Social Media Marketing Campaign Monitoring, Measurement & Analytics

Social Media Marketing Campaign Monitoring, Measurement & Analytics

Feb 27, 2012

That which will be well managed, must first be well measured.

Successful social media campaigns always emerge from a sound, comprehensive marketing strategy— your “big picture” business communications framework, overall Web marketing program and solid plan of action.  A campaign must be particular—a systematic course of aggressive activities aimed at accomplishing a specific purpose.  Campaigns have to be insular and linear and have a defined start/end date with a precise target (goal/metric) objective.

We recently blogged about Social Media Marketing Campaign Management.

In this blog we’ll discuss how social campaigns must be Monitored, Measured and Analyzed for their downstream impact.  This means:

Find the right information, identify relevant social media activity, estimate its relative value with a benchmark comparison, analyze the relationship between the social media activity and campaign objectives (intended results), understand the business outcome (achieved results).

Businesses and online marketers who get involved with social media marketing campaigns need to be able to gauge the impact of their social media activities and content on:

  • Brand visibility (gaining the attention of the target audience through brand building via social media — posting something of value every day to maintain high visibility for your business).
  • User engagement (onsite interaction with users buying something online, signing up for a whitepaper, posting a review, commenting, uploads/downloads; offsite on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc.
  • Inbound Links (getting other sites or blogs to link back to your site without you doing the same helps your site to rank higher in the search engines result page).
  • Website Traffic
  • Website Conversions
  • Sales
  • Overall Return on Investment (ROI).

The ROI is an important metric, not only for measuring whether or not the campaign has any influence on sales or lead generation, direct or indirect, but also for securing ongoing budgets for social media campaigns.

Monitoring

Monitoring is what you do to find information which you can then measure. Social media monitoring (also referred to as buzz monitoring, blog mining and social media research) is the process of tuning in your social media “ear” to “listen” to, observe and record very specific online conversations – conversations that are relevant to your business and its brand.

In addition to generally monitoring your reputation, your news mentions, your employees, your competition, your industry or any variety of activities, you can also specifically monitor targeted sales and promotional campaigns.

Monitoring data is only valuable if metrics relevant to a company are being tracked, analyzed and then applied so as to improve a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy.

Social media monitoring usually refers to the use of automated tools to process online discourse, typically looking at thousands (or even millions) of conversations. The process can be passive, for example listening to people to find out what interests them about the campaign.  Or it can be active, searching for specific references to the campaign (and the brand).

There are plenty of tools for monitoring social media – starting with free software like Google Alerts or BlogPulse, an automated trend discovery system for blogs that analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.  After that, though, software for measuring and analyzing what’s being monitored cost money and can get pricey.

Measurement

Social media campaign measurement refers to tracking the effects of campaign activities as responses appear in various social media content vehicles such as blogs, wikis, micro-blogs, social networking sites, video/photo sharing websites, forums, message boards—all user-generated content in general.

Measurement provides a way for marketers to determine the volume of interest and sentiment (attitudes, opinions, emotional states or intended emotional communications of speakers and/or writers) around a social media campaign.

Along with buzz monitoring, measurement reports (activity and outcomes) are currently the primary methods for analyzing the online buzz, brand visibility, user engagement, inbound links and website traffic generated by a social media campaign.

In addition to smaller, campaign-specific metrics, such as traffic from Twitter or the number of fans on Facebook, you can look at how the campaign is helping to shift the most important business key performance indicators (KPIs) like sales and profits, as well as customer retention and satisfaction.

A 2010 Marketing Sherpa’s survey of 2,000+ marketers showed the following three social metrics at the top of what’s being measured:

  • Visitors and sources of traffic
  • Network size (followers, fans, members)
  • Quantity of commentary about brand or product

In addition, other priority metrics in a social media campaign include:

  • Interaction
  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Profits
  • Search Marketing
  • Brand Metrics
  • PR
  • Customer Engagement and Retention

Data sought includes:

  • Number of new-to-file customers
  • Number of transactions
  • Changes in repeat customers
  • Number of customer referrals
  • Uplift in other marketing channels

To do this measurement job, there are both entry level free tools and enterprise platforms available for use by digital marketers and PR professionals.

Analytics

Measurement statistics (aka, “analytics”) provide the basic logical analysis required for judging the effectiveness of a campaign.  Analytics can provide valuable insight into strengths (and weaknesses) of your social media campaigns and reveal opportunities to further promote your business.  Accurate campaign statistics enable your organization to attribute online conversations to specific promotional efforts, which in turn allows you to make appropriate (and accelerated) responses to shifts in the marketplace.  Statistically analyzing campaigns enables you to deal rationally with the massive amount of (and demand for) data related to social media.

  • Where are users coming from?
  • What topics or promotions are exciting them?
  • What does a campaign’s “virality” look like—are social members sharing and resharing your offers?

Always be very precise about what is it you want to measure and analyze.

Then look to campaign metrics as the basis for finding precise answers.

In the end, though, analytics are just a barometer of how well you’re doing. The true measure of your success is always conversions and any activity that can somehow be directly or indirectly monetized.

Part II: All-Time Successful Social Media Marketing Campaigns: Old Spice YouTube – 2010; Hamilton Island – 2009 International Cannes Advertising Festival, Grand Prix Award;  Obama 2008 Election Campaign.

Contact DigitalEYE Media for information on how to Monitor, Measure & Analyze your Social Media Marketing campaigns: P: 657.229.8394; sales@digitaleyemedia.com.