Jim provides great perspective on how we should think about Social Media Analytics. The major takeaways from this discussion are:
- Social behavior is intrinsic to the web. Today it might be Facebook and Twitter, and tomorrow it might be something else. What matters is that the power to communicate exists.
- Reach, frequency and recall are basic metrics as always, but we also need to look at new metrics such as sentiment and viral behavior (such as shares and retweets).
- Relevant influence is another interesting metric. Oprah may have millions of followers, but may not be of much help if she tweets this analytics interview.
- As always, tying metrics back to business goals is critical. Retweets are not conversion goals. Sales / conversions, whatever form they may take, are.
- Before you do anything take a baseline, and know what types of metrics you are trying to influence.
- Once your baseline is in place, determine what your variables are. Do you want to try promotional messages at different points in the day? Through different social channels? Setup interesting tests so you can learn and improve.
- Beware the unexpected. One campaign may fail because it is a day filled with major news, and another may succeed because of a slow news day.
The Need for Social Media Analytics?
Eric Enge: Congratulations on the Social Media Metrics book. Why is social media so important?
Jim Sterne: Let's go back to the Internet circa 1993 because, even then, it was obvious that social media was going to be important. It was a new, terrific, wonderful way to communicate. Most individuals agreed with this except for the skeptics who were concerned about their budgets and said “my customers aren't on the Internet, it's too early, and it's not proven.”
Those of us who've played around with it know that social media is here to stay. Humans love to communicate so anything that makes communication easier, faster, and better wins. That is why the telegraph, telephone, fax machine, and email have all been popular tools.
Social Media is an easier way to communicate and, therefore, it will never go away.
I can text thousands of people at once through Twitter. I can communicate with my friends through text, and pictures, and video, and links to many things on Facebook. It's an easier way to communicate and, therefore, it will never go away and companies need to figure out how to make the most of it.