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This Week in Social Analytics #14

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Welcome back to This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the past week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

What’s the R.O.I.? A Framework for Social Analytics
Brian Solis asks whether “what’s the ROI of social media” is the right question at all. True return requires understanding more than just financial investment. He reviews Susan Etlinger’s research on “A Framework for Social Analytics” and argues that the opportunities for establishing the ROI of social media involve understanding the relationship between business objectives and social media tactics.

33% of B2B Marketers Don’t Measure Marketing ROI
Yes, you read that correctly. Pamela Vaughan at Hubspot writes about how recent research from Lenskold and the Pedowitz Group shows that a third of marketers don’t measure the ROI of their efforts, and only one in three actually report measurements they do make to senior management. In order for marketers to continue to secure budget for initiatives, including social media, they shouldn’t undermine their efforts by not reporting the results, or even worse, failing to measure at all.

The Case for Social Media Analytics Standards
In a recent chat with Beth Shultz at All Analytics and others, Marshall Sponder discusses the benefits of a standardization effort for social media analytics and suggests that “a standard and automated framework for mining data from social sites for business intelligence purposes” would be of benefit to all and help the social analytics industry mature.

15 Case Studies to Get Your Client On Board With Social Media
On the Mashable blog, Jonathan Rick suggests that marketers should explain the value of social media to potential clients by giving concrete examples of the interaction it can enable. He illustrates his point with several great case studies of how companies are using and measuring their social media efforts.

Written by Dean Cruse

September 2nd, 2011 at 3:57 pm

TakeFive with TweetReach – Adam Price

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Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with notable members of the social media analytics and measurement community. This week we’re happy to welcome Adam Price, co-founder of Speak Social, an Austin, Texas-based company that handles all aspects of social media marketing for brands.

TweetReach: Welcome Adam! Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe your first “ah-ha” moment?

Adam Price: I come from an SEO background. My “ah-ha” moment happened while I was running analytics on one of my SEO clients. I noticed that a competitor’s Facebook page ranked above my optimized site. This site had massive amounts of SEO content and great back-links, yet we were suddenly second to an un-optimized Facebook profile. That planted a seed that I couldn’t get out of my head. I started researching social media non-stop and realized that it is the future of search. I understood then that social media will become the center of every marketing strategy going forward. I want to be a part of that.

TweetReach: How important was measurement in your initial strategy and how has that evolved?

Adam Price: Measurement is critical. The early problem in social media was that most books treated ROI like it didn’t exist. Most of the talking points around tracking and measuring ROI centered on why analytics didn’t matter, and how to refocus the conversation. I had more luck focusing on enterprise level companies who treated ROI as the central issue. At that level, they can’t just hide behind marketing fluff. You have to show hard data.

Today, tools to track social media success are booming as an ancillary business to social media marketing. Initially I pitched tracking ROI of our campaigns as my differentiator over the competition. Very few people were doing it. The social media marketers I looked up to were focusing on analytics from the beginning, following the “If you can’t track it, it doesn’t exist” model. It was a huge learning curve to get my head around how it related to the bottom line, and we continue to work on it. I learned early that time was a big factor of every campaign. Social media marketing specifically takes time before you can show results. The client must accept limited results in the first months. The clients that stick with it see results once the infrastructure is in place.

TweetReach: Does size matter? David Armano has written about the importance of topical influence. What do you think? How important is the size of someone’s social graph vs. their influence in a particular topical area?

Adam Price: David has it right, but this one is touchy. Overall, I would say a social graph size has little use to a client’s bottom line, but that’s not always the case. We represent professional athletes and models, and to them raw numbers mean quite a lot.

One of our most successful nonprofit campaigns started with a Twitter account of only 200 followers, but they were the right 200. If I had a restaurant, I would rather have one Paul Barron as a follower than 1,000 unassociated followers. This is nothing new of course; influencer marketing is old hat. The truly interesting thing is how many of the walls between a brand and the influencers are knocked down by social media. Those walls will rebuild, but until they do, we have a unique opportunity to reach out to anyone.

TweetReach: Do you have any examples of how analytics have helped you adjust or improve your social media activities? Has this ever happened in the middle of a campaign?

Adam Price: Absolutely, we obsessively track analytics. It’s important to develop social media measurement strategies based on business objective KPIs. There is a wealth of monitoring data available, but without a focused strategy, the data will not effectively develop and direct the campaign. At some level, we are always adjusting and tweaking. If our blogs get fewer views than expected, we revamp. If our Twitter reach is smaller than expected, we readjust. We never based measurements off the raw number of Twitter followers and Facebook likes. Those metrics were never a sound justification for social media marketing.

TweetReach: Is ROI for Twitter campaigns achievable? There a many different ways to measure activity, but how do your gauge your success, or help your clients do the same? What’s missing from the equation?

Adam Price: ROI for Twitter is absolutely achievable. Twitter requires you to be specific. You have to know who your audience is, and if you are reaching them. You need to create trackable links that you tweet, then measure who clicks those links. We gauge our client milestones upfront, and then work to meet them. The goals are tailored to the client. The question is not is ROI achievable, but is it achievable with this client?

When a potential client asks me to define the ROI of social media, I start by asking them how they track ROI on their current marketing strategies. What’s missing most times is the client’s holistic understanding of their business. You need to be crystal clear on where you are starting from with a campaign and where you are going. The best clients know their business inside and out. When you bring a tool like Twitter into the equation with one of these clients, it’s not hard to work together to gauge success.

TweetReach: Any social media pet peeves? What practices irritate you the most when you look at the state of the industry?

Adam Price: I think the thing that annoys me the most is the all too common perception that understanding social media channels directly equates to understanding social media marketing. We have a diverse staff of people on our team each who have different specialties, and we did that in a very premeditated way. Social media cannot be encompassed solely in Facebook. A true social media marketing strategy has multiple elements that have to each be accountable. I don’t mean to say that social media marketing is unapproachable or you have to have a team to have success, but right now there is a tendency to grab an intern who has a thousand friends on Facebook and make her your “social media solution.” The results are ineffective, at best, and reflect poorly on our growing industry.

Social media marketing is like anything else, you succeed by taking the time to gain knowledge before you begin. The great thing about the social media community is that they are so motivated to share what they know. You don’t have look very hard to find the information and help you need when you are just starting out.

Adam Price is a co-founder of Speak Social, an Austin, Texas-based company that handles all aspects of social media marketing for brands. Speak Social represents businesses, nonprofits, athletes and personalities. Adam strives to develop and improve the social media campaign process, which can close the gap between brands and the people that use them. His continued study of online media and marketing allows him to construct strategies that serve the client’s message and goals.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 31st, 2011 at 3:54 pm

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This Week in Social Analytics #13

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Hello again from This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

Social Business Intelligence: Positioning a Strategic Lens on Opportunity
Dion Hinchcliffe with Dachis Group talks about social media at the intersection of big data and business value and lays out a strategic view of Social Business Intelligence. Dion’s framework compares social analytics — the measurement and data mining from social networks with social business intelligence — a broader, business-centric process that he believes will become a vital component of the way that companies derive bottom-line business benefits from their social media efforts.

There are Three Kinds of Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Social Media Metrics
The ability to measure a multitude of outcomes in social media can tempt many marketers to lose focus on what really matters. Debra Ellis at Wilson & Ellis argues that the only metrics that matter with any marketing activity are sales, costs, and customer satisfaction. If your social media activity isn’t increasing sales, decreasing costs, or improving customer satisfaction, then you’re wasting your time.

The Standard for Influence: Is It Really?
Stephanie Parker from Zamolution warns to be careful when using online influence scoring tools to measure your social media efforts. While they can be very useful in providing insight into important followers and should be used for that, it is often more important is to be engaging with a targeted, focused audience that aligns with your objectives.

Social Media Success Begins and Ends with Analytics
Chuck Hemann with Edelman Digital writes about how listening and measurement have advanced significantly over the last several years as foundational elements of social media programs. He provides some ideas on how to take it to the next level including integrating listening and measurement into the overall communications process, applying resources to the task, and surveying your audience for feedback. Chuck argues that social media analytics will be at the foundation of all communications programs for the foreseeable future.

5 Ways to Measure Social Media
Ron Jones with Symetri Internet Marketing provides a quick set of steps for measuring the success of your social media marketing efforts including awareness and exposure, share of voice and sentiment, influence, engagement, and popularity.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 26th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

This Week in Social Analytics #11

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Welcome back to This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the past week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

A Framework for Social Analytics
Susan Etlinger at Altimeter Group has released a new report, A Framework for Social Analytics, which includes input from 39 social media ecosystem contributors and is a must-read for business folks who must analyze and act on data from their social media networks.

Social Media Analytics: Marshall Sponder Provides Social Media Proof
On the Technorati blog, Pace Lattin interviews Marshall Ponder about social media analytics and his book of the same name. In the interview, Marshall gives his thoughts on monitoring social media, ROI, customer targeting, the various social media networks, influence, and more.

Awareness Metrics Aren’t the Social Media Measurement Devil
Chuck Hemann at Edelman Digital writes that we shouldn’t dismiss awareness metrics such as impressions, likes, followers, etc but should use these as a component of the total measurement process.They can be a valuable part of measuring overall performance.

What you need to know about the Barcelona Principles
Justin Goldsborough at Fleishman-Hillard, with contribution from Don Bartholomew, does a great job summarizing the key principles from European Summit on Measurement held in Barcelona in 2010 that were established to help guide the measurement of PR. We’ve written before about the death of Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs), but this post gives a great summary of the other six principles and how PR professionals can apply them to their every day work.

Twitter and the Ultimate Algorithm: Signal Over Noise (With Major Business Model Implications)
John Battelle wonders what we can do to improve the signal/noise ratio in busy Twitter streams, gather meaning from the conversations, and which company will rise to the challenge to address the opportunity.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 12th, 2011 at 11:34 am

The Week in Social Analytics #10

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Hello again from This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

Advertisers Begin to Look Beyond Facebook and Twitter
Recent research from The Pivot Conference and Brian Solis found that a majority of marketers are advertising on social media networks and most are satisfied with their results so far. Not surprisingly, the research found that future consumer online behavior will influence advertising on social media networks.

Report: The Rise of the Social Advertising
Brian Solis chimes in on the social media advertising report and provides a ton of great detail on the findings. As consumers spend more time on social networks, it is not surprising that brands are focusing advertising efforts there, but the rules for best practices are still being written in this relatively new space.

11 ways to measure the value of social media
Stefan Tornquist at Econsultancy discusses several ways to measure data from social media and turn it into insights and recommendations that can be acted upon to improve the business.

PR Primer: RIP to AVE?
Ogilvy PR has announced they will permanently abandon their use of Advertising Equivalent Value (AVE) to measure the effectiveness of earned media. Measurement pros rejoice.

Extreme tweets: How ESPN’s X Games social strategy paid off
In case you missed it, we posted results of an in depth analysis we did with ESPN on Twitter activity during the recent X Games. ESPN set as a goal going into the X Games to make the event as social as possible. And the analysis enabled them to better understand the effectiveness of the strategy and the engagement around the events.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 5th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

TakeFive with TweetReach – Holly Homer

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Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with notable members of the social media analytics and measurement community.

This week we’re happy to welcome Holly Homer, writer of June Cleaver Nirvana, founding partner at Business 2 Blogger, and operator of several websites devoted to her home in Texas, including the popular She is Dallas.

TweetReach: Welcome Holly! Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe your first “ah-ha” moment?

Holly Homer: I had been blogging for a year or so when Twitter started to become popular among bloggers, but I was Twitter-resistant. I was happily using Plurk. Plurk was great because it was similar to Twitter, but the comments nested so you could follow a full conversation. The Plurk timeline showed a conversation topic and how many people had responded below. I was mocking my friends on Twitter and lamenting how random and pointless Twitter was when one of them said, “Who cares how great Plurk is if everyone is on Twitter.” That was the moment I realized that the key to social media was the social part. I got over my Twitter issues and have grown to find its random nature charming.

TweetReach: How important was measurement in your initial strategy and how has that evolved?

Holly Homer: Initially, I had no strategy. I am a mom blogger. I am posting pictures of my kids and telling silly suburban stories. As my readership grew, I started getting approached by others to write about something on their agenda. Back then, blogging was (and is now to a lesser degree) in no-man’s-land. No one wanted to pay for me to do things because it was unchartered territory, but they still wanted me to do things… just for free. I figured out really quickly that if I ever expected to be paid for blogging, I was going to have to figure out how to prove my worth. I started learning about SEO, Google Analytics, StumbleUpon, Alexa, Twitter and Facebook to help define my sphere of influence.

As my sphere of influence grew, I was getting more and more email pitches. Some mornings I would wake up to an inbox with 5 or 6 new ways I could write about a company in exchange for a product or service. None of these pitches fit my blog, but that didn’t mean they weren’t good opportunities for another blogger so I passed them on to my blogging friends. This went on for a few months and I thought, “Someone needs to organize all this!”. That is when I had the idea for Business 2 Blogger. I bought the URL and sat on it for nearly a year as I tried to avoid taking on another project. In the meantime, I found some partners and in February of 2010 we launched the site that matches companies with bloggers. It is based on the HARO model where businesses tell us what type of bloggers they need and how many and we pass that information on in an email to our blogger members. The interested bloggers “apply” for the opportunity and a match is made.

The information I had learned about how to justify my own worth was now being used to help other bloggers find writing opportunities. I am a big believer in online karma.

TweetReach: What metrics are most important for your job and/or your company?

Holly Homer: Each and every campaign we run at Business 2 Blogger is different. People are looking for different things for different reasons, but all of them have to justify a budget. The better the match, the more effective the message will be within a sphere of influence. BUT we still have to define a sphere of influence. In campaign responses, bloggers self-report traffic but in all of our paid campaigns, we verify with Alexa ranking, Compete score, Twitter metrics, Facebook likes and Klout to try and achieve the most objective picture of actual influence.

When I manage a blogger campaign, my weekly reports include URLs of blog posts written about my client and TweetReach numbers surrounding the promotion’s keywords, the client’s Twitter profile and any related hashtags. I am in LOVE with TweetReach trackers. I buy extra trackers like I buy shoes – a girl needs one for every occasion! Clients appreciate the numbers (and fancy graphs), but it is extremely helpful to me in finding those bloggers who go the extra mile. The extra mile isn’t exclusive to Twitter and often the people at the top of my TweetReach report are also the bloggers who tagged several extra times on Facebook or wrote an extra blog post. They can’t help it and they are the people you want on your next promotion.

TweetReach: Does size matter? David Armano has written about the importance of topical influence. What do you think? How important is the size of someone’s social graph vs. their influence in a particular topical area?

Holly Homer: Size TOTALLY matters. Social media influence is about influence. To influence there needs to be an audience. I hear people claim that they have a “small, but engaged audience”. Just because I have a large number of followers doesn’t mean I don’t have an “engaged” core. This argument is easily won by a TweetReach report. Let’s leave out number of impressions for argument sake and look at number of retweets, recruitment of others to a conversation and number of responses. I will take the blogger with the 5,000 followers almost every time. The fact that someone HAS 5,000 followers shows a serious level of engagement.

TweetReach: Any social media pet peeves? What practices irritate you the most when you look at the state of the industry?

Holly Homer: UGH. I take poor social media skills personally and feel compelled to gently correct. Bad Twitter affects us all. Take the example of the auto-direct message. The fact that 80% (my guess) of people on Twitter now send one out when I follow them has rendered the Twitter DM useless. Who wants to wade through all that spam willingly? People forget that there are OTHER people on the other end of Twitter. Twitter is like a huge networking cocktail party. Introduce yourself, shake a few hands, listen to a few stories and skip the hard sell.

TweetReach: Great advice. Thanks, Holly!

Holly Homer writes June Cleaver Nirvana, runs several websites devoted to her home in Texas including She is Dallas, and is a founding partner at Business 2 Blogger. She is the mom of three boys who occasionally slips away to the nearest casino for a poker tournament. Follow her on Twitter as @Texasholly.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 3rd, 2011 at 5:36 pm

What is reach and why does it matter?

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We often get asked about reach. How is reach calculated? Why reach? How can you really know how many people were reached? These are great questions and a big part of our business – we even named our product after it! At TweetReach, we think reach is one of the most important, but also one of the most misunderstood, metrics in social media. Our reach metric calculates the size of the potential audience for a message and this metric is an essential measure for any earned media campaign.

How TweetReach calculates reach

First, let’s talk a little bit about what we mean by “reach” and specifically how we calculate reach at TweetReach.

Typically, reach refers to the capacity or range of something. In the case of earned and social media, reach is the size of the potential audience for a message. What is the maximum number of people who could have been exposed to a message? In newspapers and magazines, reach is measured through circulation numbers. In television, we use Nielsen ratings to understand a TV program’s reach. For social media, we have TweetReach.

So when you run a TweetReach report, the reach number in your report reflects the size of the Twitter audience for your search query. Our reach number is a count of the unique Twitter accounts that received a tweet about your topic. It’s an actual computation of unique Twitter IDs, with duplicate recipients removed. Our reach metric is not an approximation or estimated ballpark figure, nor is it total impressions or exposure; it’s the real size of the potential audience.

Why reach matters

So, why go through all the trouble of calculating reach? Why does it matter? Because reach helps you understand the full impact of your tweets. Reach provides context for other engagement metrics. Reach quantifies the size of your message’s universe and helps you understand if your campaign is successful.

Think of reach as the denominator in your measurement equations. Use reach with action or engagement numbers like clicks, retweets, or replies to calculate an engagement percentage. Of the possible audience for your campaign, how many people participated? Reach helps contextualize other engagement metrics.

Other reach resources

Obviously, this is something we think about a lot. If you’d like to hear more, we have a few ideas about how you should use reach to contextualize and interpret your campaign’s success. We’ve also written about the relationship between reach and overall impressions. Finally, here’s more detail about how we calculate reach, exposure and other metrics. So, what’s your TweetReach?

Written by Jenn D

July 19th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Posted in Guides

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Understanding Twitter Reach vs. Exposure with TweetReach

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TweetReach reports provide a number of metrics to help you measure the success of your Twitter messaging. However, the two most important metrics are reach and exposure. We often get questions about how we calculate these metrics and what they mean. We thought it would be a good idea to write an brief explanation here on the blog. If you need more detailed insight into your TweetReach report, check out our Twitter reach user guide at the Help Desk.

Calculating Reach and Exposure

Reach is the total number of unique Twitter users that received tweets about the search term. Exposure is the total number of times tweets about the search term were received by users. We call each receipt of a tweet an impression. See below for how TweetReach does these calculations.

Twitter Reach and Exposure Calculations

Interpreting reach and exposure

Reach provides an understanding of the overall impact of your message or campaign. A high reach indicates that a broad base of different users found your message interesting and spread it to their followers. It often means that multiple unrelated people found out about your campaign from sources outside of Twitter. Conversely, a lower reach means that your message is likely only being shared among a smaller group of people who may be more interrelated (e.g. people in the same geographic area).

A high reach will often be combined with a high exposure. Be careful if you notice your campaign has a low reach and a high exposure, that is an indicator that you may have a core of users that are trying to spread your message by tweeting repeatedly but that your campaign is failing to take off beyond those users’ followers. A high exposure among a small group of people may mean they feel “bombarded” by your message. You may want to alter your message or seek out other ways to get more Twitter users involved to avoid over-saturating a small group.

Written by Hayes D

April 3rd, 2010 at 6:38 pm

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