Social Media Metrics: Not Yet a Science!

In continuing to simplify Social Media, let’s take a peek at Social Media metrics, or better yet, how to figure out if it’s working effectively for YOU and your franchise organization!

If, the net result of online activity adds up to effective social media engagement, then, what is the monetary value of a visit, comment, link or friend? Well, the ONLY honest answer is, “it depends.” Only YOU know how much these interactions matter to your brand, and how they relate to YOUR goals and objectives.

Measuring Social Media is not yet a science. Nor, is it rocket science! But, we can break it down to five key factors, Attention, Participation, Authority, Influence, and what I like to call the “X-Factor,” Sentiment.

РThe amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time.  Similar to the standard web metrics of site visits and page/video views.

Participation РThe extent to which users engage with your content in a channel.  Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.

Authority – The inbound links to your content – like trackbacks & inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.

Social Media Authority
Influence РThe size of the user base subscribed to your content. Subscribers for blogs, feed or email
Followers on Twitter or Friendfeed. Fans of your Facebook page.

Sentiment, the “X-Factor” – The spirit driving user participation, because it really matters!

brand passion

Yesterday, we noted some specific goals that are typically listed in discussions with franchise executives about venturing into Social Media and determining exactly what they would like to accomplish. This list includes:

Create or improve brand awareness
Increase business at unit level
Create or improve interest in franchise opportunity
Generate qualified franchise sales leads
Improve franchise sales efficiency
Improve communications throughout franchise system
Locally, regionally or nationally

But, as your Social Media program is moving along, don’t lose site of the not so obvious results that are often mixed in with the obvious results.

System-wide revenue – obvious
Customer satisfaction – not so obvious
Corporate profitability – obvious
System-wide stability – not so obvious
Franchise development – obvious
Vendor / Supplier reaction – not so obvious

I look forward to your questions and comments.

*This post was originally published on this site March 2011

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Social Media Basics – An Overview

As a result of the many conversations about social media I had with franchise professionals at the recent IFA Convention, I posted on this site, Social Media – Before Diving In, Know How to Swim. It seems many within franchising, and most likely throughout small business, continue to put off entering the world of social media. On the surface, the old and by now, tired, excuse of “it’s a fad” appears to be just a smoke screen. The real, true reason is more in line with “I just don’t know how to get started” and/or “If I start, I want to do so correctly.”

Sure, many, including me, have said this before as people expressed fear of social media, “just jump in!” But, I feel it’s necessary to clarify. I do believe one should jump right in, but at least have some fundamentals in place to ensure your experience is both enjoyable and successful. I clarified the same with the franchise professionals I met in Vegas and expanded upon it with Social Media – Before Diving In, Know How to Swim.

As is often the case, one post spurs additional questions and requests, which led to my 4-part series on Social Media Basics. Several years into the social media movement and what appears to be very fundamental, is actually monumental to individuals and organizations still sitting on the sidelines wondering how to get into the game. Hopefully, the 4-part series will help them take that first step on the field.

The series started with Who, What, When, Where, Why & How of Social Media Within a Franchise Organization. Basically, it was an outline of some very basic instruction as it related to each of the 5 “W” questions, and of course, the “How” question.

Next, we needed to introduce the most widely utilized social media, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, along with basic instruction points for each. This segment, Starting Your Social Media Program with the “Big Three” accomplished this objective.

The third segment, An Hour a Day With the Big Three Social Networks continued to build the program as it addressed the time issue of social media. Many newcomers have heard that social media can be a major time commitment. As such, they have been reluctant in starting their social media experience because they don’t have hours per day to commit.

Obviously, it’s important to gauge efforts against results, and to throw in a measure of expectations as well. The last segment of the series focused on social media analytics from a very basic perspective. Social Media Metrics: Not Yet a Science! touched upon the key issues of social media metrics including attention, participation, authority, influence and sentiment. It also touched on some of the obvious goals franchise executives would like to achieve in their social media efforts along with the not-so-obvious benefits that can be achieved as well.

So, there you have it – a 4-part series on Social Media Basics, precluded by an overview of what to do before getting started, that combined, will provide a basic foundation for social media success. Keep in mind, this is the equivalent of driver’s education. But it is the first step to enjoying your life behind the wheel… in social media.

Happy Networking!

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Understanding Social Media Metrics

bubblus-social-mediaSocial media is exciting, and is finally being embraced by franchise organizations. Many are beginning to test the waters, albeit very cautiously. Some have been pleasantly surprised and wonder why they didn’t venture in this direction sooner. Others, have been quite confused but are reluctant to give up. Perhaps if they could quantify and analyze their efforts, they would be more confident in their efforts. But where do they start?

First, they must understand some key factors regarding the metrics of social media in order to be able to plug in numbers that make sense. Certain elements of social media metrics need to be defined, that may ultimately convince them and the rest of their management team, there is value in creating “noise” online.

So, let’s take a look at key social media metrics as the first step towards quantifying and analyzing social media efforts. Once understood, it will be easier to track trends and results.

Volume – The number of comments, blogs, posts, tweets, links, etc., about the brand, the competition, and the industry segment.

Sentiment – The positive, negative, or indifferent consumer reaction to the brand or a topic, which can be measured by text analytics and natural-language processing.

Emotion – The reasons that a consumer felt, good, bad, or indifferent that point how the company can resolve his / her problem or how the business can change and improve.

Topic / Issue – The context (e.g., product, customer service, advertising, competitor, etc.) in which the brand is being discussed. Nielsen’s Brand Association Map helps visually associate the relationship between terms; a Google AdWords keyword-expansion tool helps improve the relevancy of the company’s selections.

Source – Where the conversation is occurring (e.g., Twitter, blog, discussion board).

Author (Influencer) – The people talking about the brand and their social media impact (e.g. number of followers, readers, commenters).

Virality – The reach of the brand and relevant topics around the brand (e.g., how many people are reading, posting, linking, and sharing).

Source: Alex Burmaster, Nielsen Online