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Analytics and other industries: Where else can data shine?

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It’s the people that make a company what it is and nobody knows those people better than the People Operations Manager. We’ve tapped ours, Elisabeth Giammona, to write a series of posts about us, our industry, the challenges of people ops, and more. Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

Courtesy the Found Animals Foundation on Flickr. Used with Creative Commons License.

Pictured: People Operations Assistant Manager. Image courtesy the Found Animals Foundation on Flickr. Used with Creative Commons License.

It probably doesn’t come as a shock that as an analytics provider, we love data! While we focus on measuring likes, reblogs and followers, we find it just as cool that many other industries know the value of capturing and analyzing data in their respective areas of focus. Data analytics is becoming increasingly important in areas across organizations and one that has great potential is in the field of people operations (or “human resources,” if you prefer the traditional).

Union Metrics’ products allow companies to analyze community engagement on social media, but we know that capturing engagement within an existing group or company can have important outcomes. Even though conversations about people operations goals and results are traditionally thought of as more qualitative, there are plenty of quantitative metrics that leaders can use to understand how people are working and which programs may or may not be contributing to individual and company successes.

So what types of metrics can a top-notch people operations team measure? How about starting with employee productivity, performance and retention? With insights into these critical components, a company can start to discern if employees have the tools and resources needed to effectively complete their jobs, or if adjustments to the environment or more input from managers could be helpful. These metrics provide clarity around if existing conditions are working or if it might be time to make a change to keep people and company goals on track.

Then add some metrics related to specific programs like benefits, wellness or daily perks, and you’re on your way to better understanding employee contributions, and how happy employees are in their jobs alongside which benefits are meaningful and worth keeping and which can go. Taking analytics one step further, companies can even leverage data to predict possible future outcomes and the effectiveness of new programs earlier in the research and procurement process.

What else do we like about people operations analytics? It modernizes the approach to understanding what is working and what isn’t as it relates to the human capital components of organizations, and talent is the lifeblood of any organization. This isn’t yesterday’s slow approach of annual company surveys; people operations metrics provide real-time data that allow the HR team to make meaningful decisions across an organization, rather than just relying on outdated information or hunches.

Measuring employee and team metrics might not sound as glamorous as monitoring likes around the latest and greatest cat GIF, but having data that keeps companies smart about individual and group performance can shape plans that keep employees engaged and the business running. And we are a team that loves to keep running.

Written by Sarah

May 20th, 2015 at 11:24 am

Posted in Features,Trends

Tagged with , ,

The Week in Social Analytics #143

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

This week it’s a lot about content marketing. 

Discomfort (And Content Marketing) Should Be at the Core of Your Communication Strategy [from Business2Community; written by Greg Hassel]

“The key to growth in 2015 for integrated marketing and communication firms and the individuals that comprise them will continue to be stepping out of traditional comfort zones. That may be embracing content marketing or it may be learning and becoming skilled in an area that’s not ‘sexy.’ But as the Leadership Now blog post states: ‘We can put ourselves into an uncomfortable position or, in time, it will be thrust upon us—and not on our terms.’”

Your 16-Point Content Publishing Checklist [from Convince & Convert; written by Arnie Kuenn]

Never hurts to have a reliable checklist to run down before a piece of content goes live.

Content Creators: Enough with the Boring [from Spin Sucks; written by Lindsay Bell]

“Learn this from Jim Henson: As a content creator, you must let go of fear. And you also must open your eyes to the world around you.

Being bombarded as we are daily with images and videos, blog posts and articles, start-ups and new high-tech gadgets, it’s easy to fall into the ‘that’s not cool, hip, innovative, edgy enough’ trap.

Don’t allow that trap to paralyze your content efforts. “

Why Your Blog Is Not Adding Business Value, and What You Can Do About It [from Marketing Profs; written by Jawad Khan]

“However, for your business blog to work effectively, you need to have a clear blogging objective that’s part of a solid content creation and promotion strategy.

If your content has real value for your readers, they will become not only loyal subscribers of your blog but also your most effective source of word-of-mouth marketing.”

Three Approaches to Effective Brand Storytelling [from Spin Sucks; written by Laura Petrolino]

“Our world is made up of stories—the stories we tell ourselves and those we hear from others. And those stories control how we view the world.

As communicators trying to create effective messages, we must understand how these stories affect our target consumer.

Also, how we can create and contribute stories to help our messaging resonate and integrate into their preexisting world view.”

9 Tips For Taking Top-Notch Smartphone Photos [from Business2Community; written by Lisa Furgison]

“Practice makes perfect and variety helps. If you take two or three shots of the same product in a different setting, you’re bound to get a slew of great pics. Eventually, you’ll have a stockpile of product shots that you can rely on.”

And a little bit about analytics. 

US CMOs Still Report Making Little Use of Marketing Analytics [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Moreover, the reported contribution of marketing analytics is not only still low, but also not improving. On a 7-point scale (where 7 represents very high contribution to performance and 1 no contribution at all), CMOs rated marketing analytics’ contribution to performance at an average of 3.2, the lowest figure since the question was first asked in August 2012.

To top it off, 7 in 10 CMOs said they do not formally evaluate the quality of marketing analytics. That figure has also not improved in the past 3 years, as two-thirds did not evaluate the quality back in February 2012.”

DukeCMOSurvey-Share-Budget-Spend-Marketing-Analytics-Feb2015

Let us know if we can help with that.

Written by Sarah

February 27th, 2015 at 8:47 am

The Week in Social Analytics #141

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On content marketing.

11 Unusual Visual Content Marketing Tips to Drive a Ton of Traffic [from Jeff Bullas dot com; written by Vinay Koshy]

A fantastic, smart, and in-depth look at ways to build out your content marketing strategy.

These Five Essential Habits of Curators Will Make You a Smarter Marketer [from Marketing Profs; written by Rohit Bhargava]

“In other words, curation adds meaning to isolated beautiful things.

Emphasis original.

On your audience. 

Attention is a Precious Commodity: Earn it and Spend it Wisely [from Brian Solis]

“That’s the elusive yet magical nature of this attention economy. And, it’s both a challenge and also an opportunity to compete in it and for it.”

Your marketing success may hinge on Gray Social Media [from {grow}; written by Mark Schaefer]

“I would like to propose today that between dark social media and light social media, there is a third category that is rich in undiscovered marketing opportunity — Gray Social Media. These are the small, still voices who are clearly telling us they’re there, but we can’t detect their quiet signals and capture the data.”

How do we make sure the smallest voices are being heard, so we don’t just cater to a noisy minority?

You Can’t Own a Conversation [from SHIFT Communication; written by Scott Monty]

The lesson here is: Don’t be so quick to spread a message that you aren’t aware of how your message might be received. Listen before you speak, always.

“No, you can’t own a conversation. But you can own relationships. And the relationships you create are your defense against missteps and critics.”

On brand values. 

The Value of Brand Values [from We Are Social; written by Simon Kemp]

“. . .what defines a compelling, ‘human’ brand?

We asked some of the world’s leading marketers the same question, and their answers consistently focused on the same traits that define popular, sociable people.”

If you make time to read one whole piece this week, make it this one.

Written by Sarah

February 13th, 2015 at 8:57 am

The Week in Social Analytics #140

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On content marketing 

7 Types of Content You Still Aren’t Creating But Should Be [from Business2Community; written by Arnie Kuenn]

“. . .it’s more efficient and effective in the long term (and often times required for larger organizations) to take a broader view – to create content that can come to life in various formats, across many different platforms, and that can address multiple audiences.”

Do You Follow the 6 Content Curation Principles? [from PRblog; written by Kevin Dugan]

Tumblr is one of the best platforms for curating fantastic original content to share alongside your own original content. Here are six principles to consider to get you started on your curation journey:

content curation principles

The Super Bowl of Content Marketing Audits – Optimized, Socialized & Integrated [from Top Rank Online Marketing Blog; written by Lee Odden]

The big mistake: (But not as big as throwing a pass on 2nd down and 1 yard to go) The Discovery, Assess and Recommend process for Audits is often treated as a one-time event, usually at the start of an internal effort to re-align marketing efforts or at the start of an engagement with an outside digital marketing agency. That’s a mistake. Depending on the program, audits should be part of a quarterly or annual process to evaluate program performance.”

Emphasis original.

On understanding your audience 

Be Effective by Being Authentic [from Marketing Profs; written by Gillian Vallee]

“To convey honesty that compels customers to act, effectual marketing messaging goes beyond being true and correct. To resonate as genuine, a brand must demonstrate accessibility, inclusiveness, and familiarity.

Ask these questions often:

  • What promises are we making? How are we delivering on those promises?
  • How have we demonstrated our interest and investment into our customers’ needs and desires?
  • Are we relatable?
  • How have we let the customer ‘in’?
  • Prove that there is truth in advertising.”

I don’t know my online audience and neither do you [from grow; written by Mark Schaefer]

Mark raises some interesting questions and provides definite food for thought in this piece:

“I think this poses some interesting questions about marketing to an online audience.

  1. We are only measuring the loud people, a vast minority of those who love us. What is the danger of forming a marketing plan around a group that is probably less than 5 percent of the total audience?
  2. We cannot mistake ‘quiet’ for irrelevant. There is a huge number of passionate fans out there who just never tell us they’re passionate fans! They are a powerful group.
  3. If we can’t accurately measure our content audience through normal analytics channels, what CAN we do to more accurately know who’s out there sharing our content in some way?”

What do you think?

B2B Marketers Seek to Better Understand the Customer Buying Journey [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Of note, certain mobile channels are slated for decreases: 4 in 10 respondents plan to cut spending for mobile QR codes and for mobile messaging, while 3 in 10 plan to reduce their mobile app spending.”

Regalix-Important-Factors-B2B-Future-Digital-Initiatives-Feb2015

 

Written by Sarah

February 6th, 2015 at 8:25 am

The Week in Social Analytics #139

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On your audience 

Do You Know What Your Audience Is Doing On Social Media? [from Heidi Cohen]

“. . .marketers must create and update their social media persona for each of their key audiences and assess where, when and how they engage on social networks.”

If you haven’t done an audience audit in a while, it’s time.

6 Ways Social Data Can Improve Communications [from Cision; written by Jim Dougherty]

“Mining social data is entirely fallible, however.

It’s important to understand who you’re targeting, what you’re measuring, the quality of your data and the reliability your measurements in order to use social data most effectively.”

The Difference Between Popularity and Influence in Social Media [from Social Media Today; written by Brett Relander]

“It should always be kept in mind that a large number of visitors can sometimes stem from a significant number of one-time visitors. Of course, all visitors begin as first-time visitors, but if a user only visits your landing page and then quickly moves on, never to return, you are not gaining anything from them. You have no real opportunity to build influence with one-time visitors. With regular visitors, you are able to cultivate a true relationship. Over time, those visitors become invested in your brand and truly care about what you have to say. For this reason, it is vital to consider whether your viewership is based more on one-time visitors or on return visitors who are truly invested in what you have to say.”

Emphasis added.

Platform-specific marketing

Everything Brands Should Know About Twitter’s New ‘Recap’ Feature [from Social Media Today; written by Tim McMullen]

“The catch here is that Twitter is taking into account your inactivity. Which presumably means tweets posted at mostly inactive hours will–in a way–be rewarded. We could all be bombarded with midnight brand Tweets in the race to be displayed in the coveted morning recap. Eggs just taste better with a side of subliminal messaging.”

Emphasis added.

If your brand is looking to expand your strategy on Pinterest, check out these two pieces: The Definitive Guide To Pinterest For E-Commerce from Marketing Land and Five Keys for Using Pinterest to Market Your Business from Social Media Today.

If the recent changes to Snapchat have you wanting to investigate how your brand can use that platform, learn by example with Econsultancy’s Eight brands experimenting with Snapchat for social marketing.

Stats

28% of Time Spent Online is Social Networking [from SocialTimes; written by Shea Bennett]

“. . .average usage times for social media sites rose from 1.66 hours per day in 2013 to 1.72 hours per day last year.

Micro-blogging, which includes Twitter, is also up slightly to 0.81 hours per day, and now accounts for about 13 percent of total time spent online.”

time-spent-social-networking

 

Written by Sarah

January 30th, 2015 at 8:49 am

The Week in Social Analytics #138

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On campaigns and measurement 

Beyond Impressions and Reach: Connecting Campaigns to Conversions [from Marketing Profs; written by Stacy DeBroff]

“By keeping our clients’ business objectives in mind and implementing tactics that can map to those goals, we can handcraft social media and digital campaigns that change consumer behavior. And when we do that, we can dramatically prove out our value to the C-suite in a far more profound way than through reach numbers.”

How To Drive Measurable Social Media Results [from Heidi Cohen]

“But it’s difficult to yield measurable social media results on any social media network, based on AOL via Converto research. That’s because social media interaction tends to occur in the middle of the purchase funnel.

“Understand that social media is best at building awareness since it reaches a broad cross section of customers before, during and after they purchase.”

On content marketing 

Where Is Content Headed? [from B2B Marketing Insider; written by Michael Brenner]

“Storytelling and corporate social responsibility will stop being labeled buzzwords and will become business imperatives as consumers connect with the brands who do it well and who do it consistently.”

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Content Marketing Strategy [from Social Media Today; written by Lacy Boggs]

“Here’s the key: When it comes right down to it, nobody is going to care if your videos are shot on a fancy-pants video camera or your trusty iPhone — if the information is valuable and useful to them.

Action tip: Focus on creating valuable content in a variety of formats to create a content marketing plan that works for you.”

EGC is the Key Content Marketing Trend [from Convince & Convert; written by Jay Baer]

EGC = Employee Generated Content

“Consider your own experiences in the wild. If you go to Lowe’s and ask the guy in the blue vest how to work on a project, you listen and believe it more than if you just read something on their website. The personal (and personality) layer inherent in EGC matters.”

4 Types of YouTube Videos PR & Marketing Pros Should Make [from Cision; written by Teresa Dankowski]

“Video has the power to find and retain consumers, create brand recognition, boost engagement and convert sales. But what kind of videos, exactly, should your brand be posting on YouTube? Here are four types of videos PR and marketing pros should make:

  1. Tutorials
  2. Campaign Kickoffs
  3. Authentically showcase offerings
  4. Reinforce brand values”

Click through to the full article for details and examples for each type of video from brands who are already executing this style of content well.

Everything else 

Three digital marketing mega trends for 2015 [from Econsultancy; written by Ashley Friedlein]

“Let us start with the bombshell. There isn’t anything new on the digital marketing horizon for 2015 that excites me much in isolation. “

Definitely worth a read.

6 Tips To Build A Strong Social Media Customer Service Plan [from Wade Harman]

“When you are able to successfully listen as a brand, then you have succeeded in looking beyond the numbers and what the data can tell you about any one thing. It helps you to stay informed and personal with the follower and the customer, and they will always tell you what they need.”

The Week in Social Analytics #137

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

A culture of content and brand storytelling

A Culture of Content [from Altimeter; written by Jessica Groopman]

“As the demand for content (i.e. across business functions; paid, owned, earned media; proliferating channels and platforms) grows, so too does the organization’s imperative to support it; with formalized strategy, adequate resources, and perhaps most importantly, with a culture of content. This imperative forces assessment of the ‘stories’ both within, and coming out of the organization itself.”

How To Build A Culture of Content [from B2B Marketing Insider; written by Michael Brenner]

“And so effective marketing simply becomes the art of providing the best answers to your buyers questions. And that is a content problem.”

26 Universal Questions for Positioning Your Brand (and Creating Your Brand Story) [from Marketing Profs; written by Ulli Appelbaum]

“An analysis of over 1,000 case studies from around the world of successful brand building has found that there are 26 different “approaches” to telling a brand story, each representing a different but proven opportunity to positioning your brand and telling your brand story. Each approach can be summarized by a key question (or set of questions). . .”

Customer experience

How to create brilliant customer experiences for B2B on social [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

“Creating a satisfying customer experience for your social followers is not about mimicking what B2C companies do, it’s about finding your own voice and your own strategy.”

Social Stats

Infographic: Who’s Really Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in 2015 [from Adweek; written by staff]

“More than half the U.S. population uses social networks regularly, and Facebook continues to lead the market. But pay attention to mobile social networking, where Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are all significant players. That’s where the next phase of growth is happening.”

Instagram Adweek 2015

Click through for the full infographic. 

Social Media Update 2014 [from Pew Internet; written by Maeve Duggan, Nicole B. Ellison, Cliff Lampe, Amanda Lenhart & Mary Madden]

“The results in this report are based on the 81% of American adults who use the internet. Other key findings:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.
  • For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.
  • For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.
  • For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.
  • Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.”

PI_2015-01-09_social-media_01

Written by Sarah

January 16th, 2015 at 9:15 am

The Week in Social Analytics #136

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

Marketing strategies 

If Your Holiday Campaign Failed, Start Working on Next Year Right Now [from Entrepreneur; written by Andy Lombard]

“The relationship with your audience has to be built continuously throughout the year so that you’re on your customers’ minds well before they start creating holiday shopping lists.”

New in 2015 

Three Digital Marketing Predictions for 2015 [from Business2Community; written by Andrew Hutchinson]

Content Marketing isn’t going anywhere, and neither is video marketing. Employee advocacy will continue to be important because if your own employees don’t believe in you (and your products) who will? But here’s the most important takeaway from this piece:

“The above trends are important to consider, as they’ll be important considerations from a wider industry perspective, but the real challenge of 2015 will be to understand how all this new data, all these new platforms, can be best tailored for your benefit.”

Learn the best practices, keep up with industry perspective, but always act on what you know about your audience and do what’s best for them.

“So What?” is the Big Trend of 2015 [from Geoff Livingston]

“Big data is not a new marketing trend. The ability to use it intelligently is.”

The One CES 2015 Trend Marketers Should Care About [from Social Media Today; written by Rohit Bhargava]

“In the future, the best customer experiences will be those that can integrate the data a brand collects on a customer with the data a customer chooses to share in order to improve their own experience.”

Content Marketing 

Falling Behind on Content? Catch Up With These Content Repurposing Tips [from TopRank Online Marketing Blog; written by James Anderson]

“These five repurposing methods bear repeating here.

  1. Turn Powerpoint decks into articles / blog posts
  2. Aggregate email interviews
  3. Break up a long article you’ve had published
  4. Repurpose press releases
  5. Revise old blog posts”

Everything else 

‘While You Were Away’ Will Make Twitter More Important for Business [from Soshable; written by JD Rucker]

“The new feature means that quality could trump quantity, or rather add to it. On Facebook, it’s better to post less and make it meaningful. Posting too much can hurt. With the new Twitter, it will likely make sense to focus on quality first but with the understanding that quantity will still help. In essence, “While you were away” means that you want to do whatever you can to generate some sort of interactions on some of your Tweets. If you do, your Tweets from minutes, hours, or even days ago have an opportunity to be seen by your audience in ways that were impossible in the chronological-only world of old Twitter.

Quality is new Twitter’s best friend.”

Emphasis added.

How Data Analytics Changes Marketing Campaigns [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“More than 7 in 10 executives believe that their reliance on data analytics for decision-making will either increase significantly (24%) or somewhat (47%) over the next 3 years, according to a report from Forbes Insights and Turn.”

ForbesInsightsTurn-How-Analytics-Changes-Marketing-Campaigns-Jan2015

The Week in Social Analytics #135

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It’s the first Friday of 2015 and time for the year’s first This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

Content Marketing

17 Ideas On How To Do Clever Content Marketing [Jeff Bullas]

Kickstart your 2015 content marketing with these ideas.

35 Tactics To Improve Your 2015 Content Marketing [Heidi Cohen]

Includes 10 big 2015 content marketing predictions.

Content Marketing Tips: Sage Advice from World Class Writers [from Social Media Today; written by Jimmy Rodela]

The #1 writing tip from some of the best-known bloggers inside and outside of the industry.

And finally, from Stanford Smith, Your 12 Point Content Marketing Strategy (Part 3 of 4) and Your 12 Point Content Marketing Strategy (Part 4 of 4).

Charts and Stats

56 Reasons Why Content Marketing Works [Michael Brenner]

  • Where Are We Coming From? Last year we created 50 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing, which garnered over 200,000 views. This year we’re taking it a step further, demonstrating not only why you should invest in Content Marketing, but why you need to as well.
  • Where Are We Going? Content marketing is not a tactic, it’s a long-term strategy. The best content marketers prove the value of their efforts, showing how content drives brand awareness, lead generation, engagement, and sales. The following slides will demonstrate the value of Content Marketing and how it can help build your business. We hope you can walk away with a better understanding of Content Marketing – and even convince your CEO – why this should be your number one marketing priority.”

Who’s Using Which Social Networks? [Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Only 15% of US adults say they are not a member of any social networks, finds YouGov in a newly-released survey, with this figure higher among men (18%) than women (12%).”

YouGov-US-SocNet-Adoption-by-Gender-Dec2014

Written by Sarah

January 2nd, 2015 at 9:20 am

The Week in Social Media Analytics #134

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For this Friday’s Week in Social Analytics, we’ll just give you a chance to click on that link and catch up with our favorite posts of the past year in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media.

Or just kick back by the fire with some cocoa. Either way.

Happy holidays!

Written by Sarah

December 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am