Social Media Week – Analytics, Listening and Gadgets

Social Media Week   Analytics, Listening and GadgetsWell, it’s Social Media Week again and DC is one of the cities hosting events. I’ve been busy hopping from one networking event to a demonstration to a panel to a seminar. Great fun to connect with colleagues and learn a few new things. I’ll likely have more later, but here are some initial thoughts from this year’s Social Media Week.

Social media analytics

I actually hear an amazing thing from an otherwise knowledgeable and highly positioned colleague. Someone mentioned social media analytics and his response was that social media was about talking with consumers not talking to them (traditional marketing messaging) so analytics didn’t mean anything in social media.

As someone in the painful process of writing a whole BOOK on social media analytics, I was both horrified and disturbed by this comment. Did that mean no one was interested in buying my book? Was I just wasting my time and working SO hard for nothing?

Boy, I hope someone wants my social media analytics book! === BTW, I have the first chapter ready. If you’re interested, you can get the first chapter FREE and, if you’re willing to send me comments/ edits, I’m offering a FREE copy of the finished social media analytics book! What a deal? How can you pass this one up?

I guess the bottom line is that social media HAS analytics and they’re pretty important. Translating social media analytics DIRECTLY to ROI (return on investment) is a little tenuous, especially if you’re not a consumer company. Even in consumer retail, it’s hard to know WHAT generated sales — whether it was your social media, your traditional advertising, your positioning, your branding, your product quality … But, if you optimize your social media by increasing reach and engagement you increase brand awareness, generate more favorable attitudes, and influence consumers through the attitudes and opinions of their friends. Which is more than we know about results from traditional advertising.

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Community Development: Turning Brand Awareness Into Sales

Twitter presented their tools for monitoring engagement and clicks from promoted tweets and other branded products.

It’s hard to believe none of this translates into improved sales. Especially since we have predictive models that strongly support the association of these factors with increased sales. Of course, I agree with a number of folks from top agencies I’ve spoken to — sentiment analysis alone doesn’t tell you much about how sales are going.

Listening in social media

Of course, the topics of listening and social media analytics are intimately related and that came through in several presentations I went to this week. Listening to what folks say about your brand on their social networks tells you how far your message spread (reach), what folks think about your brand, and allows you to reach out to influencers who might generate consumer actions such as buying your products. The Obama campaign created proprietary software to identify influencers and encourage them to mobilize their social networks to register and vote. We may not know exactly how many votes these actions generated, but we do know the outcome.

At a special Social Media Week session of the Meetup group on social media analytics, we heard presenters from Traackr and several other listening devices show how their software can identify influencers and how your firm can use these influencers to improve market performance.

Alright. I’m off to the keynotes tonight and should have more insights on social media for you tomorrow.

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