Digital Knowledge » measurement http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson Mon, 09 May 2011 09:44:25 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Measuring social media effectiveness http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/2010/08/20/measuring-social-media-effectiveness/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/2010/08/20/measuring-social-media-effectiveness/#comments Fri, 20 Aug 2010 02:26:30 +0000 Mandi Bateson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/?p=54

On Thursday I spoke at the 3rd annual Local Government Web Network Conference, organised by superhero and pocket rocket Reem Abdelaty. The conference presents an interesting challenge as the audience is a mix of PR, marketing, web development, web design and IT staff with one thing in common – the responsibility of their council’s web presence.

It was great to talk to the attendees and understand their pain points. These in particular came through loud and clear:

  • Where do we start?
  • How do I motivate others to get involved?
  • How do I scale back those who are too involved?
  • I don’t have time!
  • I don’t have resources!
  • I can’t stay on top of all the opportunities – which is the best one to go with?

In my presentation, I looked at measuring social media effectiveness. I framed the presentation by answering who, what where, when, why and how. My entire presentation is below but I thought I’d just touch on a few key points for each section as my slides aren’t all that obvious.

Who

Remember that while technology enables what you are measuring, in the end you are still measuring humans. This means that caution regarding sentiment analysis and consumer behaviours should be taken into account. Examples: we have different preferences for how we like to consume content while our litology is still too complex for a machine to definitively categorize.

What

I described a list of key performance indicators that I use based on how they match the objectives of the campaign. Examples: if we measure new search terms in the research phase of the sales cycle, we have the opportunity to strengthen our message to meet the needs of our audience.

Where

These days we need to ensure we’re not just measuring the content that we host ourselves. Your content could be shared across the universe, so make sure you know where it’s going and how it’s being received.

When

Lots of great free tools have a very short window of time to report on your data. If you find a reporting tool that you love, check if it needs to be extracted weekly or monthly and get your hands on the data regularly so you don’t miss out on the insights. Also don’t do all your reporting post campaign. Digging around beforehand might help you deliver a more effective campaign or even offer you opportunities you didn’t know existed!

Why

Some people say if you’re getting the results you want then you don’t need to worry about measuring each stage of the process. And miss out on the opportunity to improve that process and increase your success? Pah to that, I say!

How

So this is where I spent a little more time. I went through the structure of a report and the opportunities that both free and paid tools gives us. I discussed the platform specific reporting tools and why the insights they provide might give you a reason to integrate it into your strategy (*cough* Foursquare! *cough*). I pointed out that while Google Analytics may not work on Facebook or Wordpress.com, we can be grateful for companies like Webdigi who share useful tactics on their blog.

In the presentation there’s also a list of Delicious bookmarks that I have put together of free tools that help with websites, search and social audits. I did spend some time going through subscription based tools however it is an expense worth shared rather than a standalone investment.

So unfortunately it seems I may have compounded a few of the challenges listed above instead of solved them! Luckily the feedback was great and hopefully they’ll now have access to some practical resources to help them whatever stage they may find themselves at in social media measurement.

Finally I’d like to give a shout out to Reem who put on a fantastic event. From the published booklet of stories from the various councils and the selection of topics; to the conference dinner at Fix St James and the online repository of conference information – an extremely well run event of value to delegates, sponsors and presenters. Thanks for the invite Reem!

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Why you should take the long road http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/2010/07/27/socialmediashortcuts/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/2010/07/27/socialmediashortcuts/#comments Tue, 27 Jul 2010 03:52:22 +0000 Mandi Bateson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/?p=22

No matter what you do in life, someone is always looking for a shortcut, from get rich schemes to fad diets. Last year I blogged:

Shortcuts aren’t just for keyboards

Despite the fact that many aspects of our lives continue to be made inexplicably easier with each passing year, there will always be a special group of people looking for a shortcut. 10,000 followers on Twitter in 3 days; a popular blog with scrapings of everyone else’s brilliant content; instant You Tube fame complete with sponsor interest and meme infamy. It alienates those willing to invest time and effort and irritates almost everyone who has to put up with the result. And yet it continues because unfortunately it works. Those who succeed (and even those who don’t) then get to take it to a new level – selling the secret shortcuts to finding the shortcuts.

By my own admission, some people succeed with shortcuts. Here’s the part where I convince you to consider the long (and often hard) road when it comes to social media.

Promotion

Avoid the Field of Dreams approach because the mentality that “if you build it, they will come” will end in Waterworld sized disaster. It’s like creating a direct mail campaign and hoping your customers will happen by your office to pick it up from reception.You need to drive people to your Facebook page, your community of interest, your brand new blog. Your overall objectives should reflect whether you choose to do that through advertising, an email blast or PR activity.

Another unfortunate shortcut is only committing time to the community the day of your campaign launch or promotional activity. You will probably need a few weeks of community management and content generation to build momentum so that your audience doesn’t arrive at any empty space.  You’ll need to work hard for your interactions so ask questions, reward early contributors,  create loads of content to share and remember to give as well as take.

Engagement

In the “who owns social media” battle for supremacy, agencies are talking down the key skills of other disciplines as they hustle for more of the budget. Now I know that digital agencies and in-house marketers value the expertise of communications in social media because of the number of requests for detailed content plans complete with tone, timing and “test” examples – as part of the proposal.  If the focus of your strategy is conversation, invest in someone who can communicate for you, internally or externally.

The difference is remarkable – below is an example of a page run by a digital agency in November who were giving away what must have been a total if $50,000 in daily prizes. Comparatively, during February and March I was managing a community with good old content and conversation and a few giveaways worth maybe $300 in total. Hire the right people for the right job and you’ll get the right results.

Measurement

Unfortunately we can get so caught up in the numbers that we miss one of the most important components of social media reporting – context. With all the hype around social statistics and sentiment during the election, in many cases there has been little done to define the the audience, to what non-social activity the community is responding, or the previous authority of the so-called influencers.  At the time of writing, a spam account actually rounded out one tool’s Top 100 Influential Australian Political Twitterers.

Election hype aside, context tells you if “volcano” is a popular keyword because it’s considered spectacular or dangerous. It tells you if your page views are double the average number because one person keeps refreshing the page to see who has replied to their comment. It tells you that some of your negative sentiment is down to the fact that your audience “can’t wait” until your product release.

Don’t be discouraged by the extra work because at the end of the road you’ll be reaping the benefits. Here’s to your double rainbow.

Double Rainbow while driving to Manitowoc races (8.11.2007)

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