% vs. just 4% for Twitter. Of all the online conversations, the majority are positive when people are giving and sharing advice. They become more negative and neutral as the discussions get closer to the purchasing decision.

There is so much more to share, but I can’t do it here all in one post which I consider one of those "highly positive" blogs posts where I’m "giving and sharing advice". So feel free to share some of yours with us. You can also download 360i’s full Social Media Playbook if you'd like to get the full course.


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