A guide to social media measurement and intent, which offers detailed information on the social media measurement framework launched last year, has been constructed by the research and measurement subgroup of the IAB’s Social Media Council.
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Social media measurement and intent IAB Social Media Measurement and Intent Guide @iabuk
Social media measurement and intent Introduction - The IAB social media measurement framework Richard Pentin, Group Planning Director, TMW If you were to type „social media measurement‟ into Slideshare you‟d find over three thousand presentations – not a bad barometer of how topical this subject has become! But this exercise also proves a very different point. When it comes to measuring social media effectiveness there‟s already a multitude of different approaches, methodologies and techniques which are being deployed. Whilst there‟s merit in a lot of these approaches, the honest truth is that everyone is doing it differently, with very little consistency across the industry. So what‟s wrong with that? Well, the main issue is the fact that we have no form of benchmarking in the industry. If you can‟t benchmark your performance against something else it‟s actually quite difficult to know whether your efforts were hugely successful or completely in vein. One of the reasons why Direct Marketing has matured as an industry is because there are standard metrics and industry benchmarks available. The likes of FEDMA, the DMA and the IAB all publish industry benchmarks so that brands can assess how their offline or online campaigns/programmes are performing against the industry average. But when it comes to social media, benchmarks are nowhere to be seen as everyone is measuring performance differently. Add in the complications that social media is so versatile, diverse, complex and multi-faceted and it‟s no wonder a common methodology has been so elusive. In spite of these challenges, the IAB Social Media Council felt it had an obligation to encourage more consistency and standardisation across the industry and for that reason have established a social media measurement framework which we invite practitioners to follow or at least road test. It‟s one of the biggest and most ambitious initiatives the Council has undertaken but one we feel is necessary and hopefully welcomed. How to apply the framework You‟ll be pleased to know this framework is not rocket science. In fact, it‟s deliberately a very simple framework, designed to be flexible enough to be applied across a broad spectrum of social media platforms, whilst at the same time giving practitioners the freedom to use their own experience and expertise to choose the most appropriate KPIs. Rather serendipitously, the measurement framework we‟re proposing shares the same acronym as the Internet Advertising Bureau, so at least it‟s dead easy to remember!
Social media measurement and intent Intent The framework begins with I for intent. There are infinite things you can measure in social media but they‟re all completely meaningless unless they relate back to your original intent or objectives. So if you were planning on embarking on a blogger outreach campaign to build positive word of mouth around a product launch that will have very different KPIs to one which was looking to develop a customer service proposition within social media environments. 4 As – Awareness, Appreciation, Action and Advocacy The trouble with social media is that there are so many specific metrics which, in isolation, sound quite trivial. Let‟s be honest, the number of retweets is hardly going to set the boardroom on fire! So the basic premise behind the „4 As‟ is to aggregate your KPIs into one of these four areas in order to tell a bigger and more impactful story around your social media activity. So for awareness, what KPIs can you use to demonstrate that consumers have discovered your social media platform(s)? Eg how many visitors to your blog, how many people have liked your Facebook page, where does your platform rank on search etc. Likewise, for appreciation you might want to think about what metrics you can measure to demonstrate degrees of engagement. These will vary by platform but could include metrics such as video plays, RSS subscribers, number of comments, sentiment analysis and so on. We‟ve deliberately separated action metrics as all too often this aspect of social media activity is left wanting. It‟s all very well generating buzz and word of mouth but what measures are in place to track leads, email datacapture, brochure requests, ecommerce transactions and the like. Admittedly, not all social media activity is about this but it‟s good practice to look at these separately as it‟s these KPIs which will ultimately help you measure ROI. We‟ve made Advocacy metrics distinct from Action or Appreciation metrics because it‟s such an integral part of any social media activity. So here we would suggest you aggregate all the KPIs where people are sharing your content, talking, tweeting or evangelising about your brand.
Social media measurement and intent When defining the KPIs against these „4 As‟ it‟s important to include hard metrics as well as soft metrics. So whilst the number of comments on your fanpage would be an important indication of appreciation and engagement it‟s only when these metrics are combined with hard financials that one can really assess whether this activity has been a worthwhile investment. This framework doesn‟t try to answer the proverbial question about how to prove ROI – that‟s a debate for another day – but we are proposing four key financial metrics which we encourage practitioners to adopt. These are Cost Per Impression (CPI), Cost per Engagement (CPE), Cost per Lead (CPL) and Cost per Referral (CPR). Benchmarking The final stage of the framework is measuring your activity against some form of benchmark. These could be industry benchmarks from other competitors or brands; it could be against historical data or similar activity you‟ve conducted in the past; or in some instances it could be against other marketing channels. The important point here is to make sure you‟re comparing against benchmarks which share the same intent as you. So there‟s no point comparing digital advertising with your social media channels if they have different objectives. As simple as I – A – B The framework may look complicated but it‟s actually very easy to apply. It‟s worth reading the First Direct case study by Unruly Media (see below) as it shows how the framework can be applied in practice. So why not give this a trial and tell us what you think. Whilst it might not work for everyone, we hope it is a step in the right direction What we‟ve outlined may not suit everybody but we believe it‟s a step in the right direction and would encourage as many practitioners as possible to adopt it where they can or at least roadtest it. The more aligned we are as an industry, the more accountable social media will become in the future and the easier it will be to benchmark our efforts against our peers or predecessors. If you want more background to the IAB framework, including some helpful guidelines on what KPIs to use per social media platform, you can view the official presentation on slideshare (not to mention 3,000 other presentations on the topic too!)
Social media measurement and intent Case study – The framework in action A campaign to build buzz around the launch of First Direct Buddies, a series of video shorts depicting a team of specially-trained employees who are on call to help out customers, whatever their needs. The six films were made to highlight First Directs award winning personal service, as an analogy of how its banking services differ from those of other, more automated banks. Click here to see how the IAB social media measurement framework can be applied to assess the effectiveness of a campaign.
Social media measurement and intent How to get the most out of your general awareness campaign Lisa Mané, Head of social media, COI In 2010 the IAB launched its framework for measuring social media effectiveness which provides a good starting point for identifying your key performance indicators at the start of any activity and can help clarify results at the end. But a defining characteristic of social media activity is that it doesn‟t end when the budget runs out. An important element of measuring and evaluating social media activity is looking at the ongoing conversation and the optimisation of activity over time. Consider social media activity on a Facebook page. Is it purchased? Is it owned? Is it earned? It‟s all three. There are the paid advertising opportunities (e.g. homepage ads, standard ASUs, engagement ads and become-a-fan ads); the elements that you „own‟ (e.g. info, wall posts, discussions), and the elements that you earn (also wall posts and discussions, plus likes). The main difference between „owned‟ social media spaces and most other standard digital marketing activities is that the former tend to: be „experience based‟ rather than „message based‟ enable the owner to influence that experience by changing content / functionality / navigation and user engagement during the lifetime of the activity. The standard metrics you may choose to measure purchased activity could include page impressions, unique visits, number of fans, interactions with the page, likes, comments and wall posts. But it is the analysis of the data – especially the „soft‟ metrics, such as sentiment and actual user comments – that provides the greatest opportunity for optimisation. To enable the most effective optimisation, follow these seven steps 1. Understand the context of the activity. It is important to know what the overall communications programme is trying to achieve, what other channels are planned, and the role that each channel will play in meeting the overall objectives. 2. Choose the most relevant activities. Once you know the overall context, it will better enable you to choose the most appropriate activity for the appropriate group of people you‟re trying to engage with. 3. Define the most appropriate KPIs and metrics. Think of the social media activity in relation to the user journey. A user is exposed to the activity (output indicators); they will take something from their experience of that activity (out-take indicators); and they will interact with/participate in the activity (outcome indicators). For each type of indicator, and with the activity objectives and audience in mind, define what indicates success. 4. Choose the tools and techniques to measure. Determine what techniques to use to collect the data. This is associated with defining the data and gives an opportunity to check whether it is feasible to collect the desired data in terms of cost and complexity. 5. Document an actual evaluation plan. Determine how the tools and techniques are being implemented, who will produce the report and at what frequency. This report should always include a description of how the activity is performing against the agreed success indicators and also clear recommendations for optimisation. 6. Monitor and evaluate the activity. Follow your plan! Review the data, consider other channel activities, identify insights and learnings, and provide recommendations for optimising the activity. 7. Optimise and innovate. Share insights with those who may find them useful. Are there insights that should feed into other channels and objectives? Act on recommendations and go back to steps 2, 3 or 6 for continual optimisation and improvement.
Social media measurement and intent From social monitoring to social intelligence: how to get value from social listening Emily Dent, UK Commercial Director, NMIncite If the social media universe was a person, wed be just about to hit the gear-change of university. Weve experimented with music, created lasting friendships (and dropped other less fulfilling ones), flirted and dated and invented a language, struggled with ethical issues and tried to make sense of it all, but now weve got to get organised: set some personal goals, choose a direction and be measured by our outputs alongside our friends and foes. In short, it‟s time to get serious. As always, some have matured faster than others, setting the benchmark high and leading by example. But whilst there are shining examples of how engagement with consumer generated media can work well for a business, most marketers have yet to find a way to prove consumer generated media impacts the bottom line. We wait with baited breath as social media philosophers struggle to answer the question: "so what?" The question of value is a tricky one to answer, and although wed like a magic button that would calculate success for us, I doubt we‟ll ever find one. Tips for a more sensible approach follow: 1) Understand your brand universe It‟s a challenge to put a monitory value on a positive tweet, or on an influential bloggers post, but we instinctively know being aware of them is better than not. So building KPIs for your social activity really does have to start with listening to your consumer and building a complete picture of your organic and paid for activity. The problem is your brand universe is a complex one, and there is no easy search you can do to identify everything your consumer thinks about you and the world you inhabit. Investing in a comprehensive insight programme will allow for snapshot and in-depth benchmarking against competitors. There are broadly two compatible approaches to build a picture of your brand universe: The first looks at what people are saying about your brand in comparison to your competitors. This is useful for tracking purposes: ongoing PR, understanding campaigns and looking for issues as they arise. For value, this type of data needs to be reviewed on a regular basis – this could be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on the level of your consumer‟s engagement and the goals. The second is a look at consumer behaviour around issues, topics and categories that touch on your brand universe but might hold deep insight for business practice across the organisation. Deep dives are useful for benchmarking across long periods of time to spot trends for a more holistic view – to unearth consumer perception, unique opportunities or insight based on statistical analysis. For best results, repeat on a quarterly or annual basis or after an event that might shift consumer behaviour. Once you‟ve understood the make-up of your universe, you can start to understand how to set meaningful metrics for understanding success. The brand association map (below) on climate change shows the link in consumers‟ minds between climate change and other related subjects. Understanding the associations and relationships, not just the frequency, between topics as according to mentions in CGM can be useful in highlighting issues a brand needs to track.
Social media measurement and intent 2) Link your social objectives to your business goals Launching social media activity, but not having any idea what you want to achieve is a little bit like having a map, but not knowing your destination. A sure-fire way to waste money is to launch a YouTube channel or a Twitter account without a definite objective. It sounds obvious, but in order to generate any value from social media activity, you need to tie your activities to your over-arching business goals. Theres little point in looking at the ComparetheMarket.com Meercat campaign and trying to emulate it, if your business goals are not the same as theirs. The social media „map‟ is wildly different for finding your way through a product recall, for a campaign launch or for establishing the case for a new product. It is also tempting to use social media data in isolation to other insight-building activity, but value can be added by comparing unprompted research against prompted consumer and noting the differences – particularly between surveys or focus groups and consumer generated media where unprompted conversation can design more effective questions. 3) Choose metrics wisely Getting insight in this technically complex arena is not cheap - neither in hard cash, nor in man power. So in order to prove value, we need to understand both the metrics we can use and the confines of the data we have access to. Its tempting to think a spike in volume is a good indicator of success, but reporting on the rhythms of a line graph will not give you the intelligence you need to prove your social efforts are moving you towards your goals. Understanding whether the construction of a spike is different to the normal CGM your brand attracts is key to setting performance targets. You could also benchmark the mixture of positive and negative sentiment, the topics that are highlighted beside your brand, where the activity takes place, who the loudest or most frequent voices are and what
Social media measurement and intent your competitors are up to add more insight to volume. There is no better machine than the human brain to understand the intricacies of human data – reading the messages is a must. These metrics can be applied to your business goal in a number of ways. If you wish to move perceptions, you need to track sentiment and topics connected to your brand. If you want to up market share, you need to look at overall positive volume in comparison to your competitors. If you want to track a campaign, you need to plot the topic change, the sources and the sentiment drivers within your overall volume increase. 4) Understand the data you are receiving Just because the data is freely available on the internet does not mean you‟re getting it all. It‟s actually technically complicated and hugely expensive to gather all the data into one place so you can analyse it. You cannot have access to anything that isn‟t public – Facebook, for example, does not allow companies to gather data from people‟s status updates, all data comes from public group pages etc. Similarly, Twitter sells licenses to its firehoses and not all companies that subscribe take in the whole data stream. When commissioning monitoring, make sure the sources you know are the most crucial are definitely in the data-set or you may miss something important. Don‟t compare sources based on volume checks. High volumes could be bad if they are full of spam and redundancy or if they are from varying sources. This is like comparing an apple and a pear: Be prepared to invest the time to learn about data collection methodologies and trust people who can clearly and simply tell you how it all actually works. 5) Making it work: organisational design is key So now, you‟ve thought about your goals, you understand the metrics and you know about the data. Are you ready to receive return on your investment? The biggest problem facing social media pioneers today is most organisations are not set up to receive, act and re-organise around this ever-evolving consumer-generated media data. They simply don‟t yet have the systems, talent, or the culture to be successful. When you‟re thinking about building your social media insight plan, think about the people departments and infrastructure needed to capitalise on what you learn. If your customer service team doesn‟t have the knowledge, talent or infrastructure to work within the complex world of social media, you won‟t see maximum return on investment. So, set your goals and know your market. Benchmark apples to apples and don‟t look at data in isolation. Apply brains to automated tools to understand qualitative data. Allow for dedicated time and resource. And remember, an insight is only as valuable as the action it generates so make sure you‟re set up to act on the data when you have it. 4 questions you should ask before listening 1) What do we want to achieve through listening? 2) How accurate is my data? 3) Do I have dedicated resource to manage the data? 4) What other insight could I link social media data to create a strong holistic business case?
Social media measurement and intent How to measure the success of different types of social media activity, based on various intents Jordan Stone, Director, We Are Social For brand managers, the question of how to measure the success of different types of social activity is an important one though not at all straightforward to answer. The term „social media‟ refers to such a wide range of online platforms and activities that it makes comparing campaigns or strategies in a like-for-like manner quite difficult. For example, success for a B2B brand might look very different to the success of an FMCG brand. That said, there are many ways to measure success in social media but what you measure will largely depend on the activity you are undertaking and what you are trying to achieve. Having some clear objectives, and setting a baseline against which you can compare the progress of your activity is crucial in measuring success. Below, we‟ve outlined three common ways in which brands might use social media, and how you might look to gauge the success of those activities. Customer service activity Whereas running a campaign implies a beginning and end, social media customer service should be by definition an ongoing activity. As such, the measure of success here should be more focused on evaluating longer term trends in sentiment as well as the responsiveness of the brand itself online. Some key measures of success might include: Response rate – Are your able to respond to 100% of the queries that you receive, or complaints that you detect? Timing – How quickly are you identifying and responding to issues online? Resolutions – How many cases are you able to resolve? And if you can‟t resolve them, are they being escalated to someone / a department who can? Sentiment – Is social media customer care having an effect on sentiment towards your brand? So, if your objective is to increase positive sentiment online as a result of customer service then having a baseline of sentiment on Twitter, your Facebook wall or in comments on your blog before you set out your customer service programme is crucial. Driving sales Few could argue that the viral success of the Old Spice „the man your man could smell like‟ campaign shifted quite a few products last summer. But the reality for most brands is that it can be hard to find a correlation between sales and social media. While it‟s hard, it‟s not impossible. Below are some examples of how sales success might be measured: Promotional code redemptions – Are you able to generate bespoke codes for specific deployment in social media? Lead generation and conversion – Has your social media campaign been designed to generates sales leads? Pounds spent by the social media customer compared to ‘normal’ customer – Does your website allow customers to connect to a social profile, and if so, how profitable are they? Tracking codes – Are you able to generate URLs to track the customer journey from Twitter or Facebook, through to the e-commerce section of your website?
Social media measurement and intent ROI is one of the hottest topics in social media measurement at the moment, and as marketing directors demand greater accountability for money spent, being able to attribute sales directly to social media will only become more important. General awareness campaign If your intention is to increase the awareness of your brand, then there is no shortage of metrics to help gauge your success in social media. Brand monitoring across social media (blogs, microblogs, photo/video sharing, forums, etc.) is perhaps the best place to start. There is a whole host of free and paid-for software to help you measure and calculate awareness and engagement metrics. But bear in mind that having the volume of coverage or graph of „online buzz‟ is fairly meaningless if you don‟t know what is being discussed about your brand. Therefore, in addition to coverage volumes and trends, you might look to determine some of the following: Topic monitoring – Are your key messages getting through? How is your brand/product being associated? Competitive monitoring – Has your share of voice increased vs. your key competitors? Tone and sentiment evaluation – Is your campaign being discussed in a positive manner? Subscriber/traffic/fan/follower growth – Has your campaign been responsible for an increase in attention or popularity online? Engagement – Is there evidence that your customers are more engaged with you, whether that be through more blog comments, wall posts or @replies? Brands are increasingly integrating social media activity in the earliest stages of planning such that it‟s woven across all marcomms activity. As such, social media monitoring programmes are becoming fairly standard right across the board. In recent years, social media measurement has matured a great deal and it‟s now easier than ever to identify key metrics from a wide range of sources. However, the sheer volume of data available on the social web can be both a blessing and a curse. Because something „can‟ be reported, doesn‟t always mean it „should‟, nor does it always measure success. So ensure that you have a fairly clear idea about what you wish to accomplish before you set out to measure social media, and how you assess success will soon become apparent.
Social media measurement and intent How to use social media research to inform business strategy and product development Dhiren Shingadia, Head of Product Marketing, Market Sentinel Whether youre in the boardroom or in the workshop, your strategic planning has to be evidence- driven. In the past, business intelligence was slow to process. Much of it was derived by sending people out with clipboards. For smaller businesses or for those needing to move quickly, some decision making was guesswork. Web technologies such as online social network analysis have opened up new ways of supporting planning decisions. The amount of information is vast (over six million blogs were created in 2010 on Wordpress alone ) and it can be sampled on demand. New generation web-monitoring tools allow you to understand how people feel about your brand and your competitors‟ brands and identify what themes are emerging. Clever text analysis (Natural Language Processing) identifies the themes; social network analysis allows you to understand which are most significant. Using these new tools, businesses can test the appetite for new products or enhancements, identify real customer likes and dislikes, control crises, manage reputation and run competitive benchmarks. Case Study Carphone Warehouse is the UKs largest retailer of mobile communication products. Customer service has historically been a major issue for all the companies in this sector, and Carphone Warehouse is no exception. The retailer established the “Voice of the Customer” initiative within the business to identify and address issues quickly. Those issues could be technical support, staff training and customer service call centre response times. Carphone Warehouse used an extensive set of surveys, tools and processes to scientifically measure and manage these experiences. In 2010 Carphone Warehouse decided to add social media monitoring to its toolkit and partnered with Market Sentinel in order to understand how customer experience was discussed online. Market Sentinel analysts used social media monitoring tools to Photo sourced on Flickr, identify and prioritise the major themes of conversation about creator Andrew Stawarz Carphone Warehouse‟s customer service across forums, message boards, social networks, blogs, websites and videos. Results from Market Sentinel‟s analysis helped turn all of the inputs from Carphone Warehouse‟s various surveys and reports into a cohesive story, told through the eyes of the customer. These stories allow Carphone Warehouse to identify which issues matter the most and where they should focus their improvement efforts. Rob Jardine, Head of Insight, Carphone Warehouse said: "One of the big challenges is synthesizing input from customer and employee surveys and using them to prioritize improvement opportunities. Social media contextualises the customer experience and helps us understand problem areas from the customer‟s point of view." Carphone Warehouse identified customer dissatisfaction with delivery options and performance as a clear issue. The insights enabled the business owner within Carphone Warehouse to fix the problem, cutting complaints and negative chatter.
Social media measurement and intent An alternative to web monitoring is to canvas one‟s own user groups: Dell, Starbucks and Unilever now harness open feedback platforms to assist product development. Unilever‟s early efforts to encompass feedback from online communities and UK customers helped to launch Lynx Twist in the men‟s personal care market. The success of the product and the product development approach has motivated Unilever to replicate the process across its food and hair care businesses. What’s next? The universe of online conversations is booming! For example Twitter boasts 200 million users; Forrester predicts that Facebook will surpass 600 million users in 2011, whilst the largest Chinese instant messaging network QQ has 100 million users. Social media monitoring technologies are gearing up for crunching high volumes of data in realtime and in multiple languages, extracting meaningful topics and identifying trends and the individuals who are driving them. Useful links and further reading The range of businesses offering services in this sector are regularly reviewed by Nathan Gilliatt here – http://www.socialtarget.com/ A comprehensive list can be found here – http://wiki.kenburbary.com/social-meda-monitoring- wiki Market Sentinel Blog – http://www.marketsentinel.com/blog Wikinomics Blog – http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/ Forrester Blog – http://blogs.forrester.com
Social media measurement and intent What’s happening in customer services? Ronnie Brown, Marketing Director, Outside Line Social media is touching every facet of business, and customer service is no different. Consumers are using social media to express their opinions of products, services and processes with most companies playing catch up to consumers‟ behaviour. While companies look to social media as a marketing or sales tool, the customer service impact it can have is immense. Publically helping consumers not only serves the individual affected but can also create a positive viral effect to the customer‟s personal network and beyond. Objectives, Metrics and Benchmarks Customer service is not always about handling complaints. Each interaction with a customer should be seen as an opportunity for the business. This means that the objectives and outputs of the customer service activity can be varied. All KPIs should ideally start with a business objective; something requiring change that intrinsically affects the company‟s performance in some way. Without this it will be difficult to make the activity relevant to the wider company. On the following page are some typical objectives in relation to customer service in social media; common associated metrics and some ideas on possible benchmarks. These benchmarks are key to making the data meaningful within a company, particularly when the understanding of social media per se at a board level tends to be low. This is not supposed to be an exhaustive list but it should provide a framework to relate your own experience to. With social media becoming ubiquitous in mainstream news, good and bad consumer experiences are being used as content and amplified far beyond their initial intended audience. Additionally, consumers rarely recognise company silos and want instant responses via media they are comfortable with. These are two key challenges for the modern company and customer service. Ensuring that this type of activity is measurable and comparable allows real value to be attributed to social media campaigns.
Social media measurement and intent Objective Typical Metric Possible Benchmark Customer Retention 1. Number of complaints resolved. 1. Compare the customer 2. Number of consumers stopped lifetime value of those served from leaving or thinking about via social media to other leaving. customer service channels – email, phone etc. Advocacy 1. Number of shares. 1. Compare shares (number, 2. Reach of shares. reach and %) to shares via other media. 2. Compare to NPS, customer referral value etc. Increased Revenue 1. Amount of incremental revenue 1. Compare with the created by the interaction with the incremental revenue derived consumer (i.e. upsell of other from contact via other products). channels. Cost Reduction 1. Number of customers served via 1. Compare costs of resolution social media. to other media. 2. Time taken to resolution. 2. Assigning a value to each 3. Cost of resolution. peer induced resolution on an owned property to give a nominal value to the property. Innovation 1. Number of suggestions to 1. Compare to the number products, processes etc. and value of innovation from 2. Number of suggestions put into other channels. operation. 3. Money saved (better processes, products) or revenue created as a result of the suggestion. Brand reputation 1. Volume of brand mentions. 1. Make direct comparison to 2. Reach / influence of brand competitor brands or products. mentions. 3. Reach of brand mentions.
Social media measurement and intent Additional resources Case study – The First Direct Buddy case study by Unruly Media. The IAB‟s Social Media Council blog – Helping brands make perfect sense of social media, from IAB UK‟s social media council. Download the IABs Social Media handbook – Download a PDF version of the IAB‟s handbook on social media. Read the IABs Social Media handbook as a digital edition – Read a digital version of the IAB‟s handbook on social media. Thanks to our contributors COI Market Sentinel NMIncite Outside Line TMW We Are Social Produced by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK. For more information visit http://www.iabuk.net