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Imagine logging into your email every Monday morning to find a report clearly outlining the value derived from all the time, effort and resource you’ve expended on the social web. That would be nice wouldn’t it? Seeing what impact of all that faffing about in Facebook; Twitter twaddling and blog blabbing has done for your brand would be invaluable. 

But what would you want to see (at a high level) in such a, currently fictitious, report? And who is best placed to provide it to you?

Such a report would certainly save a lot of time. The process of collecting and correlating data from several sources; then trying to make sense of it all so that it can be used to plan an effective brand engagement strategy is time consuming to say the least. For what it is worth, this is what I’d like to see.

Imagine logging into your email every Monday morning to find a report clearly outlining the value derived from all the time, effort and resource you’ve expended on the social web. That would be nice wouldn’t it? Seeing what impact of all that faffing about in Facebook; Twitter twaddling and blog blabbing has done for your brand would be invaluable. But what would you want to see (at a high level) in such a, currently fictitious, report? And who is best placed to provide it to you?

Such a report would certainly save me a lot of time. The process of collecting and correlating data from several sources; then trying to make sense of it all so that it can be used to plan an effective brand engagement strategy is time consuming to say the least. For what it is worth, this is what I’d like to see.

The Online Consumer Engagement Value Report

Split into the four areas of Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Advocacy:

Awareness:

  • What percentage increase in new website visitors has been derived from the social web activity? (Referrals, Search, Direct, Email etc.)
  • Which tweets, posts, comments, were the most effective and most viral?
  • What was the increase in search results (number and volume) and improvement in search rankings based upon this activity?

Consideration:

  • What social web activity led to increased keyword activity within search resulting in a website visit?
  • What were those conversation topics and keywords?
  • Which social sites/content were the source of the related activity?
  • Has the social buzz (volume) and keyword trending increased around my barnd, product or service?

Conversion:

  • Which social web channels provided the highest levels of conversion on site? (not just referrals, but the increase in conversions from search, direct, email etc.)
  • Specifically, which social web activity (post, comment, tweet, competition etc) triggered conversions? (And also those that didn’t do anything.)
  • Is the increase in followers across the various channels proportional to the increase in conversions?

Advocacy:

  • Which social web activity led to the most inter-consumer activity?
  • What impact has the “share this” option had? 
  • Which items, that had the share this facility, were the most and least effective?
  • Who were the most influential and authoritative people that helped increase awareness and conversion?
  • What do people really think about our brand, product or service? (not just a sentiment number, but an authoritative list of people and comments)

Plus, all of the above trended over time to see performance improvement or degradation.

That’s probably not everything, but at a high level, and plumbed into a nice dashboard report that would be pretty good in my opinion. Would you agree? It is possible to do this today, but it requires human correlation and analysis, which is time consuming and expensive. So who is best placed to automate this?

Who could provide such a report?

Firstly, it can’t be any of the buzz monitoring tools (free or paid for such as Radian6 or Brandwatch...I wrote those two purposely because I know they will/should pick this post up). I say it can’t be them, because on their own, they have no ability to see what is happening on your website.

Web analytics providers are much better positioned as they measure all onsite behaviour, and could more easily develop (or acquire) technology/ a methodology that measures activity buzzing around outside of the website (i.e. the social web and search). I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see some M & A activity in 2010 with web analytics companies teaming up with the buzz monitoring providers. However, there would still need to be significant integration of data sets and development to create the ideal automated report.

There is, of course, another option.

Who, out there, could already and quite easily provide an overall view of social web activity? Provide data around buzz volume and the associated keywords? Report on how this enhances search visibility and rankings? Measure conversation topics and links, tracing how these influences others? Who already owns and has a share in several social web platforms? In fact, who has an influence on pretty much everything that happens online?

For me, Google has the answer to all this; they are, currently, best placed to capture all of this data, and it’s probably only a matter of time before we see some clever reporting being added to their analytics. Have you seen how many “beta” functions are already visible in Google Analytics? Should they be taking this line of thinking, it may even come for free!

Of course, I may be completely wide of the mark here....anyone from Google care to comment? That would be nice.

Karl Havard

Published 8 December, 2009 by Karl Havard

Karl Havard is a trainer and contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter and connect via LinkedIn.

21 more posts from this author

Comments (12)

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Mark McCulloch

Great information on your blog and very well designed.

Really enjoyed reading the information on here and you are very right about social media marketing.

Mark

almost 7 years ago

Giles Palmer

Giles Palmer, CEO at Brandwatch

hi Karl

Nice post - and i agree we can't do this on our own, but that's where mashups may come in as one of the many glorious things about the web is its open standards. We (for example) are building an open architecture into the new version of Brandwatch and in the forseeable future, users will be able to plug in their Site analytics or search data - eg google trends. Google could and may well do it all themselves, but there's no harm in having competition and choice - i dread a world where everything online is (owned by) Google....

Cheers

Giles (Brandwatch - rising to your challenge!)

almost 7 years ago

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Lauren Vargas

I like the way you outline your engagement value report and agree this type of conversation mapping is the future. The tools are only part of the solution. We will never escape the human element needed to analyze our data, but tools are making progress to help us aggregate and map conversations to individuals across all channels and show relationship value. We are constantly evolving our tool with this goal in mind. For example, Radian6 does have integration with web analytics and CRM systems. You can setup specific metrics you want to track on your web site (i.e. page views, visitors, conversations, lead forms, etc.) and we import those metrics and tie them to the social media conversations that referred them. So you can measure exactly how many visitors, whitepaper downloads, conversations, etc., came from any piece of social media content. Further, we also integrate into CRM systems and have a two-way pipe between them. So we can push conversations into the CRM system for a lead entered (for example), and tie their social profile (i.e. twitter account, blog URL, etc.) to the contact/account in your CRM system. We look forward to what new challenges the future will bring and how we can continue to pair the community value with the listening/monitoring tool. Lauren Vargas Community Manager at Radian6 @VargasL

almost 7 years ago

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Conxa Rodà

Very good set of indicators, both quantitative and qualitative, thank you.

I'll add a couple: in Awareness, first point, add "and viceversa", that is what percentage increase of new users on our different Socal Media derive from the website.

And in Consideration, I'd add: "Which onsite activities led to increase of Social Media buzz?"

Conxa

@innova2

almost 7 years ago

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Mike Stenger

Great questions! I specially liked the area consideration. Although I believe conversion is insanely important, I also firmly believe in you can't put a price on genuine relationships. Sure, if you get a customer from Social Media and you know the lifetime value of that customer, you can make so much but there's some things you can't put a price on.

A good point too would be to yes, keep these factors in mind but don't think of or treat those who listen to you or interact with you on Social Media, as a sales statistic. They're a lot more than that

almost 7 years ago

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Joanna

Everyone would want to pay for such a tool so let the race begin. I would certainly love to see what the time wasters are and what might be the most profitable/effective strategy.

great post!

almost 7 years ago

Karl Havard

Karl Havard, Chief Strategy Officer at Econsultancy Guest Access TRAININGSmall Business Multi-user

Thanks everyone for your comments on the post. Conxa, that is a really good point you make about the impact a website can make on enhancing social web interaction. To be able to understand where, how and why people found your social web presence would be really valuable. However, a real challenge in how to get hold of such data.

Giles, I'd be interested in your mash-up functionality, as that could prove to be very powerful indeed.

almost 7 years ago

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Tony Clarke

Nice to see to see someone actually pointing out the obvious flaws of Radian 6 and Buzz metrics.

we look after a number of global companies and the insight provided by the aforementioned leaves a lot to be desired, so the amount of leg work we have to do in order to provide relevant and not "thumb in the air" metrics is time consuming to say the least.

Google are the obvious forerunners to be able to exploit this channel and to be able to provide quality (albeit biased) analytics. 

almost 7 years ago

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Philippa Gamse

Great list!

The one concern that I have is that we don't forget the Website fundamentals:

- When we look at the conversion rates from social media on our site, are we still factoring in whether the site itself is effective in engaging and persuading visitors - in other words, if a campaign doesn't produce much, is that a problem with the social media effort, or with the Website experience?

- Do we also need to consider that some social media campaigns may generate a different audience to the Website from our traditional markets - so we have to take that into account, and be very clear on the site about qualifying visitors and / or extending our appeal and our offerings?

almost 7 years ago

Giles Palmer

Giles Palmer, CEO at Brandwatch

Karl - send me an email and I'll get you on our Beta testing program. giles@brandwatch.net

cheers

almost 7 years ago

Walid Robert Norris

Walid Robert Norris, Country Manager UK & Ireland at AT Internet

There is no denying that measuring the value of social media is a must, we naturally agree that web analytics companies are best placed :0)

AT Internet measures 350,000 websites and recently added ‘BuzzWatcher’ to its suite of SaaS applications to do just this.  Being big fans of Econsultancy you will of course find us in the supplier directory: http://econsultancy.com/directories/suppliers/at-internet if you’re interested in learning more.

Karl, I would be happy to setup a demo for you at your earliest convenience. walid.norris@atinternet.com

almost 7 years ago

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Training for Social Care

What about the presence of sites such as

  • linkedin
  • delicious
  • bebo

and their impact on social media. Or the impact of new developments such as e-learning and it's even newer form in m-learning?

What are your thoughts in regards to those?

about 6 years ago

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