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Archive for August, 2011

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

Posted in TakeFive

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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 #12

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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!

Data Rich, Optimization Poor
Bryan Eisenberg comments on the recent Econsultancy study that shows that 78% of businesses do not have a strategy that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives. Bryan outlines several ideas to help companies build measurement and optimization into their business culture.

Social Media: PR Prattles Over ROI, Marketing Rushes Forward
Juan Hidalgo at VMS Voice argues that Marketing, as opposed to PR, is more likely to experiment with social media claiming, “there is no ROI”. But, continuing to “plod along” without measurement runs the risk of undermining your organization’s efforts to reach customers through social media.

The key to social media success is links, not conversation
Lauren Fisher at Simply Zesty writes about how links have become the ultimate currency in social media. Is the Reddit model the future of journalism? Ultimately, as social media becomes more of a news feed, marketers are challenged to take advantage of the traffic and engage in the conversation surrounding the links.

The Funnel Is Dead, Long Live the Measurable Customer Narrative
Jen Evans of Sequentia Environics writes about how the traditional view of the sales funnel and how marketing feeds and supports it has been fundamentally changed by the advent of new access point for prospects, many of them social networks. A new view of marketing that measures how people progress through digital properties will help marketers understand how their investments are performing.

8 Tools to Measure Your Social Media Relevance
Rachel Gamburd put together a nice roundup of tools to help you measure your company’s relevance in social media.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 19th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

TakeFive with TweetReach – John Lovett

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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 are very excited to welcome John Lovett, Senior Partner and Principal Consultant at Web Analytics Demystified, author of the brand new book, Social Media Metrics Secrets, and all-around web analytics and social media measurement guru.

TweetReach: Welcome, John! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Let’s start with how you got started with social analytics. What got you interested in measuring social media?

John Lovett: I’ve spent the past 5 years immersed in the web analytics industry and when social media came along, it was a natural extension. A few years ago and still today, there are many unknowns in social media, especially in social analytics. That keeps it fresh and exciting, which also brings a bevy of new challenges and opportunities. Additionally, my clients kept asking me how they should be measuring social media, so I took what I learned from working with websites and other digital marketing medium and applied that to social media.

TweetReach: Last month, you wrote in ClickZ that most people are using the wrong metrics in social media. You specifically identified “counting metrics” as a problem. Can you tell us what you mean by that? Are there any cases where counting metrics can be useful? And what else should we be measuring?

John Lovett: Counting metrics is a term that I use to describe fans, followers, views and likes and similar metrics, that are typically offered by social networks that “count” up activities. These metrics do have value in helping businesses to size up opportunities and quantify just how many people are interacting with their social initiatives, but they rarely offer insights into social media business performance. To get at real insights or understand how well your social media channels are performing, you need to dig deeper into social analytics by matching an audience with your desired outcomes. Examples of metrics that do this are specific to an objective like gaining exposure, which can be measured using metrics like Reach, Velocity, and Share of Voice.

TweetReach: What are your recommendations for someone just getting started with social analytics? What should they do first? What are some important considerations?

John Lovett: For individuals and businesses just starting out with social media, my number one piece of advice is to ask yourself why you’re there. I encourage people to really define what you’re trying to accomplish with social media because that’s how you will be able to identify success. For example, are you engaging in social media to promote a new product or service? To build a community of loyal fans? Sell more goods? Decrease operational costs? Asking the tough questions about why you want to participate in social media is the foundation for building a solid program of measurement. If you cannot explain to yourself or your boss how your organization will benefit from social media, then go back to the drawing board. It will save you lots of headaches and frustration.

TweetReach: We’re hearing a lot about influence right now; everyone wants to measure influence and target influencers. What are your thoughts on measuring influence in social media? What’s the best way to determine who is influential for a particular campaign or initiative?

John Lovett:
Measuring influence is tricky business. It’s tricky because a real influencer is not somebody with tons of followers, but someone who motivates others to take action. Often times, these actions don’t occur on social media channels or even on digital channels, but rather they occur offline. Thus, you have to stitch together multiple behaviors across channels to find out if your influencers are really having an impact on your business.

I like to think of influencers as people who have “potential” to move markets. It’s worth identifying these individuals by mining social data to see what topics they talk about and how large their potential audiences are. But, the real secret is converting influencers into brand advocates. Then you can begin to track their impact using unique campaign IDs or referral source data to determine their contributions to your social media goals.

TweetReach: What do you see for the future of social media metrics? How will the discipline evolve in the coming years?

John Lovett:
I strongly believe that it’s still early days for social media measurement. As organizations get more advanced with their digital efforts and more sophisticated with technologies for social networking, we will see data utilized in revolutionary ways. One trend that’s brewing includes the convergence of metrics, Location Based Services and data mash-ups. Of course mobile devices are critical to this revolution, but organizations that use customer preference data to offer real-time access to information, ideas, products, or services that connect networks of individuals to any location in the world will fundamentally change the way we co-exist.

While this change will also force businesses to work harder because marketing hype will be replaced with customer experiences; businesses that truly listen to their customers and learn from social media will benefit tremendously. However, these services and the underlying metrics that inform the business need to evolve to real-time speeds so that we’re not continuously reacting to social activities, but that we employ data-smart technologies to proactively utilize social media metrics to deliver tangible consumer value.

TweetReach: Thank you so much for your time and your thoughts, John!

John Lovett is a consultant, author and measurer of all things digital who helps businesses use analytics to deliver effective marketing. Since 1993, Lovett has been exploring opportunities in digital marketing and deconstructing web sites to see just how well they work. He’s a Senior Partner at Web Analytics Demystified and currently promoting his new book, Social Media Metrics Secrets (Wiley 2011).

A frequent speaker at industry events, Lovett is often called upon to pontificate about big data, building a culture of measurement, social media metrics, and matters of consumer privacy. Lovett is currently the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Web Analytics Association (WAA) and is a Certified Web Analyst. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife, yellow lab, and three boys. Follow John on Twitter @johnlovett and check out his Web Analytics Demystified blog.

Written by Jenn D

August 17th, 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in TakeFive

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Detailed hashtag analysis now available in TweetReach Trackers

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Good news, everyone! We’re excited to unveil brand new hashtag analysis in your TweetReach Trackers. You can now get detailed stats on the use of individual hashtags.

To see these stats, simply click on any hashtag anywhere in your Tracker to view detailed information about how that hashtag has been used. You’ll learn more about the number of tweets that included that hashtag, how many impressions have been generated by that hashtag, and how many people contributed tweets with that hashtag. You’ll also get a list of all the tweets that include that hashtag, as well as info about the people who posted those tweets. And like all the rest of your Tracker data, you can export this information to a CSV file for further analysis in Excel or Numbers. Here’s a screenshot.

This hashtag detail report is just the first step in deeper hashtag analysis throughout TweetReach Trackers. While we can’t reveal the rest yet, here’s a sneak peak at something big coming up:

So, more soon! In the meantime, these nice new hashtag reports are only available through TweetReach Pro, so check it out if you haven’t already and let us know if you have any questions.

Written by admin

August 15th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Features,News

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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

TakeFive with TweetReach – Evan Hamilton

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Welcome to TakeFive with TweetReach, where we talk with notable members of the social media marketing, analytics and measurement communities, pulling together insight, commentary and conversation around all things social media and measurement. This week we’re happy to welcome Evan Hamilton, Community Manager at UserVoice, a provider of customer support and feedback tools.

TweetReach: Welcome Evan! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe your first “ah-ha” moment?

Evan Hamilton: I’m not sure I had an ah-ha moment – my friends were just all on IRC in high school and all on Facebook in college. It’s second-nature to me. It took businesses a lot longer to find their “ah-ha”.

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

Evan Hamilton: Measurement is not something that is still really expected from Community Management, but I started attempting it in 2009 because I felt that I was doing important work and wanted to show it. I’m still working hard to do that, and the tools have only gotten better.

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

Evan Hamilton: Share of voice is very important for us. Much of community management is simply building rapport and loyalty with customers and potential customers, and seeing how much you are part of the general conversation in your space validates this work. I also look at engagement — if people aren’t replying or retweeting, it doesn’t matter that they’re following you.

TweetReach: Have you looked at social media success or failure in other industries for pointers on how to apply best practices to your audience? Any good examples?

Evan Hamilton: The best example I’ve seen is the Old 97′s (right out of TweetReach’s home state of Texas). I think because they’re not a company focused on “marketing”, they do a great job interacting with their fans. Whether it’s posting a fun behind-the-scenes photo, supporting a fan who is fighting cancer, sharing some music that they love…everything they do is really genuine and engaging and valuable to their fans, and they get a great response. More companies should stop thinking about how to “market” to customers and instead think about how to delight their fans. (Adding some electric guitar might help!)

TweetReach: How do you think about the mix of different social media networks when designing your social media strategy? Are you trying different approaches with different networks? How important is measurement with each?

Evan Hamilton: You have to take different approaches. People act differently on each network. You might be on Facebook to tend to your Farmville and on Twitter to talk business — the same message will resonate with you differently in each location. Not to mention it’s obnoxious to see the same message from a brand in two locations.

TweetReach: For many, social media has enabled us to become more engaged with our communities. Most of us are in constant communication with our constituents every day. How do you see integrating analytics and measurement into everyday social media activity?

Evan Hamilton: I think there’s danger that we won’t see beyond our circles (Google customizing my results based on my social activity means I get a very biased view of the world) but also a lot of opportunity to connect with people deeper. If you can tell me which friends of mine are into folk music, I might bond with someone who had never told me that they like Wilco, too.

TweetReach: Let’s talk about social media measurement in the context of a broader business measurement strategy. What do you think – is measuring social media success useful by itself? How do you link social media metrics to larger business goals?

Evan Hamilton: You’re not doing social media for the hell of it — it has to be linked to a larger business goal. That might vary though — for Dell it’s selling more computers, for UserVoice it’s both acquiring and retaining customers, and for someone else it’s something different. You definitely have to figure out that goal, map out the KPIs, and then try to accomplish it. Otherwise there’s no point. Just because pools are cool doesn’t mean you should throw away your desk and buy some swim trunks — unless there’s a business objective you can accomplish in the pool.

TweetReach: Do you have any secret techniques, tools, or other Jedi strategies that you can share with our readers? Any best practices for getting greater reach for your content?

Evan Hamilton: Use the Google URL tool to add tracking tags to your URLs. I’m tired of hearing people say that Twitter clients make it impossible to tell where traffic came from. If you use a tracking tag, you will (largely) know. For getting greater reach of your content, I suggest just being part of the conversation. All the “tricks” I’ve seen and tried are rarely as successful as talking to people and sharing good stuff with them.

TweetReach: How important is a person’s influence to your social media efforts? How do you decide who to respond to?

Evan Hamilton: Everyone deserves fair treatment, and you never know who has a network effect that isn’t measurable.

TweetReach: Where do you go for measurement and analytics-related news and insight – any particular websites, blogs, forums, Twitter accounts that are of particular value?

Evan Hamilton: I mainly listen to what my network has to say, honestly. Best practices will always bubble to the top.

TweetReach: Thanks, Evan!

Evan Hamilton is Community Manager at UserVoice, where he handles social media, content creation, customer support, and community-building. Evan writes the blog “Understanding Your Customers” for UserVoice, featuring insights into succeeding through great customer service.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 10th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

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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

Extreme tweets: How ESPN’s X Games social strategy paid off

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We worked with ESPN to measure Twitter’s reaction to this year’s X Games 17, held in Los Angeles, California from July 28-31, 2011. Hundreds of athletes from 17 countries competed in sports like skateboarding, motocross, BMX and rally car racing. And over the four days of the X Games, 97,200 people tweeted 188,813 times, generating an impressive reach of 37.7 million*.

How’d they do it?

“Our goal going in was to make the event as social as possible,” says Mick Kelleher, Associate Manager of Multimedia Content Strategy for the X Games. This was a big, integrated effort combining all the ESPN teams responsible for producing the X Games. The TV production team showed the #xgames hashtag frequently during the telecast, included athlete Twitter accounts in on-screen bios as well as showing athlete tweets on air. The social team used the @XGames Twitter account to keep their followers on Twitter up to date on all the events. The social integration even went all the way to the event site, where they encouraged fans attending the Games to tweet.

The results

ESPN used TweetReach Pro Trackers to comprehensively track and analyze all mentions of the X Games on Twitter for the week leading up to the event and during the event itself. As you can see below, the strong results of their social strategy speak for themselves.

The most retweeted tweet about the games was from @LilTunechi, which received 905 retweets and generated more than 3 million impressions.

One of the biggest stories to come out of this year’s X Games concerned Travis Pastrana, who broke his ankle and leg in the Moto X Best Trick competition on Thursday, but later competed – and placed fourth – in the RallyCross final on Sunday.

We analyzed tweets about several events in detail, including Moto X Best Trick, Skateboarding Big Air, BMX Park Freestyle, Rally Car Racing, Skateboard Street, and RallyCross. At one point during the RallyCross final, viewers noticed something strange; 200 people tweeted that they spotted The Stig from Top Gear walk behind Brian Deegan during an interview. Here are the big moments from one our favorite X Games 17 days. Click the image for the full size version.

Congrats to all the athletes who competed this year! Thank you for an exciting and action-packed four days at X Games 17.

*Read this for more on how we calculate reach and other metrics. And, are you interested in this kind of analysis for your media event? Let’s talk.

Written by Jenn D

August 2nd, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Events,Trends

Tagged with , , , , ,