Social Analytics: No Need to Feel Socially Awkward
A shout-out to our friends at Slingshot SEO, who participated in the inaugural Infinitive Digital BrainFest a few weeks back. This post from Steve Shattuck highlights some of the key points from the session Feeling Socially Awkward: A Strategy for Measuring this Hip New World. We wanted to expand on a few of his ideas:
- Avoid the “vanity metric:” Everyone likes having a lot of friends and followers online, but if they are a passive group who never reach out for anything else (like white papers or Webinars), then the numbers won’t mean much from a business perspective. As an industry, we are still struggling to find the optimal mix of user behaviors that signal “engagement” and the right mix of metrics to track those behaviors. It’s an ongoing journey, and it’s important to remember that social is only one channel in which you can connect with your target audiences. Thus, it’s critically important to make sure you can track users as they navigate and transition from social to the Web and even offline. That remains a fundamental challenge for many firms. (Speaking of white papers, don’t miss Building the Foundation for Smart SEO with Adobe SiteCatalyst, jointly authored by Infinitive Analytics and Slingshot.)
- Get used to multiple tools: While everyone likes the idea of standardizing on one single tool, there is no “smoking gun” or magic bullet to turn to. In our experience, the most effective digital analytics programs incorporate multiple sources of data – including those offered by the social media platforms themselves (Facebook Insights, e.g.) and Website tracking software (including enterprise suites like Adobe SiteCatalyst and free tools like Google Analytics). They likely also rely on inputs from other systems, like ordering or reservation systems, CRM systems and third-party research services. The big idea is that different data and specific report views should be tailored to the audiences consuming them; business executives and stakeholders should see less overall information and more concise results and actionable recommendations, while analytics pros can feast on more and more granular data from more sources. One last point: many of the most valuable and competitive insights come from cross-referencing key data elements from disparate systems.
Here’s our full take on the social media world – highlighting both the opportunities and challenges.