1_19208_7-Best-Ways-to-Effectively-Measure-Social-Media by kashifenterprises


More Info
									     7 Best Ways to Effectively
       Measure Social Media
By: Joe Teixeira, Director of Web Intelligence

      For More Information Please Visit

February 2010

When you hear or read the phrase “Social Media” in a podcast, blog, or
web site, you immediately think of sites like Facebook and Twitter that
have dominated conversations at industry events and trade shows over
the last few years. You instantly think of the cool video that you saw
last week on YouTube or that awesome TwitP ic that your friend took last
night at his bachelor party when social media enters the discussion. If
you have a job doing anything involving online marketing, SEO, or pay-
per-click advertising, your thoughts float to dreaming about how many
people will see your latest LinkedIn direct ad or to how many people
read your latest blog post.

What’s amazing is the lack of discussion on how to measure social
media, from an analytical perspective. Is your Twitter account
successful because you have 1,000 followers? Are you doing a good job
with your Facebook fan page because over 100 people “liked” it? Did
y our 5-star rated YouTube video turn into sales and profit for your
company? These are the types of questions that need to start being
asked, so that we can guide our analytical investigations and begin
successfully measuring social media.

In this white paper, I’ll share 7 tips to successfully measure your social
media efforts, going well beyond things like counting the number of
Twitter followers or the views of a YouTube video.

Hot Tip #1: Tag Your URLs
There are no “gurus” or “experts” at measuring or predicting social media analytics.
Whenever you hear someone claim they have it all figured out or the perfect
measurement formula, that is your queue to exit stage left. Predicting what will
happen in social media is as impossible as trying to predict where LeBron James will
play ball next season.

However, what you can do is ask your web analytics provider – be it WebTrends or
Google Analytics or someone else – how you can append query parameters at the end
of the URLs that you may use on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace (if folks still use
MySpace) or any other social media platform. This way, you can at least grab data
about visitors that visit your web site after interacting with you on the social level.

If you have a Google Analytics account (and as research conducted by Forrester
indicates, over 50% of you do), you can search for “Tool URL Builder” on Google and
find a neat online tool that will help you tag your URLs, creating a daisy-chain
between your social media effort, your web site, and your Google Analytics account.

      925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                 2
     PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

You may be thinking about the size limitations that are placed upon social media
channels like LinkedIn and Twitter, and how the URL in the image above may not fit.
Bonus points for you for thinking about that. What you’ll want to do to add another
link onto the daisy-chain is use a URL shortening service like Bit.ly or Goo.gl. These
free online services take your very long URL and turn it into a nine or ten character
length URL that you can use in social media without taking up too much character

      925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                3
     PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

Now, instead of having to guess at how many visitors your site has received after
your latest wall post on your Facebook account, you can achieve a fairly precise
count. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, or don’t have any type of URL
tagging available with your current vendor, you can always use Bit.ly or Goo.gl, as
they provide you with in-depth statistics on the activity of your shortened URLs.

Hot Tip #2: Append Important ROI-based Metrics
Counting visitors that come to your site via a social media effort is unfortunately
where most measurement stops, and where most head-scratching begins. Your run a
promotion on Facebook one day and log-in to your web analytics package to find out
that there have been 500 visits to your site from Facebook. Great! Now what do you
with that number? What can you do with this piece of data in terms of measuring

What you can do is segment your social media visit data by goal conversion counts
and rates, and if applicable, e-commerce revenue and transaction data. Most web
analytics tools allow you to create conversion points to specifically measure the rates
at which visitors perform important actions on your site. Everyone loves talking about
conversion rates and transaction rates – why not apply that same enthusiasm toward
your social media campaigns?

Don’t allow those red site average figures that you see in the above screen shot to
fool you into thinking that social media doesn’t work or isn’t effective. Remember that

       925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                 4
      PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

folks who are using social media aren’t in the mindset of visiting your site, let alone
completing important actions on your site, like visiting 12 or more pages or filling out
your contact form. So you should be ecstatic when you discover folks who visit your
site from a social media channel, and you should literally jump out of your chair when
you see that those same visitors engage with your site and your brand at such a deep
level. You’ll know what you’re doing on social media really is working when you build
that deep connection with your audience.

Hot Tip #3: Forecast Trends and Obtain Insights
What is the world talking about these days on social channels? What are people
searching for and what other search terms do they also search on? What websites do
people visit when they search for particular search terms?

Being able to measure social media and calculate ROI is great, but if you can forecast
current trends and predict what’s going to happen next, you can gain the competitive
edge that every business desires.

Hypothetical Example: You own a web site which is an authorized reseller of all things
Apple. You sell iPads, iPhones, and iPods…basically, anything that starts with the
letter “I”. Since iPads are all the rage, maybe you should gear your next few weeks on
Twitter and talk nothing but iPad to your followers, offering them shortened URL links
to your iPad product pages. After all, this is what everyone is talking about, so it must
be what everyone is search for online, right? Not so fast.

       925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                  5
      PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

Using Google’s Insights for Search and viewing trending data for the last 90 days, you
can see in the trending graph that iPhone (the orange line) has dominated in this
group of four terms in all but one week’s time. Only when the iPad officially launched
is when iPad was a more popular search term in the United States than either iPhone
or iPod. It’s not farfetched to conclude that you may receive a higher response rate by
playing the numbers game and tweeting about iPhones more than you tweet about
iPads to match online behavioral patterns in the last 90 days.

The great thing about the web is that it changes fast. Next month, you may see the
trend for the iPad rise up again like it did in the first week of April. In the same screen
on Google’s Insights for Search, the first five of the top ten rising search terms all
contain the word “iPad”. This means that you can’t stay stale with your social media
analysis – what’s black today is white tomorrow.

Hot Tip #4: Segment, Segment, Segment
Data that is not segmented doesn’t help you answer the critical questions that you
need to have answered, especially from a social media standpoint. Aggregate data is
not very usable data in almost any context.

Segmenting your social media data in a web analytics solution like Yahoo Web
Analytics allows you to dig deep, extract insights, and stay several steps ahead of the
competition. In my screen shot below, I created a Twitter social media segment, and I
can get a demographic gender breakdown from the visitors that reach my site from
my Twitter efforts.

       925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                    6
      PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

If you use the combination of a URL query parameter builder like the one available for
Google Analytics and segmenting possibilities in Google Analytics or Yahoo Web
Analytics, you can bisect large aggregate data points and cut right to the chase.

Hot Tip #5: Embed Social Media on Your Site
Social media can be embedded on your web site using a variety of different
technologies. YouTube, for instances, makes it easy for web masters by offering the
embedded HTML tags for any video hosted on their site. Things like bookmarklets (the
little social media icons that you see on web sites) and other applications that
integrate with social media aren’t immediately trackable. They do count!

Google Analytics has a neat section of reports called Event Tracking that you can
embed with your social media widgets and applets to track the number of interactions
you receive on your site. Even though it happens on your web site and not directly on
Facebook or Twitter, you can still measure web site interactions that aren’t
necessarily page views and report on them accordingly.

      925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                7
     PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

Hot Tip #6: Use Specialized Online Tools
Tools like Omniture SiteCatalyst and WebTrends specialize in web analytics. Over the
last few years, they have incorporated social media add-on packages as the social
media industry has exploded. Other web analytics tools don’t offer much in terms of
successful measurement, besides pulling in data like visitors and friends via FBML,
API, or some other technology.

Tools like Radian6, ScoutLabs, ListenLogic, Twitalyzer, and Klout specialize in tracking
unique metrics that can help you determine how your social media efforts impact the
world, and how successful they are to you. Again, these tools go well beyond
followers, friends, and fans. It’s way more important and meaningful than just that.

If you want to start measuring success with social media, you will need to take
advantage of the specialized tools that are available. One tool won’t ever answer all of
your questions, so if you use Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, Omniture
       925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                 8
      PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM
February 2010

SiteCatalyst or anything else, you’re still missing valuable success metrics from these
specialized platforms.

Hot Tip #7: Be Human
Do you really want to make your life easier when measuring success in social media?
Add in the human element, and never forget to be human when doing social media.
Social media is about engaging in conversations over Twitter, commenting on
Facebook and connecting with like-minded industry individuals on LinkedIn. When
you’re “human”, you will see your performance metrics in specialized tools like Klout
and Twitalyzer start to climb and your influence begin to become more prominent. If
you spend your data-mining days looking at visits and page views like a robot, not
only will you miss out on the fun of social media, but you’ll miss out on the success
that it can bring for your organization as well.

      925 SOUTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY • SUITE 750 • BOCA RATON, FL 33432                 9
     PHONE: 561.620.9682 • FAX: 561.620.9684 • WWW.MOREVISIBILITY.COM

To top