Archive for ‘social media metrics’ category

Moving the Needle: Showing the Impact of Your Work

31 March, 2016 | | No Comment

You can work your butt off posting awesome social media promos, but if you can’t demonstrate the impact of what you’ve done, why should anyone believe that you’re worth your paycheck? It’s challenging to show a direct impact sometimes with social media. The nature of these platforms is that people are browsing, having some fun, and not seriously considering buying anything or registering for something. It’s hard to actually do stuff on your phone (if you’re over 40).

Get creative. Think of all the ways you might be moving the needle. I’ve been diligently tagging URLs with Omniture code to show how much traffic social media is driving to our website. Normally that’s good enough to demonstrate ROI, but we had a situation that was a bit different. We needed to raise awareness of a registration process, and we wanted to try to show that our promotions helped drive registration. Unfortunately, the Omniture data was showing only about 5% of registrations as a direct result of a social media promo. (Which makes, sense, see above.)

The data WAS showing that more than half of traffic was driven by search engines. So I told everyone, “We’re raising AWARENESS of the registration process, and people are then searching for it later to register.” Everyone seemed happy with that explanation, but I needed more. I NEED a chart to prove my point! I can’t prove that the search engine traffic was a result of anything we did. Anything less makes me vaguely uncomfortable. (Note to self: Create a chart for husband’s “Honey Do” list.)

So I thought, “I wonder if we can show some kind of correlation in the number or reach of our promotions to the number of registrations.” I was not optimistic because the weekly results that I had seen didn’t seem to show an impact. Apparently I was only checking the last 2 weeks of the campaign.

Number of Promos Correlated to Number of Registrations

The final result chart is impressive but you’re seeing the result of hours of work. We compiled over 200 promos and Press releases to complete the chart. Don’t be discouraged if your first “hunch” doesn’t pay off. Many times it won’t and you’ll end up with a chart that doesn’t make any valuable point at all. Keep trying! It’s worth it in the end.

Easing Your “metrics-tential” Crisis

18 February, 2015 | | No Comment

Are you having a metrics-tential crisis? Just keep these words of wisdom in mind:

“Measure early and often.”

“Measure twice, post once”

“If a social media manager writes content, and there’s no one to measure the impact, did it happen?”

There’s a lot of hype out there about social media metrics, but it really boils down to this: What does your client / boss /stakeholder need to know?

You have an infinite amount of data available to you thanks to Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, and YouTube analytics. (What about Instagram? Well…no data…yet.)

But do you really need to inundate your boss with it all the time? Give them something THEY can brag about to THEIR boss! But most importantly, map your metrics to your original strategic goals. It’s easier than it sounds, really.

And if the data points you find don’t add up to support your goals….you are looking at the wrong data points. You can always find something to crow about, no matter how small.

Don’t Just Measure, Measure *Everything*

1 February, 2013 | | No Comment

OK, maybe Ivana wasn’t talking about social media metrics, but I like saying the title to this post in my best Ivana Trump accent.

Managing a large federal social media program has been a learning process. It’s all well and good to think up clever posts and tweets, monitor daily, and engage with fans. But if you can’t demonstrate the value of your program to management, then eventually nobody will see the point in keeping your program around.

There are lots of conferences and Web seminars that promise how to teach me how to demonstrate ROI to management (for a hefty price tag). I’ve been to some of these, and they’re a waste of time. There is no “one size fits all” method to metrics, it’s really all about what matters to your management.

For example, one of our clients is all about numbers, she really likes the solid quantitative metrics. Her boss is more interested in the larger buzz trends and the top influencers. And yet another program has very high visibility (and is a critical client for us.) We always need to be ready to show wins there.

So, how do we prepare for the periodic (inevitable) call to present our success? We keep track of everything. Because you never know exactly where the wins are going to show up and what trends are going to emerge. One month we might see a record number of Facebook clicks. The next month might be the biggest jump in YouTube views ever. Another month might be the highest Twitter reach…you get the idea. And those are just the quantitative metrics, there’s also the anecdotal. We constantly take screenshots of interesting user comments. Sometimes we’ll use them, sometimes we won’t, but we never know what we will be able to use.

I have a monster Google Doc spreadsheet that I keep updated every month. Some of the running metrics I tally are:

  • Number of tweets per month
  • Total reach of tweets that month
  • Average Reach Per Tweet
  • Number of Facebook Fans Talking about us this month
  • Reach of Facebook Posts this month
  • Facebook clicks
  • YouTube minutes watched
  • YouTube engagement
  • Bitly clickthroughs
my monster spreadsheet

My monster social media metrics spreadsheet: it keeps growing!

“Do Social Media” = “Collect Underpants”

31 January, 2010 | | 4 Comments

The hype around social media just seems to be growing. But as the initial glow of this new medium wears off, it’s going to be up to us to prove the ROI of social media. (Thanks to Steve Mann for showing me some great case studies about smart companies who are doing it right). But the trick is finding the formula that clicks for each individual company. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to social media – you need to tailor the solution to your particular needs. This is not an easy task and it’s not easy to demonstrate ROI while you are formulating and executing your strategy.

Have fortitude, my social media kindred. Refuse to let your stakeholders consider number of HITS a metric (they are “How Idiots Track Success,” according to K.D. Paine). Help them understand the real social media metrics like buzz volume, buzz sentiment and engagement (Mike Manuel, social media genius, can teach you more about metrics). But at the same time, realize that as cool as it is to show how many followers you have on Twitter, how many fans you have on Facebook, and how much buzz you’re generating, at the end of the day, the people who write your paycheck will want to see the impact to the bottom line.

**Speaking of one size fits all…

The daily influx of invites to Webinars and conferences promising to show me the Holy Grail of Social Media Success remind me of the South Park episode about the “Underpants Gnomes” that are stealing Tweek’s underwear. One of my favorite South Park moments is the Gnomes’ business plan:

We all get the endless invitations to paid Webinars claiming to teach us how Social Media will make us successful. The truth they don’t want you to know is that nobody can give you the magic formula to “do social media.” STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY. You just need to figure out how to listen to what people are saying about you, and then how to join the conversation. Yes, there are lots of ways to do this, and it’s not always easy to figure out which way is the right way. It takes some time and effort. There is no quick fix or easy salvation — if anyone suggests you do a “viral video” run the other way – FAST! With all the tools and technologies out there, the task is daunting. But if you go for the quick fix, you may as well use this as your business plan:

Capturing Leads and Tracking Conversations on Twitter

19 July, 2009 | | 2 Comments

Here at VeriSign, we’ve proven that Twitter can be used to capture sales leads and make sales. But we are also seeing all kinds of other interactions that happen on Twitter. These include:

  • Requests for information / help with products
  • Suggestions for product features (e.g., “VIP iPhone app should work on iPod Touch!”)
  • General industry questions
  • Media inquiries and commentary
  • Customers needing some TLC
  • Interesting news articles or Tweets to share

Getting Started

Before you start, you’ll need to do a search on your brand to see what kind of mentions it is getting. http://search.twitter.com will find all mentions, which you may want to catalog in your own spreadsheet because it only seems to archive about a month’s worth of data. But you can still find a Tweet using more specific keywords on Google to find tweets, because, much like a diamond, a Tweet is forever! (even if you delete a Tweet from your Twitter stream, it’s going to show up on Google!)

Tools for Tracking Conversations

1. Bit.ly: Bit.ly can be used for shortening any URLs. You can even create custom Bit.ly Urls, but keep track of what you create because Bit.ly won’t track those for you. And beware the inflated Bit.ly stats which do not filter out hits from bots / spiders, etc. More on that here from Hutch Carpenter. And Tac Anderson is a great blogger to follow if you want to keep up on the latest cool tools – he is great filter for the (too much) information that’s out there.
2. Tracking Codes: We use Visual Sciences on our VeriSign.com so if we append an “SL code” to a URL that we send out, and someone visits the VeriSign.com site, we know where they came from. So, the URL we send looks like this: www.verisign.com/industrybriefs?sl=12345. Using these helps us keep track of traffic that we send over from Twitter.

Capturing Sales Leads

Our leads from Twitter were getting lost in the Siebel Sales database becuase we had no way of tracking. The “traditional” way of capturing leads is that a prospective customer fills ut a landing page. We persuaded the Direct Marketing team that people engaging with us on Twitter are in no mind set to fill out a form if they wanted more info, and they are allowing us to fill in the form ourselves, as long as the potential customer approves it. Now that’s progress! Now all we need is our own cool little “Twitter Leads” form. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.

Keeping track of Resources

Many of the interactions I mentioned above need to be shared internally with the right people, and then communicated back out. We’re talking a serious time commitment here. But how to show the “higher ups” what resources are necessary? I’ve worked with my colleague (@AllenKelly) to come up with a system that should help us with this. More on this after we try it out for a bit.

Reaping the Rewards of your Blogging Efforts

6 July, 2009 | | 3 Comments

You’ve been valiantly foraging through the social media wilderness, publishing blog posts and Tweeting your heart out. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the fruits of your labor? Here are a few tools I use to track blog success. I started using these methods for our Corporate Social Media efforts but they work for personal blogs and Tweets, as well. Don’t forget: the key social media metrics are sentiment and level of engagement (e.g., number of blog post comments, trackbacks.) Or are you simply wondering “why do I need a Web site, a blog, and a Twitter account?

Tracking “Micro-Metrics” for Blogs

1. Feedburner allows me to see how many subscribers I have, enable blog subscription via email, and add the “share this” feature for each post. They provide a snippet of code for me to insert into the blog template, and instructions for Moveable Type and WordPress.

2. Google Analytics offers a myriad of data, but I usually focus on the following data points:

  • Percentage of readers arriving through search. If it’s below 30% we need to better optimize the blogs for search: I remind bloggers to focus on the keywords in the post title and body, leverage the “categories.”
  • Keywords bringing people to the blogs. This data usually provides a nice ego boost for our bloggers, since the primary keywords bringing traffic to each blog are usually the bloggers’ names. Ideally the top keywords would be industry / product terms. Or simply “VeriSign.”
  • Time spent reading posts. Less than a minute means the user found little value in the content. I like to see readers spending at least 2 minutes on each post. One blogger had readers spending about 6 minutes on each post, which I shared with all of our bloggers. Another blogger (jealously?) pointed out “his posts are really long.”
  • Referring sites. Is there some site helping you out that you did not know about? Where are users coming from? This will help you tailor your content to appeal to those folks.
  • Bounce Rate and Exit rate. A high bounce rate means the content on the page the user landed on was not interesting to them. They came, they saw, they left your domain. Conversely, the exit rate is the measure of how many people left a page, and then went elsewhere on your site – that particular page was not too exciting, but they were interested enough to look further. You should worry about a consistently high bounce rate and consider how to make that landing page a little juicer. This is why it helps to know what keywords people are searching on, and what the referring sites are. There is a nice explanation of these terms on SEOlogs.com.

Coming soon… “Capturing Sales Leads and Tracking Conversations on Twitter”

Making sense of the social media landscape…

5 May, 2009 | | No Comment

In February, a friend who is an excellent personal trainer asked me how she could use social media to improve her business and attract clients. “What’s the difference between a Web site, a blog, Facebook, LinkedIN, and Twitter?” she asked me. She already had a Facebook account to connect with friends and family. I remembered an anecdote I heard at a conference, a clothing analogy for some of the social networking tools:

LinkedIn is like your “business attire” for your professional contacts. Twitter is your “business casual” wear. For example, you can use it to make informal connections with colleagues you meet at conferences to get to know them better. And Facebook is “weekend wear” — flip flops and shorts, meant for your friends and family.

“Well why do I need a Web page?” She asked. I had to think about this one. Did she really need to register a domain name and set up a site, with all these tools at her disposal? The answer is a definite “yes.” I judge a business by the quality of their Web site. Maybe I’m a bit of a snob, with my roots in Web content development, but I usually choose the restaurant or a hotel with a higher quality Web site unless I have a strong reason to do otherwise. I don’t think I’m alone in this. So I explained to her that as a solo practitioner, she needed to establish her professional presence with a Web site. I even suggested “TrainWithJess.com” which she loved.

Then she asked, “why do I need a blog?” So I gave her another analogy. “Your Web site is like your office building, it’s your home base. Your blog is like the landscaping / garden out front that shows that this building is occupied and cared for.” And then, the final question:

“Why do I need Twitter?”
“Twitter serves as a way to meet new prospects and attract them to your manicured blog and professional Web site.”
“Got it.”

That was two months ago, and since then Jessica has created her own Web site, complete with a blog and Twitter feed. She even found some new communities to join, hosted on Ning. I am amazed at how much she learned on her own, and she is already attracting new clients who are finding her Web site via Twitter and Google, and complimenting her on “how professional it looks.”

Jessica is obviously a very smart, ambitious lady, but the fact of the matter is that in a Web 2.0 world, ANYONE can self publish and have a voice on the Web. All it takes is the desire to learn and the willingness to spend some time doing it.

A Social Media Case Study from Radian6

30 October, 2008 | | 1 Comment

Since June I’ve been bugging social media experts like Amy Paquette of Cisco, Gia Lyons of Jive Software, Steve Mann of SAP, Tac Anderson of HP, and Jeff Moriarty and Kelly Feller of Intel. I’ve been looking for the “Holy Grail of Social Media” – namely, case studies and ROI. So I’m pleased to tell you that VeriSign is now featured in a new case study from the brilliant Social Media Monitoring company, Radian6. Now I finally have something to give back to all of these folks who have been so generous with their time.

What Radian6 does is amazing. With all those “Google Alerts” and other info available, it can get tough to figure out what’s worth paying attention to. Radian6 is a blogosphere monitoring tool that helps cut through the noise and understand:

Who is talking about your brand?
What’s the level of engagement around any particular post?
What’s the overall influence of the blogger?

The tool takes a little training, since it is a bit complex. You create your own customized “River of News” which is an apt analogy, because without this tool you’re drowning in data. Radian6 (and Mike Manuel and Ryan Lack of Voce) have helped VeriSign stay on top of current trends, and much more…read the case study!

VeriSign and Voce Communications: A Radian6 Case Study

Tac Anderson: Measuring ROI, B-to-B Marketing, and the Role of the Strategist

19 August, 2008 | | No Comment

(Second of a two-part article).

Tac Anderson is a the Web 2.0 Strategic lead for HP’s Imaging and Printing group. We met through some Gia Lyons Twitter matchmaking.

We discussed a wide variety of topics, including the types of campaigns that HP has run. One successful campaign sponsored by HP was Project Direct, a contest on YouTube for aspiring directors to upload their movies. The subtle HP branding points users to HP Creative Studio, which allows users to create their own stickers and posters, in keeping with the “self expression” theme. I did not ask Tac what kind of metrics they used to measure the success of that campaign, but he did share some of his guidelines for measuring the ROI of a campaign.

Measuring the ROI of a Campaign

“Let’s face it: there are not many best practices for Social Media and very few benchmarks. We all need to be open to learning as we go.”
— Tac Anderson

Tac likes to experiment, interact with people and see where it goes. So far he has been pleasantly surprised by the response rates. One successful tactic he mentioned was to sponsor a prominent blog, by working with Federated Media. Here are Tac’s guiding principles for measuring the ROI of a campaign:
Determine the GOAL of the initiative. Tac repeatedly said how important it is to agree VERY early on on the purpose of the campaign, and to get buy-off on the stated goals. (He spoke with the conviction of someone who has been burned by this before.)

Once you’ve settled on your goal, stick with it and don’t waiver. For example, if a campaign’s stated and agreed-upon goal is to raise awareness, don’t allow it to be judged later on by its ability to generate leads.

Once you’ve agreed on the purpose of the campaign, and the desired outcome, you can figure out what you want to measure. For example, let’s say the goal of your campaign is to raise awareness.

“How do we measure awareness? Are we going to measure online share of voice? Count hits? How about the level of engagement? What does ‘engagement’ mean to you? Comments? Links? Mentions? Pick a metric to use and then stick with it”

Tips for B-to-B Marketers
Tac said it’s important to remind people that marketing (whether it’s “b-to-b” or “b-to-c”) is driven by consumer examples.

1. Figure out what you are trying to say and then figure out what your target audience cares about Ask yourself honestly “Does this makes sense?” Do your homework. Don’t get distracted by the latest “shiny object,” which may not be the right medium for your message. A basic blog might serve your needs fine.

2. Do research on your audience: how do they like to get their information. Is it e-mail? Do they read blogs? Use Facebook? Watch video on YouTube? Feed them the information in their preferred format.

3. Conduct Yourself Appropriately, whether you host the community or join someone else’s:

“You can choose to host your own party — even be exclusive with your invite list. But if you decide to join someone ELSE’S party, be polite. Don’t get drunk and out of line.

4. Don’t think like a big Corporation. Even if you have a big budget, don’t be afraid to leverage the free social media tools like Yahoo Pipes and Feedburner.

And of course we talked about our own jobs. This is a topic that I also discussed with Kelly Feller and Jeff Moriarty of Intel:

The Role of the Social Media Strategist:

Education: For many of your colleagues, you may be their only resource into the world of social meda. Post questions and case studies internally — and translate that information into actionable intelligence for project managers and product managers.

Internal consulting: serve as a resource for people so they can come and ask specific questions.

Be the Periscope: Feed ideas to people, and keep them informed on what is happening in the world of Social Media. (e.g., “Company ‘x’ did this, here is what happened and how they responded.)

Thanks again to Tac for all of your time. You are one cool dude. I hope we get a chance to chat again soon!

Thou Shalt Blog and Tweet and Google Thyself

3 August, 2008 | | 5 Comments

And the Lord of Social Media said “Go forth and blog and tweet and link to others, and ye shall rise from certain obscurity.” And I did. And it was good.

I’ve been googling myself for eight years with very little satisfaction. I never ranked above the fourth or fifth page in Google. In fact, if any old friends tried to Google me, they probably thought that I ended up as a motivational speaker.

I don’t run marathons or do anything newsworthy. The other Karen Snyders have outshone me in every way: I get their email, I’m given their prescription glasses, my address is never the first one listed at the pharmacy and the local health club.

UNTIL NOW.

“What has changed?” you might ask. Well, I started this blog a couple of months ago. That bumped me up a bit (maybe page three?) But then, my Twitter friend Jeff Moriarty from Intel linked to my blog from his.

And lo, and behold, when you search on “Karen Snyder” it is I who appear on the first page of Google Results. If I wasn’t a believer before in the power of social media, I am now.