Using Social Media to Mine Business Insight


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This presentation explores the use of social media monitoring to mine insight and bring that insight back to your organization in order to apply and improve results. Also addresses why I feel PR is well poised to own this role in an organization.

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  • Tweet me @Krusk if you have any follow up questions or if you want to talk about this session. Also, of course, you can use the conference hashtag and I’ve also suggested another one specifically for this session if you would like to use it. I work at a full service marketing communications agency as an account executive but also more and more so as a strategist. My experience ranges from public relations, to e-marketing, to traditional marketing and communications, but all along I’ve kind of specialized in social media.
  • First though, I want to talk about public relations and how this really fits with it….As a teenager, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life, but after taking a general arts and science program I learned all about PR and decided whatever I wanted to do, it fell in the realm of public relations. I loved writing, the idea of working with media, developing relationships. It just all made sense to me. I took the algonquin public relations program and since our textbooks were updated every year, I did have the opportunity to learn about some emerging trends in PR including blogs, RSS and even podcasting. However it was all very new at the time and I didn’t immediately understand the connection.Until I graduated and started working in an e-marketing firm… I had a lot to learn about e-marketing and found myself reading hundreds of related blogs. I was fortunate to work at a very small company with a very open and trusting boss. One day I went to her and suggested that we have a company blog—her response was “sure, if you can make it happen, go for it” and thus we launched the cardcommunications blog.I was really lucky that I happened to start working in public relations in 2006…
  • It was right as social media was gaining traction… I was lucky to start working in social media right as it was taking off. I learned that the earlier you get in on something the more freedom you have to make mistakes and the more you stand to learn. I craved the excitement so I’ve since tried to keep up with the latest trends..
  • And I’m certainly not a special case—in fact, books were written as far back as 1999 about how consumers were using online channels to communicate and how that might revolutionize the way we do business. While this book does address PR in a rather insulting way—it’s actually a great read and real eye opener to how social media really started. Also interestingly is this book uses several examples of companies who were already dipping their toes in online communities—Dell, Cisco, Intel—all who are leading today.
  • So back to my career trajectory—it turned out social media wasn’t really new to me. Long before I ever considered a career in public relations I was very active on message boards, chat rooms and other online properties. In fact I was part of a local online community not unlike Facebook that I joined in 2000. So the concept of people connecting online just innately made sense to me and I really understood the types of relationships and content that people were creating.
  • Because of my background I see PR as the perfect fit to run and lead social media within an organization. Successful companies have a company-wide approach with a centre of excellence within the organization. However, within many organization there’s a battle about where exactly this responsibility lies. However what I’m talking about today I think is the perfect niche for PR—it’s so well engrained in what we do and it will also allow PR to accurately measure some of its efforts in a way that lets us tie it back to business objectives.
  • Finally—I think this is the most significant point about social media and why companies can’t really ignore it anymore. People have always talked to each other. If you have a bad experience with a company—you’ve always made a point to tell your family and friends. The difference is now people can amass large audiences online and record those conversations that can be found by search engines and beyond. People talk about how you can no longer “control your message” but did you ever really have control? No, you just couldn’t hear people’s objections. How we behave has not changed—just the methods in which we do it. And that’s a great thing for PR people. If we view our role as a liaison between our audiences and organization—than tapping into that insight and feeding it back into our organization is just how we do our jobs better and prove our worth.
  • I spent a year and a half at local PR measurement companyMediaMiser, and I’ve had a few jobs before and since that involve media monitoring and PR measurement. Now I know I’m going to talk quite a bit about media monitoring and measurement, and I realize it’s not the only way to measure PR but it’s definitely the one with the most mystery.. What I’ve observed about the industry as a whole is there is a misalignment between what we are trying to do and how we measure it. Advertising value equivalencies, calculating impressions and counting clips are early methods of measuring media coverage. As I’m sure many of you know there are some serious issues with using these—does not consider the tone of the article, the placement in a publication, and many other critical factors that make these metrics completely useless.MRP – The Media Relations Rating Points is a better system based on the missing components of AVEs. Is everyone familiar with MRP? Now I hate to say anything bad about MPR as it was created by CPRS—it’s also endorsed by IABC. But while it’s a much, much improved system—it’s still not a perfect one. MRP is designed around measuring the quality of a news article—it factors in placement, tone, use of key messages, use of photos, number of brand mentions, etc. but of course, we don’t really care about the quality of a news article—we care about how people interpret and take action on our messages. Yes MRP can tell us they’re more likely to behave the way we intended but it’s just not possible to draw that conclusion with MRP alone..Finally we have POR—actually surveying people. Katie D. Paine is the foremost expert in PR measurement and she says surveying is essential for measuring outcomes. But having worked for five years in small start up companies I can definitely attest that this is not a feasible option for everyone. POR is expensive. Also you run the risk of survey bias. Some people will just not fill out a survey.
  • Studying and analyzing social media data is complex—but overall the three things you need to look at is key themes, overall context and the people behind the posts. It’s not always easy to identify these things. It’s really hard to boil this down because every organization is different and you may be interested in this topic for different reasons or purposes—but if you can remember to look for themes, context and look at who is saying it—you have a good foundation for social media analysis.
  • When you are looking at a topic that has a lot of different possibilities, angles and issues, you’ll want to boil it down to some key themes. Themes should consider both what’s important to you and also what is being talked about enough to have a relevant data set. Before you start any sort of monitoring, you start with your objectives and develop a methodology that details what you’re looking for and how you will do it. I would suggest that you do this before settling on a tool to use. I’m going to dive into the tools a little later but have a few slides I grabbed off the Sysomos blog to show a few examples of what is possible.
  • There are many ways you can understand the context of online conversations. The one that is most reliable and effective is to have someone actually read the conversations directly.Some tools—like this one, also from Sysomos—offer some interesting graphs to help you understand context. I love this tool but I offer up some caution—you will need to check and refine the search terms to ensure you have a good, clean dataset before this is particularly useful. This chart here I took from the Sysomos blog—it shows data from the Arrested Development blog. The deeper grey lines show the stronger relationships between certain words. In this case Netflix and Bluths are most often together—this makes perfect sense with the new season being released as a Netflix exclusive. Often times to understand these relationships you end up having to sift through the raw data—I can’t express enough how important it is that the tool you use allows you to do this easily.
  • What is really great about social media too is that people voluntarily give up demographic data. Now a word of caution—not everyone posts this kind of information—which can include gender, geographic info and age—so make sure the tool your using gives you the number of profiles it’s pulling data from. Again this is from the Sysomos blog and having used the tool before it tells you how many profiles contain the data for the numbers.
  • Tina—would be great if you could set the scene by talking about how you start by setting objectives and laying out your process in reports so the data you focus on presenting relates to those objectives.
  • “Studies have pointed out that while almost all Fortune 500 companies have great investments in "Web Analytics" they still struggle to make any meaningful business decisions. Most people complain that there are tera bytes of data and giga bytes of reports and mega bytes of Excel and PowerPoint files. Yet no actionable insights, no innate awareness of what is really going on through the clutter of site clickstream data.”
  • We might be able to change the perception of what PR is exactly…
  • Using Social Media to Mine Business Insight

    1. 1. Using Social Media to Mine Business Insight Kelly Rusk - @krusk #CPRS2013 #SMInsight JUNE 11, 2013
    2. 2. What is Public Relations? 7/9/2013 2 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    3. 3. Search Volume index: Social media from 2006-2012 7/9/2013 3 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    4. 4. 7/9/2013 4 ...written in 1999! A Book all about social media… #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    5. 5. Some online social networks date back to 1995! 7/9/2013 5
    6. 6. We’ve had almost two decades to figure out PR’s role in social media within an organization! 7/9/2013 6 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    7. 7. In fact… Social is nothing new either. We’ve just never before been able to capture and analyze and take action on people’s conversations. 7/9/2013 7 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    8. 8. • Objective is to understand how people interpret your key messages and what action they might take as a result… • Advertising Value Equivalencies, Media Impressions, counting clips, etc • Media Relations Rating Points– more insightful but still doesn’t really tell us what they think • Public Opinion Research—but expensive & survey bias A brief history of PR Measurement… 7/9/2013 8 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    9. 9. Every tool we have to measure media or public relations revolves around the fact that it’s impossible to know what people think or may act as a result of your organizations messages…. 7/9/2013 9 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    10. 10. People are talking about brands: the good, the bad & the mundane 7/9/2013 10 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    11. 11. People comment on news and current events in real time… 7/9/2013 11 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    12. 12. Individually, these conversations may not be particularly significant… 7/9/2013 12 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    13. 13. But if we take the time to understand key themes, overall context and the people behind the posts… Really interesting insight emerges… 7/9/2013 13 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    14. 14. Key themes: People love to talk about food, but what kind of food? Source: Sysomos Blog 14
    15. 15. Contextual relationship graphs 7/9/2013 15
    16. 16. Key themes by age 16Source: Sysomos Blog
    17. 17. Case Study: CCSA marries traditional and social media monitoring 7/9/2013 17
    18. 18. Case Study: Conversation Clouds can help key themes emerge 7/9/2013 18
    19. 19. TOOLS TO USE 7/9/2013 19 Tools should only be selected AFTER you determine your objectives and what should be measured...
    20. 20. The 10-90 RULE For every $10 spent on a your tool, spend $90 on a smart person who can interpret the data and glean insight from it. -AvinashKaushik, Chief Analytics Evangelist, Google 7/9/2013 20
    21. 21. What to look for in any tool… • Clear and transparent methodology • Access to raw data • Good customer support • Measures what you need! 7/9/2013 21
    22. 22. FREE • SocialMention • FollowerWonk • Twitonomy • Topsy • Facebook Insights PAID Blended traditional/social • MediaMiser • Meltwater Strictly social: • Radian6 • Sysomos • Infegy Social Radar 7/9/2013 22 #CPRS2013 #SMInsight
    23. 23. SocialMention 7/9/2013 23
    24. 24. Follower Wonk 7/9/2013 24
    25. 25. IN CONCLUSION 7/9/2013 25
    26. 26. If PR can “own” the social media data within an organization and be the stewards that interpret the insight and bring it to management and the various business units…. 7/9/2013 26
    27. 27. 7/9/2013 27