Archive for the ‘metrics’ tag
Reach is the size of the estimated potential unique audience for a set of tweets. We calculate reach algorithmically, based on data we’ve been collecting from Twitter since we launched more than five years ago. It’s a great way of estimating how large your audience on Twitter could be, and takes unique recipients into account, removing duplicates.
Impressions measure the size of total potential exposure. This shows you how many total timelines your tweets were delivered to – including multiple deliveries to the same account – so it’s a count of the maximum total impressions possible for a set of tweets.
If you’ve ever seen the analytics Twitter provides for your Twitter account, you’ve noticed they provide a count of actual impressions for each of your tweets. That impressions number shows how many times people actually saw that tweet. So you may be wondering how Union Metrics Twitter analytics impressions and Twitter impressions relate to each other. What do they each mean? Which one should you use? Why are they so different?
Twitter provides actual impressions for your tweets, while our Twitter analytics calculate total potential impressions for those tweets. You can use these numbers together to fully understand how impactful your tweets are. The number of actual impressions your tweets receive will vary from tweet to tweet and account to account, but your actual impressions will likely be between 1% and 20% of your potential impressions.
Knowing how your actual impressions compare to your potential impressions shows you exactly how well your tweets are performing, how large your activated audience is, and how large your potential audience could be. What’s the ratio of your actual impressions to potential impressions? Are your tweets on the low side? Do some tweets perform better than others? Ask yourself the following questions to help improve the ratio of actual impressions to potential impressions.
What tweets get the most impressions?
First, look at which tweets are seen – and engaged with – by the most people. What makes those tweets different from your lower-performing tweets? Maybe you used a particular hashtag or included a photo. Maybe you mentioned someone who retweeted you. Whatever it is, try doing more of that to see how you can activate more of your potential audience, and improve your ratio of actual to potential impressions. For example, we’ve found for our own content, hashtags like #smm and #measure help get our tweets in front of a receptive, responsive audience interested in social media marketing. And our tweets with an interesting photo or video get high rates of engagement. And when it comes to posts about our company, tweets using the #hiring hashtag generate a lot more impressions than an average tweet.
What tweets get the fewest impressions?
Next, look at the tweets that are performing the worst. Which ones have the fewest impressions and least engagement? Look for patterns in those tweets. Sometimes you can learn more from what’s not working than from what is working. For example, we’ve found that some of our text-only tweets get fewer impressions and lower engagement than our visual content does. But not every time – there seems to be certain types of images that work better than others for us. What do you see in your analytics?
What’s different about your outliers?
Finally, are there any tweets that get way more engagement or impressions than the rest of your tweets? Dig deeper into these tweets, in both Twitter and Union Metrics Twitter analytics. What exactly spurred that response? Twitter will tell you how many retweets, replies, clicks and favorites a tweet received, and our analytics can tell you who retweeted or replied to you and how much amplification they contributed to that tweet. Use this information to see what caused the spike, and think about how you can try to replicate this on future tweets.
Who engages with your tweets? And how?
Finally, you can use other metrics on engagement (like retweets and replies, average retweet rate) and contributors (such as the people who have engaged the most with your content and generated the most amplification for your content) to understand not just how far your content is reaching, but how and with whom. When taken together, along with actual and potential impressions, you can more completely understand what’s working with your Twitter account and how you can improve what isn’t.
You can run a free TweetReach by Union Metrics snapshot report here any time, on any hashtags, usernames or keywords. Try it now! Want more? Check out our comprehensive Union Metrics Twitter analytics, with real-time monitoring and analytics, starting at just $99 per month.
The industries that have moved more slowly to embrace the social media world have, understandably, been the more highly regulated industries such as law and healthcare. But as social has moved from what some saw as a quirky new marketing fad into a steady part of our daily lives, so too have these industries followed– and now they’re playing catchup. After all, the percentage of Americans alone who turn to social media- and trust it- for health information is growing.
The first step is making a plan to figure out what metrics are going to be important to measure on each of the social sites you decide to have a presence on, such as Twitter. So what metrics should healthcare companies focus on?
1. Decide what your goals are
Healthcare companies or professionals using social media will obviously have very different goals with their accounts compared to businesses in the beauty, travel, or other industries; there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social.
By figuring out what you want to accomplish you’ll know what it is that you need to measure. Here are a few ideas of what a social presence can mean for a healthcare company:
Provide health resources
Provide support by answering company-specific questions
Provide support by hosting chats with qualified professionals to answer health-related questions
Communicate new information; for example, explaining recent changes to your company, or explaining what the new Affordable Healthcare Act means to those using your services
A combination of some or all of these
Many of these things will spread awareness of your brand and amplify your brand voice, particularly if you decide to participate in or host tweet chats. (If you want more information on building or establishing a brand voice, go here.) Tweet chats also lead to higher engagement with your audience. Which brings us to our next step.
2. Measure based on those goals.
If your goal is to increase awareness of your brand, you’ll want to look at share of voice, or specifically metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification relative to the volume, reach, exposure, and amplification of your closest competitors, if they’re on social media. If they’re not on social media but your target audience is talking more about them than you, you need to really ask what they’re doing that you’re not. Here are more resources to break down how to measure each of these metrics specifically:
For share of voice:
For a breakdown of volume, reach, engagement, influence and share of voice: 5 essential & easy social media metrics you should be measuring right now
For more specifics if you’re kicking things off with a campaign: The 5 easy steps to measure your social media campaigns
Amplification is definitely tied to share of voice- most metrics have some manner of overlap- but it’s also important to look at how others are helping to amplify your voice or your messages, which means looking at engagement as well. Retweets, annotated retweets (think the classic retweet, with commentary before the RT), link shares from your website, etc. The above resources cover much of this as well.
3. Rinse, repeat.
Social media is a constantly changing landscape, which can make it daunting to tackle, but the best way to go about it is just to jump in and listen, then start swimming. Establish a time period for regular evaluations- compile specific monthly metrics, schedule quarterly metric revisions- and investigate and change whatever isn’t working.
Social media basically consists of constant experimentation and adjustments, but with the right information it’s more of a fun and exciting project that a terrifying task. And as always, we’re here if you have questions.
Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery
We’ve talked before about how to measure your share of voice on Twitter. Naturally the next question is now, how do I increase my share of voice?
1. We’ll start with the obvious: tweet more. This will be tied to whatever your goals are that you established in your measurement phase (and goals can and even should shift over time as you keep measuring your results), but it’s hard to be a bigger part of the conversation- or the leader of it- if you’re not talking much. Join in the conversation more, but don’t constantly talk about yourself: you want a mix of your own promotional content along with anything helpful or interesting that’s related to your industry. A good test is this– would you want to read the content that you’re sharing? Do you think it’s interesting and/or informative? Aim for about a 20/80 mix of your own content vs that of others.
2. That said, also make sure you talk to others: your customers, fans and potential customers. People remember brands that they’ve had a positive interaction with, and they’re more likely to come and buy from you down the line. The first step is definitely great customer service- be prompt and attentive when customers have questions and problems- but also respond to other kinds of conversations. Is someone tweeting about an article from your company blog? Thank them. Is there an industry tweet chat happening? Join in and share your thoughts, opinions and expertise; respond to those of others. Be thoughtful and engaging wherever a relevant conversation is happening.
3. Don’t just stick to Twitter. Increasing your presence elsewhere can lead more conversation back to Twitter. As you measured your share of voice on Twitter, look at your share of voice everywhere else too: what other platforms are you on? How often are you publishing content on your blog, or writing guest articles or blog posts? If you are doing these things, be sure you’re promoting them on Twitter. Be sure your blog has a prominent Twitter button on it, and that you have a link to your Twitter account (or at the very least mention that you have one) on other platforms. Put it in your email signature, and on your business card. Nobody- especially current and potential customers- should have to do the work to find you. Make finding you easy, and the conversation will increase.
Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery
Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with influential members of the Twitter measurement universe. This week, we’re excited to speak with Brian Conway, Account Supervisor for Weber Shandwick, about his experiences with social media and how his initial personal use of the medium lead to a deeper understanding for the impact and potential use it had for brands. He takes this insight with him into projects with current clients, such as American Airlines.
TweetReach: Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe your first “ah-ha” moment?
Brian Conway: My initial experience with social media was in the mid-2000s for personal use when platforms like Facebook and Twitter had really only made a name for themselves as being unique to the individual experience. It wasn’t until 2008 or 2009 that I started paying much closer attention to how those same individual messages aggregate over time to form a larger brand picture that can be pretty — or pretty ugly. The fact that individuals suddenly had so much influence over a company’s brand reputation and strategic direction was a huge eye-opener for me— that was my “ah-ha” moment. This understanding has since influenced how I’ve approached some of the community management and crisis roles I’ve held for a variety of clients.
TweetReach:How have you seen your clients approach Twitter as part of their digital strategy?
Brain Conway: Broadly speaking about Weber Shandwick, the number of clientele using Twitter and other social media platforms has exploded tremendously in the last three or four years. Nearly all use Twitter for some kind of public engagement, and that ranges from corporate news to marketing announcements to social customer service. Others still use it for listening only. Message reach and response is always important, but what we encourage companies to look for are individual conversations, sentiment, and reach of positive messages. Brand-building or brand regress happens over time, so any corporate Twitter strategy needs to take ongoing listening into big consideration. From my personal experience, I’ve been very closely tied to American Airlines’ social media program since 2009, and Twitter has become a hugely invaluable engagement resource, as well as a strong component of its award-winning social customer service program.
TweetReach: How important is measurement of engagement on Twitter to your strategy with clients? Do you have specific goals and campaign metrics that you use to measure performance and success?
Brian Conway: Measurement of social engagement, be it Twitter or any other platform, is as crucial as your digital strategy. After all, a company doesn’t devote budget and time to a platform simply for the sake of grins, right? I often advocate for a well-balanced approach to quantitative and qualitative measurement for clients, and it all starts with goals. If your campaign goals focus squarely on follower growth or message reach as a measure of success, it’s very easy to track those KPIs quantitatively. But, we believe our clients need to know not just how many conversations there were, but what was actually said and what it means for the company’s business objectives.
TweetReach: Along those lines, let’s talk about the measurement of reach. How do you weigh the importance of the quantity of a campaign’s reach (the overall size of the potential audience) vs. the quality of that reach?
Brian Conway: As I mentioned, it’s very important to have a well-balanced mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis for any social media campaign, proactive or reactive. Again, it all comes back to goals and what kind of success you want to achieve for your organization. Some social campaigns may lend themselves more toward KPIs like audience reach, impressions, sales growth, volume of submissions, awareness-generation, volume of tweets using your hashtag, and the like. Other campaigns may focus more on engagement. Some important qualitative questions to ask: What message points resonated best with our followers? Did our posts trigger any unexpected conversations? How does this Twitter campaign help us prepare for the next one?
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?
Brian Conway: In one instance for a former client, we had pre-determined the entire course of proactive messaging for the client’s social media campaign. Almost halfway into the campaign, our tracking and reporting revealed significant conversations around a storyline we hadn’t even considered, and it gave us cause to revise our messaging strategy to make sure we spoke more about this other storyline people obviously wanted to discuss. When we reported our findings to the client, we were met with some understandable skepticism about changing our strategy, but in the end, we showed that adaptability and commitment to listening can contribute to campaign success— which is exactly what we saw.
Brian assists with the coordination and management of digital/social media programs at varying levels of strategic corporate engagement, including brand reputation management, outreach strategy, new business development, and crisis monitoring and program implementation. Currently, Brian supports a number of Weber Shandwick clients’ social media programs, including American Airlines and Essilor of America. Among Brian’s primary expertise are community management and message engagement, proactive social campaign strategy, social media crisis comnunications, and blogger relations strategy.
Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with influential members of the Twitter measurement universe. This week, we’re excited to speak with Beverly Robertson, National Director of the Pregnancy & Newborn Health Education Center at the March of Dimes (find them on Twitter here). We spoke with her about the incredible opportunity social media presents to disseminate health information, particularly as it pertains to the March of Dimes mission: healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Beverly hosts a Twitter chat with the hashtag #pregnancychat once a month, featuring revolving topics around health, pregnancy and babies. She also hosts ad hoc chats with the hashtag #preemiechats. More recently, The March of Dimes participated in a joint Twitter chat with the Center for Disease Control for Birth Defect Prevention Month (January) with the hashtag #1in33chat.
TweetReach: Welcome, Beverly! Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe your first “ah-ha” moment?
Beverly Robertson: Actually, I was in India back in ’07 and saw so many young women texting. Watching them, it struck me: what a tremendous opportunity for delivering health information. When I came back, I looked into creating a texting program for the March of Dimes and it was prohibitively expensive. BUT Twitter was free, and women could access it through their phones if they wanted to. March of Dimes joined Twitter in August of 2007. My vision back then was to offer a pregnancy tip of the day. Everything has changed since then.
TweetReach: When did you start doing the Twitter Chats with March of Dimes? How important was measurement when you started them, and how has that evolved?
Beverly Robertson: We started doing chats on Twitter in April of 2010. In the beginning, I tracked stats as a matter of course– but we now rely on TweetReach to not only see our reach, but understand which topics resonate with our followers and what times of day are best to chat, as well as the importance of having guests.
TweetReach: What has surprised you the most about the chats? What about the data you get from measuring them?
Beverly Robertson: The most surprising thing is the interactivity- no, not even that- it’s the openness with which our followers not only share their personal triumphs and trials, but their gratitude to us as an organization. Also, don’t host a chat at 3pm ET; people are at the bus stop picking up their kids! Simple really, but it was not on my radar. The most interesting thing (not really surprising) about the data is it how far a simple retweet will go with the right people with a large following. On a side note, beyond the chat reports, I love reading the Tracker reports. It is sometimes surprising to see who is talking about the Foundation and the reach the conversation has.
TweetReach: There are many different ways to measure activity, but how does March of Dimes gauge your success?
Beverly Robertson: We look at reach numbers, of course, but also the number of contributors and growth year over year. I absolutely go back to compare the numbers over time and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities of the chats– and make changes based on them.
TweetReach: Do you feel the approach or reliance on social platforms is different for a nonprofit organization? What would you recommend to one that is just starting on their social strategy, or is uncertain of how to even begin?
Beverly Robertson: Social Media is critical not only for delivering mission messaging, but in introducing the organization to a new audience, as well as keeping track of what people are saying about you and your mission. It also is critical to take the opportunity to thank your donors and volunteers publicly for all of their hard work and support. I cannot tell you what a tremendous response we get for doing that. My recommendation is jump in, but listen before you speak.
TweetReach: The last chat you held in December was on hyperemesis gravidarum, which the Duchess of Cambridge was recently diagnosed with. How do you typically choose chat topics? Did you find more engagement with this one since it related to a recent news event involving a well-known figure?
Beverly Robertson: Some of our chat topics are planned in advance based on a specific monthly activity (November is Prematurity Awareness Month, for example) while other are more spontaneous, like the hyperemesis one (Editor’s note: The March of Dimes held a Twitter chat on December 5, 2012, on the topic of hypermesis gravidarum, or severe, chronic and debilitating morning sickness). With the flu being so bad this year, we are planning a chat on Flu During Pregnancy on Feb 1st. I also see what people are talking about in my streams, or ask outright what topics our followers would like to have covered. I did not find that the hyperemesis chat was better because it was in the news. I think a better lead time and more promotional opportunity is more critical to success than celebrity hype.
TweetReach: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us and share your thoughts and findings, Beverly!
Beverly Robertson is the National Director of the Pregnancy & Newborn Health Education Center at the March of Dimes. Under her leadership, The Center provides information in both English and Spanish via traditional, written and online inquiries as well as through social networking.
She is heavily vested in new media, leading the social media mission messaging team: tweeting on @marchofdimes, and @babytips as well as managing the blogging team for News Moms Need and Nacersano blog. She holds webinars, workshops and speaks at many conferences on the benefits of social media and the need to engage the public, as well as the importance of Hispanic Outreach. She keeps a watchful eye on non-profit uses for new technology.
Beverly has a MLS degree from Rutgers University, an MA in history, and an archival certificate from New York University. She has a BA in Spanish from Ohio State University.
Awards season is upon us, and this year it kicked off with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler taking over hosting duties at the 70th Golden Globe Awards. We love the Golden Globes; this is the third year we’ve monitored tweets about the event (see our 2012 and 2011 coverage). This year, we’ve been tracking all the social media buzz before, during and after the awards show that aired on Sunday, January 13, 2013, again in conjunction with mhCarter Consulting and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. And we didn’t just stick to Twitter either; for the first time, we also took a look at the night’s Tumblr data!
What were the big numbers on Twitter?
First, let’s talk Twitter… How did the Golden Globes do on Twitter? Tweets spiked several times the night of the show, showing us when the audience at home was the most excited about events onscreen. The first spike was in the initial minute of the show, which saw 7,700 tweets. Things got chattier after that; when Adele won the award for Best Original Song (Skyfall for the Bond film of the same name) Twitter activity spiked to 13.4k tweets per minute (tpm). Adele was later beat out by the appearance of former President Bill Clinton taking the stage to introduce Lincoln; tweets further spiked up to 18.5k tweets per minute, claiming the highest tpm spike of the evening.
@TheEllenShow’s tweet about the hosts saw was the most popular tweet of the night, accumulating the highest exposure and most RTs during the show, with nearly 22 million impressions and 7,991 RTs.
Overall, more than 108 million unique Twitter accounts were reached by tweets about the Golden Globes - and that’s just on the day of the show. This is up over 14.4 million from 2012, and over three times the reach of Golden Globes Twitter chatter from 2011. Contributors more than doubled this year – from 296K people talking about the Globes in 2012 to 599K in 2013 – and the total number of tweets increased by more than 50% from 2012s (from 822K to 1.3 million).
Looking at all of the data since the nominees were announced on December 13th, 2012, total reach was over 160 million unique accounts, and more than 756K different Twitter users contributed more than 2.1 million tweets.
What were some of the specific things people were talking about on Twitter?
As part of the excitement approaching the 70th Annual Golden Globes, @GoldenGlobes asked fans to tweet their questions for the nominees with the hashtag #askGlobes; the questions would then be asked of the winners backstage.
One of the top contributors to the hashtag was a fan account for Meryl Streep (@MerylStreepSite), asking and retweeting other Meryl fans’ requests to ask the actress what she thought of her dedicated fans, or “Streepers”.
Unfortunately, Meryl didn’t win so the Streepers never got their question answered. Jennifer Lawrence took the trophy for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, for Silver Linings Playbook– and breathlessly joked about beating Meryl when she took the stage to accept.
The @GoldenGlobes confirmed backstage that “JLaw” has been her nickname for years.
The #askGlobes hashtag for the Golden Globes account was one of their top 5 hashtags for the night of the show; producing a total of 2,016 tweets with a peak activity time of 6pm PT, when the hashtag saw over 4.7 million impressions. The @GoldenGlobes retweeted the questions asked of the winners, with the answers, and kept promoting the hashtag:
What were people talking about on Tumblr?
Tumblr saw 47.6k posts about the Golden Globes the night of the show. Flouting convention, the majority of the posts were text posts rather than photos: 31K text posts and 18K photo posts. However, the photo posts saw much higher engagement rates. For the total 1.8 million notes, nearly 1.5 million of those notes were on photo posts (814.7K reblogs and 668.2K likes) compared to the smaller 231K notes for text posts.
The most popular post was a GIF of Anne Hathaway accepting her award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, for Les Miserables:
This post from Beaver Paralyzer earned 66.6K notes in just a few hours, which includes 153 direct reblogs, 36.9K amplified reblogs, and 29.5K likes. The reblog tree for this post was impressively extensive, showing the majority of reblogs occurred out past the 9th degree, suggesting a very diverse pool of curators:
Indeed, the entire tree doesn’t easily fit on a screen; that’s a little more than half of it there.
What does this tell us about watching TV and simultaneously using social platforms?
While many think of Twitter as the main social channel to talk television – Twitter has their own dedicated @TwitterTV account, after all – more and more people are flocking to Tumblr as well, for its expanded ability to “liveblog” a TV event beyond the relatively text-limited Twitter platform. The ever-popular GIF just doesn’t work as well on Twitter as it does on Tumblr.
Comparing the overall number of tweets made to number of Tumblr posts between December 13 and January 13, there were twice as many tweets about the Golden Globes: 2.1 million tweets vs. 1.0 million Tumblr posts and reblogs.
Looking at unique participants paints a similar picture: 756K users posted tweets on Twitter, and 20K posted on Tumblr, but that Twitter number includes RTs. If you count rebloggers on Tumblr, that’s another 303K (not to mention another 255K likers). The Twitter numbers don’t include favorites, which would be similar to Tumblr likes, but these numbers are still closing the Twitter/Tumblr output gap: 322K posters and rebloggers on Tumblr to Twitter’s 756K tweeters.
We can wager a guess that those Tumblr numbers will continue to catch up to Twitter numbers as Tumblr gains popularity as a place to discuss a live television event together. This is especially likely considering Tumblr’s reputation as a place for TV show and movie franchise fandoms to set up shop and blog (and reblog) about the characters and worlds they love. Why not start doing it live as well as between seasons of the BBC’s Sherlock?
In the future, we expect to see more fans switching back and forth between Tumblr and Twitter during an awards show or their favorite series, on their phones or laptops, using both sites to their respective strengths. Social TV watching has really only just begun.
That was neat! I want more!
We’re glad to hear it. If you liked this look at Twitter and Tumblr activity for the 2013 Golden Globes, stay tuned for our more in-depth case study on the event. We’re going to take a deeper look at the various social initiatives the HFPA put together around the show, including the #GlobesParty Instagram promotion the Globes ran to get fans involved at home, and more. Check back soon!
Subscribers to the TweetReach Pro service are always innovating when it comes to measuring Twitter campaigns for their brands and clients. And, the good folks at ISM Search & Social are certainly no exception.
Welcome Dan Naylor, resident scientist and Services Director at ISM to a new edition of TakeFive with TweetReach. Tutored in behavioral science, Dan gets shamelessly excited about the convergence of audience analysis, creative thinking and client ambition and we’re thrilled to have him share his thoughts on social media measurement and the fine work ISM is doing with their clients.
TweetReach: Welcome Dan! ISM is an integrated digital agency – you not only do social media strategies for your clients, but also SEO, mobile, affiliate marketing, and other campaigns. How have you seen your clients approach Twitter as part of their overall digital strategy?
Dan Naylor: ISM exists to influence online behavior of specifically defined target audiences. We try not to distinguish our campaigns by the channels and focus on defining the target audience, mapping the location of the available audiences and creating content that convinces the users to move from where they currently exist to our clients’ channels. The individual job of each channel naturally presents itself as an obvious candidate during the process of building the campaign strategy.
However, Twitter enables us to interact with any existing social conversation (that’s on Twitter). We can approach the target audience directly, or through influencers should the brand have low credibility within the target audience or subject area. In addition, the inherent frequency of Twitter means we can move through the gears very quickly. Both factors ensure that, for now, it is our most powerful outreach channel.
TweetReach: And, how important is measurement in the social media strategies you put together for your clients?
Dan Naylor: Without measurement any performance is open to interpretation and since most people have an opinion about social media, we prefer not to leave the measurement of performance to interpretation. Ultimately, if we can’t measure a specific activity we either remove it from the campaign or invent a new measure. However, while we pride ourselves on an analytical approach to digital marketing, we are clear that measurement data is only evidence that we delivered the campaign objectives. In putting together the social media strategies for our clients we are clear that a complete understanding of the campaign objectives is just as important and the majority of the measurement data stays in the background, until the client wants a deeper understanding of the progress.
TweetReach: What metrics are most important to you? How do you measure engagement?
- Exposure – the number of occasions content has been delivered
- Reach – unique people to whom content was delivered
- Engagement – interaction with the content
- User journey – click-through
We try to measure all channels using a channel-specific version of the four metrics above, mostly to better assess how individual channels are contributing to the overall user journey. We measure engagement specifically as a measurable interaction with the content. For instance, for Twitter we simply measure mentions. A mention is the first measurable interaction with the content and the result is either additional reach if that mention is part of a retweet, additional mentions if a reply, or a click if the user has moved to one of our other channels.
We have also been developing our click tracking systems to provide better social attribution modelling to better reflect a user that moves between channels. Ultimately, we have moved away from the measuring status (likes, fans, followers, etc.) and now track activity.
TweetReach: Let’s talk about the measurement of reach. How do you weigh the importance of the quantity of a campaign’s reach (the overall size of the potential audience) vs. the quality of that reach?
Dan Naylor: Quantity vs quality is a debate that will never end; it is as old as marketing itself. In Twitter the relationship between exposure, reach, engagement and click-through all give indications of how the audience is responding to the content. For example, if exposure and reach numbers are close together over time the content is consistently reaching new audiences. If they are far apart, tweets are repetitively being delivered to the same audience. In both cases the engagement and user journey metrics will indicate how the content plan should be amended in real-time.
TweetReach: How do look think about the mix of different social media platforms when designing social media campaigns? Are you trying different approaches with different networks? How important is measurement with each?
Dan Naylor: We are constantly evolving with the channels and adapting campaigns as new channels and audiences converge — remember MySpace? ISM is focused on organic growth so I exclude the additional advertising opportunities that exist in each channel; we consider advertising important but a little like cheating. The type of brand, target audience, speed of impact, budget and any integration with non-social platforms governs the ideal mix of channels.
Twitter is the only channel that is universal in all of our current campaigns. We use Twitter to identify, outreach and engage with target audiences, especially if the audience is new to the client. Since Twitter users are seeking information we find Twitter to be the most efficient channel at seeding content and driving traffic to additional channels. The relative open approach of Twitter to performance data and the relative low production cost combines to enable us to test fast and then roll out conclusions to slower moving channels with higher production costs.
TweetReach: Can you describe one of your more successful social media campaigns? Were there specific goals your clients wanted to achieve and how did they do? How important was measurement to the campaign’s success?
Dan Naylor: The best example of using existing Twitter networks to greatly increase the reach of our client brand in new audiences is our work for Mercedes-Benz in the UK. We were asked to increase the younger audiences exposed to the brand. We identified current owners of Mercedes-Benz cars with large existing followings and existing profiles in younger audiences. Initially by @messaging the target influencers we sparked organic conversation about their vehicles. For the first 6 months of 2012, from a Twitter following of 35,000 we averaged reach (unique Twitter ids) of over 1,500,000 per month and exposure consistently in excess of 5,000,000 deliveries. The organic outreach activity contributed to increases in Twitter and specifically Facebook communities over the period and drove significant traffic to other Mercedes-Benz campaign activity.
TweetReach: Thanks for your thoughts, Dan!
Dan Naylor is Services Director of ISM Search & Social, a specialist digital agency in London. At ISM, Dan is responsible for strategy and content delivery across the agency. A graduate of marketing and behavioral science, Dan’s career started client-side, rising to C-level communication and marketing positions. Whilst managing overall marketing budgets, Dan recognized that customers weren’t responding to traditional channels as they had done previously. Dan began focusing on digital marketing and audience behavior in 2006.
Dan moved agency-side in 2010, determined to help remove corporate management silos that he believes continue to stop social media fulfilling its potential as a business tool. ISM helps clients segment and develop their digital audiences, pioneering an approach to mapping social connections to influence behaviour and produce seamless User Journeys. ISM advises corporations including Mercedes-Benz, Arcadia Group, Jaguar Land Rover and AIG. Dan is shamelessly excited about the ongoing potential of digital marketing and the convergence of quality data, creative thinking and client ambition.
If you’re interested in learning more about TweetReach Pro and our comprehensive Twitter campaign analytics, there’s more information on our website. Check it out!
At TweetReach, we’re often asked about how to measure share of voice (SOV). Measuring share of voice involves comparing one brand’s metrics to the total conversation about that brand’s category. Historically, this has been a difficult exercise because high quality data is hard to come by. But Twitter is an abundant and accessible source of real conversational data, allowing us to easily track mentions across a variety of brands. You can now determine the size of conversation for an entire category and compare your own brand to the overall conversation.
You can measure share of voice for any set of similar topics - competitive brands, products, companies or people. You can even compare share of voice across political candidates. Political candidates are the perfect example for a share of voice comparison. There are usually several people in the race, with a few frontrunners and a few hangers-on, just like most any product or business category. And people are talking about them on Twitter, providing a remarkable dataset for analysis.
Earlier this year, we tracked tweets about the U.S. Republican presidential candidates (see our interactive visualization and analysis). Now that Mitt Romney has emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee, we’re tracking the candidates for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket. VP candidates are not elected separately, but we can still use Twitter to gauge popular opinion and awareness on these candidates. Plus, they make a great example for a blog post about share of voice.
So, here are four steps to using Twitter data to measure share of voice.
1. Decide who you want to compare.
Before you start measuring, you’ll need to determine which competitors to compare to your own brand. What are the brands that make up the category you’re interested in measuring? Pick two to ten to compare. It’s probably easy to pick out your one or two most direct competitors, but also consider other less obvious choices you should add, as well as any large brands that make up your category. It’s possible that what your customers perceive as related might not even be on your radar, so think about this carefully.
In our Republican vice presidential candidate tracking, picking who to track was not that difficult. There are a set of people who have publicly made some indication that they’re interested in the job, and others that analysts and others who pay attention to these kinds of matters think could be chosen. So after a little research, we narrowed our field of possible candidates to 10 people:
- Kelly Ayotte
- Jeb Bush
- Chris Christie
- Bobby Jindal
- Bob McDonnell
- Tim Pawlenty
- Rob Portman
- Marco Rubio
- Paul Ryan
- John Thune
There are probably a few others we could include (or remove), but this is a solid, representative list for our needs. However you choose, pick 2-10 related brands to monitor in addition to your own.
2. Set up appropriate keywords for tracking.
Next, you need to track comparable terms for all brands. Most Twitter measurement tools (TweetReach included) will require a set of queries or keywords to begin tracking tweets. In this step, your goal is to make sure that your metrics aren’t later impacted by a data quality issue. If you monitor one brand’s Twitter account, then monitor all brands’ Twitter accounts. You probably know all the keywords you’d want to track for your brand, so think as carefully about the others as you did your own. Are you using common misspellings or nicknames? Are there other languages to consider? Multiple official Twitter handles or hashtags?
In this GOP VP case, we’re tracking full names (“Marco Rubio”) and Twitter handles (@marcorubio) for all candidates. We opted not to add last name-only keywords since candidates like Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan have fairly common last names and that would result in more noise than useful data. Since we can’t track their last names, we won’t track any other last names either. You can decide what makes sense given your goals, but just be consistent across all brands.
3. Collect enough data.
The next step is to start collecting data. Some tools do this in real time, and others have historical data you can mine. Either way, collect enough data that it’s representative of the full spectrum of conversation about your brands. Conversations can be spiky over short periods of time, so it’s best if you have weeks or preferably months to balance out those spikes across all brands. A longer data collection period also allows you to notice trends in SOV changes. The more data, the better. The longer you’ve been collecting data, the better.
GOP VP candidates see jumps in Twitter mentions when they’re featured in the news or after a public appearance. Some will just see more total tweets over time. We want to track long enough that we can differentiate between a legitimately higher metric and a one-time spike. In our specific case, we’ve only been tracking these candidates since early May (so just over two weeks) and the data is still pretty immature. Some of the candidates have been added even more recently than that, so their data is newer still. This means we shouldn’t take any of these metrics too seriously yet. But they will improve over time, so when we check in next month, we’ll have a much more representative picture of the true conversation.
4. Compare several metrics.
Finally, it’s important to compare brands across several different metrics to truly understand what’s going on. You may have a favorite stat or a particular KPI you’re targeting, but try to compare a few different metrics before deciding which to use moving forward. One brand might have a high reach, while another could have a lot of tweets. Use several metrics to compare, to see where the patterns are and what metrics make most sense in your industry or category.
Let’s look at a few metrics for the current top three Republican VP candidates (at least according to Twitter): Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan. This list will likely change as our data matures, but it’s fine for an early analysis.
One of our favorite metrics to start with is simple tweet volume. Tweet counts are useful in understanding the size of the conversation about a candidate. Below are graphs for both tweets per day and cumulative tweets so far this month for the three candidates.
You can see that Ryan (yellow) is slightly ahead of Christie (blue) in cumulative tweets right now, but both are increasing steadily. Christie has had two large spikes in daily tweet volume, while Ryan has had one. Both of these metrics will stabilize after a few more weeks, and we’ll have a clearer picture of who’s on top. Right now, I’d say Ryan has the slight edge on Christie, but it’s close.
And if we’re actually going to look at share of voice, let’s compare each candidate’s tweet volume to overall tweet total. In the past two weeks, there have been 46K total GOP VP candidate tweets. 35.2% of those mentioned Ryan, with Christie close behind at 32.9%. Track SOV over time, as changes in a brand’s share could indicate important perception shifts. For example, when we started tracking GOP presidential candidates in early January, Ron Paul dominated that conversation’s share of voice, and was mentioned in more than 40% of all tweets. But by April, that share had dropped off almost entirely, leaving the rest to Mitt Romney.
It’s also helpful to look at several metrics side-by-side. In this case, let’s compare reach, tweet volume and number of unique contributors.
Looking across these three metrics, Christie appears to be the frontrunner. His reach is currently more than 15 million, with 10 million for Rubio and 8 million for Ryan. Looking at reach and tweet volume in conjunction with contributors – the number of unique people talking about a candidate on Twitter – it seems like a lot of different people are talking about Christie and Ryan, while Rubio has a smaller group of vocal supporters. To achieve a 50% higher reach when compared to the other candidates, Christie was probably mentioned by a celebrity, typically the only people to have follower counts over a few million. (In this case, it turns out @jimmyfallon, who has 5.5 million followers, tweeted publicly to the governor.)
Reach is an excellent metric for share of voice, because it tells you about the size of the potential audience for a brand. The bigger the reach, the larger the variety of people who are spreading the message. A high reach indicates a diversity in contributors and audience, as well as some potentially influential and high-follower contributors.
We also recommend unique contributors as a share of voice metric. Which brand has more different people talking about it? One caveat about both reach and contributors is that since these are metrics based on counting uniques, you can’t compare one brand’s metric to an overall sum, since you can add up reach or contributor numbers to get overall reach or contributors. You can only compare reach to another brand’s reach. That’s still useful, but may not be a traditional share of voice metric.
Twitter and share of voice
Twitter is a incredibly rich source of share of voice data. If you’re tracking similar brands, products or people and one has an audience on Twitter, it’s likely they all will. Due to the real-time, public and archivable nature of Twitter, we can access this data for all kinds of useful analyses. People can and do talk about their favorite – and least favorite – brands on Twitter. For all these reasons, Twitter is perfect for SOV analysis, if you do it right. Doing share of voice right means selecting the appropriate brands to compare, ensuring consistency in search queries, aiming for long-lived data collection, and embracing diversity in data analysis.
If you’re using social media, you should be measuring it. But don’t measure just for the sake of having metrics. Instead, measure your social activities so that you can learn what’s successful, what isn’t, and how you can improve.
In this post we will help you get started with social media measurement for your organization by addressing these questions:
- How do you know if your social media activities are effective?
- How do you decide what metrics you should be monitoring?
- How do you calculate those metrics?
- How do you interpret the numbers once you have them?
The Two Types of Social Media Measurement
The two types of social media measurement are:
- Ongoing Analytics – Ongoing monitoring that tracks activity over time
- Campaign-Focused Metrics – Campaign or event analytics with a clear beginning and end
Ongoing analytics are necessary for keeping up with the overall pulse of general conversation about your brand and company. Once your brand tracking is set up, you can just let it run and check in regularly to see how everything is going.
Campaign-focused metrics, on the other hand, help you understand the impact of targeted marketing initiatives and will vary from campaign to campaign, depending on your goals for each. An effective social media measurement program will likely include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.
Let’s Start With An Example
Let’s say you work at a large consumer products company and are about to launch a new diaper brand. To accompany the big advertising and marketing push, you want to sponsor a one-hour Twitter party where parents and caregivers can discuss raising children, focused on issues around diapering and potty training.
You’ve picked out a unique hashtag, contracted with an influential Twitterer who will pose questions and lead the conversation. You’re ready to go. But now you need to make sure you’re measuring this conversation so you can learn – and later tell your boss – how effective the chat was.
Step 1: Determine Your Social Goals
Before you jump into measuring every single tweet, photo and Facebook comment posted about your brand, first think about your goals with social media. What are you trying to accomplish or gain through these social channels? And which channels are most relevant to those goals?
The first step in your measurement plan should be to generate a list of what you’re trying to achieve from your social media efforts. Social media can serve a variety of purposes, from broadcasting news and information, to answering customer questions and engaging with a community. What is your company trying to accomplish?
You’ve probably already started interacting on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, depending on the type of information and the format of the content you’re sharing. You’ve probably also considered the audience you want to reach and the tools they’re using. So the next step is to think about what you want your audience to do with your content on these channels. Are you trying to get them to read, share, reply, click, purchase, engage? List out all your business goals for social media.
For our Twitter chat example, our goals are probably two-fold:
- First, we want to spread awareness of the new product to potential customers
- Second, we want to get to know the parenting community on Twitter, particularly the influencers in that community
Step 2: Create Metrics To Measure These Goals
The next step is to match your goals to actual metrics and behaviors you can measure. For example, if you’re trying to measure engagement, then what is the practical form of engagement you want to track? Is it retweets or reposts? Replies or comments? Clicks? Here are a few suggestions of behaviors to measure, based on a few common social media goals…
- If you want to measure awareness, then use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?
- If you want to measure engagement, then look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?
- If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?
- If your goal is to find advocates and fans, then track contributors and influence. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?
- If your goal is to increase your brand’s share of voice, then track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?
For our hypothetical Twitter chat, our first goal is awareness, so we want to measure:
- The tweet volume and reach of our Twitter chat
- How many unique people tweeted with our hashtag
We’re also interesting in getting to know this community, so we want to know more about the participants, including:
- Any influence metrics we can find (like follower counts and Klout scores)
- Relevant demographic information about them (gender, location, etc…)
Step 3: Measure
After you’ve listed the metrics you want to focus on, now you need to find tools that actually capture these metrics, and then start measuring. In some cases, social media channels themselves provide some form of analytics, in some cases you will need to use third party tools, and in some cases you can build your own using APIs.
If you’re not sure which tools to use for which channels, ask around or do a quick Google search and you’ll find tons of options. SocDir is a useful and comprehensive source with a list of more than 300 social media metrics tools.
Many social analytics tools work in real-time, so if you can plan ahead and set up tracking before your campaign begins (and well before your report is due), it will be much easier to access the data you need later.
On Twitter, for example, accessing tweets that are more than a few days old is very expensive, difficult, and far less reliable than collecting and archiving them in real time. When possible, set up your measurement tools before your campaign begins.
The measurement part of this may take some time, so let the tools do their work. Make sure they’re tracking the social posts you’re interested in, do what you can to filter out spam, and then come back in a few days for steps 4 and 5.
Step 4: Monitor And Report
The fourth step is to report your results. Use your initial findings to set a baseline or benchmark for future measurement, and share these early figures with your important stakeholders. Two important questions to nail down are:
- How do your numbers compare to what you expected?
- How do they compare to your competitors’ or related products and campaigns?
One of the great parts of social media analytics is that you can easily run reports about your competitors to see how they’re doing.
This is a also a good time to consider your schedule for regular reporting. Depending on your (and your organization’s) schedule, monthly or quarterly reporting may work best, but weekly reporting may work well for others. No matter the schedule, make sure you’re checking in regularly on your metrics. Don’t let your effort up to this point go to waste! And let your metrics accumulate over time; you’ll see how valuable this data will become after a few months have passed and you have older data to compare to your new data.
In your reports, be sure you highlight the important numbers:
- Include benchmarks or other contextual information so that your stakeholders can quickly understand what all the figures mean
- Consider including visualizations of your data; graphs can help communicate your results quickly and clearly to your audience
- Keep your graphs simple and clean
If you’re interested in reading more about data visualization, I highly recommend the work of Stephen Few; he has some excellent tips and examples.
Going back to our Twitter chat example, we’ll want to prepare a brief report to share internally. We don’t have baseline metrics yet to compare these to, but we probably started with a general idea of what we wanted to achieve with the chat.
As you recall, our goals were increasing awareness of the new product and getting to know community influencers for future interactions. Let’s say our chat generated 750 tweets from 200 unique contributors and a reach of 500,000. Several participants had Klout scores over 60 and tweeted multiple times.
So, even though this was our first chat, these are very respectable initial numbers. Half a million Twitter accounts were exposed to tweets with our hashtag, and we now have a list of 200 people who were talking about diapers, some of them very influential. We can build on this foundation in future initiatives, nurture relationships with these participants and continue to increase awareness of our new product.
Step 5: Adjust And Repeat
The final step is to carefully review your measurement program. How are these metrics doing? Are you missing anything? Was anything superfluous or unnecessary? Figure out what you can improve, make changes, and then measure some more. Check back in with the goals you set initially and make sure your new metrics actually help you address those goals.
In the case of our Twitter chat, we now realize that we also want to measure engagement around our chat hashtag. We’ve decided it’s important to know how many of our host’s tweets were retweeted and replied to, so we can understand what participants found most interesting. We can add this in and include it in our reporting next time.
If you’re participating in social media, you really need to understand how you’re doing. Is your content having the impact you want? Are you meeting your company’s goals with social media? This is why monitoring and measuring your social media activities is so crucial – you need reliable and consistent analytics that help you track your success on channels like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
So your company is now officially participating in social media. You’ve set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page, even a few Pinterest boards. You respond to customer questions, follow fans, post important news, and thank your advocates for their support.
Beyond that, what are you doing to track and monitor these social interactions? If you’re engaging in social media, then you should be measuring those activities. How else will you know how you’re doing? The good news is it’s easier than you think to measure your social media efforts.
Here are five simple, but oh-so-useful social media metrics you should be measuring right now.
The first – and easiest – social media metric to measure is volume. What is the size of the conversation about your brand or your campaign? Volume is a great initial indicator of interest. People tend to talk about things they either love or hate, but they rarely talk about things they simply don’t care about at all.
While volume can seem like a simple counting metric, there’s more to it than just counting tweets and wall posts. It’s important to measure the number of messages about your brand, as well as the number of people talking about your brand, and track how both of those numbers change over time. For example, Facebook Insights has a useful metric (cleverly called “people talking about this”) that measures how many unique people have posted something to their walls about your brand page.
Learn when volume is higher – are there days or times when more people seem to be talking about your brand? You can use this information to focus more of your own posts during these times to get more engagement, which we’ll talk about in a minute.
Reach measures the spread of a social media conversation. On its own, reach can help you understand the context for your content. How far is your content disseminating and how big is the audience for your message? Reach is a measure of potential audience size.
And of course, a large audience is good, but reach alone does not tell you everything. Reach becomes very powerful when compared to other engagement metrics. Use reach as the denominator in your social media measurement equations.
Pick important action or engagement numbers like clicks, retweets, or replies (more on this in a second) and divide them by reach to calculate an engagement percentage. Of the possible audience for your campaign, how many people participated? Reach helps contextualize other engagement metrics.
Speaking of engagement metrics, this is one of the most important areas to measure in social media. How are people participating in the conversation about your brand? What are they doing to spread your content and engage with the topic?
In most social media settings, content can be both shared and replied to. Twitter retweets (RTs) and Facebook shares and posts are helpful to know who is spreading your content, while comments, replies and likes are helpful to see who is replying to your content. Think carefully about your goals with social media. Are you focused more on generating interaction (replies, comments) or on spreading a message (retweets and posts)? Be sure you’re using metrics that reflect what’s important to your brand right now.
And are there types of content that generate engagement? Start paying attention to what messages generate the most replies and RTs. It might surprise you what people interact with; it’s not always what you expect.
Who is talking about your brand and what kind of impact do they have? Influence is probably the most controversial social media metric; there are myriad tools that measure social influence, and they all do it in different ways. But one thing they all agree on is that audience size does not necessarily relate to influence. Just because someone has a lot of friends or followers, that does not mean they can encourage those followers to actually do anything.
Based on past actions, we can make assumptions about how influential someone might be in the future. This type of potential influence is useful to decide who to reach out to when you’re preparing for a campaign. Tools like Klout and PeerIndex assign people an influence score. Tools like these measure online social capital and the (potential) ability to influence others.
Kinetic influence, on the other hand, will help you understand who is participating in and driving conversation about your brand and your campaigns, and who gets others to participate in these specific conversations. You can find your brand advocates by focusing on people whose messages are amplified by others, and not just who has the most followers.
5. Share of Voice
Finally, to really understand how well you’re doing on social media, you should consider a share of voice metric. How does the conversation about your brand compare to conversations about your competitors? Determine what percentage of the overall conversation about your industry is focused on your brand compared to your main competitors. And learn from your competitors’ successes; since so many of these social media conversations are public, you can measure your competitors’ impact just as easily as you can measure your own.
Consistency and preparation are essential to effective social media measurement. Pick your favorite metrics and start tracking them now. Use the same formulas and tools to calculate these numbers every week or month. Track your numbers over time and pay attention to how they change. If you see anything that looks higher or lower than what you typically expect, investigate it. By measuring – and paying attention to – these five social media metrics, you’ll be able to better understand the impact and effectiveness of your social media activity.