Posts filed under ‘Social media monitoring’

Measuring success in online communities – part 2

Further to my earlier post on measuring online communities, I had the opportunity last weekend to present a module on this subject to a group of students following the SAWI diploma on “Spécialiste en management de communautés & médias sociaux”.

The slides used for this presentation are found below – they are in French – English translation will come….soon!

March 16, 2011 at 7:51 am Leave a comment

Measuring success in online communities

At the Lift conference this week in Geneva, I heard a lot of speakers mention the need to measure and evaluate how online tools are being used, for what purpose and with what impact (about time!).

One speaker, Tiffany St James spoke on  “How to encourage involvement in online communities”.  The above illustration shows the main aspects of her presentation, where she suggested some key performance indicators for measuring online communities, notably:

Outputs: how many visits, referrals, subscribers, loyalty, web analytics,  bounce rates

Outtakes: messages and experience for user satisfaction, measuring change of attitude

Outcomes: action-what do you want the user to do?

You can view a video of Tiffany’s presentation here>>

(illustration fabulously done by Sabine Soeder of Alchemy).

February 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm 1 comment

Measuring the influence of Twitter

As Twitter becomes more present in communications, is there any way to measure how influential it is? Well, there are plenty of tools to monitor Twitter usage.  But the MetricsMan blog has  some wise word of caution about these tools. He warns that the tools are not really measuring influence, as he puts it well:

The problem here is no one is actually measuring true Influence –  the ability of one individual to change another’s opinions, attitudes or behavior.  You can’t surmise whether or not an opinion or attitude has been impacted, you have to conduct research.  Opinions and attitudes exist within individuals.  You cannot assess this by proxy, looking strictly at online metrics.  Online behavior can be measured without primary research, but offline behaviors have to be observed or reported.

Read the full post here>>

February 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm 1 comment

84% do not measure ROI of social media

I just read some interesting survey results that found that 84% of professionals don’t measure the Return-On-Investment for the social media programs that they run.

It’s not a surprising result, but is it the right question? I would have asked how many professionals are measuring the success of their social media programs and what and how they are measuring. That would be a good starting point before an eventual ROI measurement. Follow further the debate on Mashable.

September 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Thoughts from the Berlin Measurement Summit

The 1st European Measurement Summit was a great success.  Delegates are busy doing a survey (organised by Benchpoint), and the feedback is looking very positive.
My Highlights:
Neil Martinson, head of press and PR in the UK Government’s Central Office of Information (COI), spends £25million (€29.3 million) on PR every year, so is fairly interested in knowing which half is wasted. He asked five  media measurement and evaluation specialists to do some test measurements on a recent campaign. The result? Five very different measurements, and no agreement on criteria or methodology.
David Rockland’s sprited defence of AVE’s (Advertising Value Equivalents). Actually, it’s quite a good measure of penetration, reach and performance. The only trouble is the V word. People manipulate the figures to give the impression that editorial is worth more than advertising, which is hardly objective or honest. And no two people seem to do it the same way (see above) But there has to be a way of integrating this figure with other measures to give a true index of success. By the way David is MD of Ketchum’s global research network, and knows a thing or two. Methinks the detractors are a little over the top on this one.
Social Media. Half the conference were struggling to understand what Social Media is and how to use it, while the other half were on line to each other commenting on what each speaker was saying, without the bother of joining in the discussion with other delegates. I was chuffed when the delegate in front of me started reading this blog  during one of the presentations. Should I join Twitter? Or is it just people shouting, and no-one else listening?

I shall be returning to more serious content in future posts. But meanwhile, please comment or contribute to the ongoing debate.


June 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm 1 comment

Measuring social media – Twitter

For those interested in measuring social media, here is an interesting tool to monitor Twitter and its users – the Twitter influence calculator. You can discover the most influential users and compare yourself to others. Plus, they present the information in graphs and tag clouds as seen above.


February 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

Communications evaluation – 2009 trends


Last week I gave a presentation on evaluation for communicators (pdf) at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. A communicator asked me what trends had I seen in communications evaluation, particularly relevant to the non-profit sector. This got me thinking and here are some of the trends I have seen in 2008 that I believe are an indication of some directions in 2009:

Measuring web & social media: as websites and social media increasingly grow in importance for communication programmes, so to is the necessity to have the capacity to measure what their impact is. Web analytics has grown in importance as will the ability to measure social media.

Media monitoring not the be-all and end-all: after many years of organisations only focusing on media monitoring as the means of measuring communications, there is finally some realisation that media monitoring is an interesting gauge of visibility but not more. Organisations are now interested more and more in having some qualitative analysis of data collected (such as looking at how influential the media are, the tone and the importance).

Use of non-intrusive or natural data:  organisations are also now considering “non-intrusive” or “natural” data – information that already exists – e.g. blog / video posts, customer comments, attendance records,  conference papers, etc.  As I’ve written about before, this data is underated by evaluators as everyone rushes to survey and interview people.

Belated arrival of results-based management: Despite existing for over 50 years, results-based management or management by objectives is just arriving in many organsations. What does this mean for communicators? It means that at the minimum they have to set measurable objectives for their activities – which is starting to happen. They have no more excuses(pdf) for not evaluating!


December 23, 2008 at 6:08 pm 3 comments

And more on measurement of social media

Still a very new field, there is more and more being done in the field of measuring social media (blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.). I’ve recently read two interesting opinions on this subject.

First, here is an interesting post from Tom Watson of the Dummyspit blog writing from an IPRA conference in Beijing:

“Measurement of social media was one of the main discussion points. Don Stacks said that data on social media output, such as traffic and click-throughs, was easy to collect but the penetration of messages was much more difficult and mathematically complex. His view was that social network analysis was the way forward with methods, such as Marcovian chain analysis, coming from sociological research.

To understand how messages are being processed and passed along in social media, we need to track bloggers, code the content of their text and work out who is talking to whom.”

Read the full post>>

Secondly, here is an interesting article from the New Communications Review which speaks of a study to determine “influence and social media” which amongst its findings included:

“For online communities and social networks, the top three criteria for evaluating influence do reflect the importance of online engagement:

o Participation level
o Frequency of posting by the community member
o Name recognition of the individual ”

Read the complete article>>

No doubt, more to come in this area…


December 10, 2008 at 8:01 pm Leave a comment

Open source movement measuring social media

I’ve written previously about measuring social media  – now here is an interesting initiative – an open source movement measuring social media. They have a useful resources page and what we are trying to measure page. It’s also great that it’s an open source initiative as there are companies promoting proprietary solutions that claim to measure social media  – but aren’t willing to share the methodology of how they do so.


October 13, 2008 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Challenges in measuring social media

Tom Watson of the Dummyspit blog has brought to my attention a new report (pdf) from the Society of New Communication Research that examines the elusive question about how to measure the influence and effectiveness of social media, such as blogs, podcasts, etc.

As the report states although social media is clearly changing “the way we think about media and influence … [companies] are still struggling to find effective metrics for deciding who are the influential players” (p.16).

The report summarises current measurement and evaluation practice as:

  • Top criteria for determining the relevance or influence of a blogger or podcaster are quality of content, relevance of content to the company or brand, and search engine rank.
  • For evaluating a person’s influence in online communities and social networks, the main measures are participation level, frequency of activity and prominence in the market or community.
  • About half the surveyed communicators formally measure their social media activities. Their goals are “to enhance relationships, improve the reputation of their businesses, drive customer awareness of their online activities and solicit customer comments and feedback.” (p.16)

There are certainly some valid points there – read Tom’s full post here,  just be aware of some of the more dodgy social media metrics that are out there…


September 10, 2008 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

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