The first step when considering social analytics is to establish a listening strategy.
In social media, listening acts as a guide through the ever-changing and interesting world of the blogosphere.
Why? Because listening is an ongoing process that is necessary to keep a strategy fresh and competitive. It enables decision-makers to find and better understand opportunities and stakeholders.
So, exactly how do you go about listening?
#1: Determine your target audience
Once an organization has determined whom to target, it’s critical to understand where to engage them online. A common misperception is that all social networks are the same and therefore everyone is on the same platform.
What if these marketing reps would freely write about your brand and tell their friends and all they expect in return is recognition and access to insider information?
Who are brand advocates and what motivates them?
We all want to see our Facebook Page skyrocket in numbers. And, there are many tactics for doing so. However, the fact is that numbers don’t necessarily equate to engagement and return on investment.
In the short run, an increase from 1,000 to 10,000 fans might look great to your boss or client, but when the fans start dropping off at a rate of 100 or 200 per week, and nobody answers the questions you put on your wall, you may not look like quite the hero anymore.
I recently interviewed Brian Solis, author of the new book, Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web. He is also coauthor of the book, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.
During this interview, you’ll gain some great social media insight, discover some key mistakes businesses make, and learn which corporations are excelling with social media.
Mike: In your book, you made the following statement: “We are forever students of new media. We should never strive to master something that evolves much faster than our ability to grasp its lessons.”
Early efforts in social media marketing have created a tremendous amount of buzz and interest, but surprisingly few case studies focus on monetization.
A recent study by Ketchum and Nielsen shows the number-one activity of social media users (online or offline) is reading blogs – even above TV!
So it’s clear that social media is here to stay, and accountable programs must be created to deliver performance and ROI. Here are 3 steps to help you get started:
#1: Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Measure Against Them
In order to hold any marketing channel accountable, there first must be a framework of metrics that can be tracked, compared to a benchmark (industry or prior program performance) and analyzed over time. Social channels are no different. When looking to assign accountability to social programs, the first step is to define KPIs and measure against them. The three key components to track are: